Our Patients Say it Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Pain Takes Flight for Chronic Migraine Sufferer - Mary Scaletta


Nov, 2018

Physicians: Peter Spencer, DO

Imagine waking up each morning in fear of whether or not another headache would strike. One so debilitating it would leave you unable to go to work or function normally. This was a normal part of life for Mary Scaletta ever since she was 16 years old. Now 58, her migraines had become more severe, typically beginning with an aura, or visual disturbance, and escalating into nausea, concentrated pain, and sensitivity to light.

“I was experiencing severe migraines 15 or more times each month,” said Mary. “Medication wouldn’t even begin to touch the pain. Each time I had one I couldn’t function properly or even have a conversation. I would wake up with a headache and it would stay with me all day long.”

As a flight attendant, Mary’s employer depended on her in order to meet aviation requirements for flights scheduled for that day. Due to her condition, she was forced to call off work last minute on a regular basis.

Mary had been seeing a doctor in Chicago for many years in hopes of finding a lasting solution to her pain. When she decided to look for a local provider, her sister-in-law recommended neurologist, Peter Spencer, DO.

“Dr. Spencer really listened to me and took the time to understand how my headaches were impacting my daily life,” said Mary. “He knew I would need a treatment option that allowed me to function normally while traveling and being on my feet 12 hours a day. Most drugs commonly prescribed would affect my ability to perform my job. He was committed to finding another answer.”

Based on Mary’s symptoms and lifestyle, Dr. Spencer suggested Botox® as a possible treatment option. Typically used to treat wrinkles, Botox has also been shown to work for migraine headaches by blocking chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain.

“At this point I was open to trying anything,” said Mary. “The first time I had the procedure done it was a little painful but I didn’t experience any negative side effects.”

Since her first Botox treatment over three years ago, the results have been ‘life changing.’

“Botox has worked wonders for me,” said Mary. “I went from 15 or more headaches a month, to four or less. Now, if I feel a headache coming on, I won’t take pain medications because I know I have a Botox appointment scheduled. I no longer live in fear waking up each day and I don’t miss work as much as I used to.”

Mary continues to receive Botox shots in her forehead, neck, and shoulders every three months. With regular visits to the office, the staff at Lakeland Neurology have become like a second family to her.

“I love everyone at the practice – they are a great team of people and so caring,” said Mary. “I know I can call them any time I have questions and they will get an answer for me.”


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