Aimovig, Migraine

Aimovig Update: Month One

November 1, 2018

I found it helpful to read other blogs about their Aimovig experience and felt inclined to add mine as well.

Injection Info

Injection Date: 10/01/18
Dosage: (1) 70mg
Month One: 10/01/18 — 10/31/18

Side Effects

Some of these side effects I dive into a little more in the weekly recap below. — Lightheaded
— Dizzy
— Decreased appetite
— Irritated
— Brain fog (no more than usual)

Weekly Recap

Week 1 — 10/01/18

  • Day 1 through 4: I felt dizzy and lightheaded first thing in the morning. Then I’d feel fine after a cup of coffee.
  • Day 4: my pain intensity started to fluctuate, a noticeable up and down shift in pain. It really felt like the drug was trying to work.
  • General brain fog. No more or less than usual, and I don’t have an articulate way to describe this it just felt different.

Week 2 — 10/08/18

  • Lower pain intensity but still experiencing just as many migraines.
  • Day 13: intense “electric shocks” began! The shocks located in my head, mostly on the left side. The pain would happen without any warning and with force, sometimes in the same spot but not always. Previously had an ice-pick feeling for the past 3 months that was fluctuating in intensity and frequency, once these “electric shocks” took over no more ice picks.

Week 3 — 10/15/18

  • I started asking around on Instagram about the electric shock feeling. Six individuals came back to me saying they also experienced these, two experiencing in the body/gut, and 4 telling me the pain disappeared after month 4.
  • The “electric shocks” have diminished a little bit in their intensity but have increase in their severity.

Week 4 — 10/22/18

  • Day 26: my daily headache started to decrease. Similar relief feeling that I get while during a migraine attack, and now the all day headache.

Week 5 — 10/30/18

  • Definitely have felt a decrease in pain severity but not in the frequency of my migraines. If anything I have felt this past week was the hardest and now I realize maybe it’s because the drug lasts about 28 days in your system. Don’t quote me on that though… it’s just something I’ve read multiple times on social media, and certainly felt I was ready for the next injection.
  • Started to notice my loss of appetite this week.

General Thoughts

I was cautiously optimistic getting the Aimovig injection. My episodic migraines which I had since August 2016, became chronic in January 2018. I have been on six preventative medications prior to Aimovig, and with each prescription I experienced some of the worst side effects. So, my fear going from daily oral medication to monthly injections was quite scary. I wasn’t sure what type of side effects I might have to endure.
With the “electric shocks” I started experiencing on day 13, I wasn’t sure if this was a side effect or another shift in how my migraines continue to change especially after a new drug is introduced. They freaked me out and my husband wanted to take me to the ER after seeing me wrestle with the excruciating pain. Suffice it to say, my neurologist seems to think this is Aimovig doing it’s job.

Next up

For month two my neurologist is increasing my dosage to 140mg. I am feeling a little nervous that the electric shocks will continue. I’m also excited and hopeful because so far my experience does seem mostly positive. ::fingers crossed::


This post is not sponsored and all of these thoughts are my own.

Life

Strength and Resilience

October 30, 2018

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.

Dr. Steve Maraboli

My journey from monthly to daily migraines this past year has been anything but easy. At the beginning of this month as I was reflecting out loud, I admitted that I was proud of myself — for powering through the pain, for being strong and resilient. My husband was quick to validate. He’s always the first to remind me that this too shall pass, that there is hope and that I’ll feel better. He hates hearing me say that I am powering through anything and I can see how this is wearing on him too. He never complains, and he is always there for me.

Between the prayers, the mindful tools, the preventative care, of course I have hope for healing and relief. Why else would I continue to do these things? I think sometimes I need a little more than hope to keep me going.

I am no stranger to chronic pain

Dealing with a back issue since I was 18, I know all too well the time you have to put into your health just to get by. I have fallen into depression many times before because of back pain, so when I felt it creeping in this past year I have been quick and resilient to combat it.

For someone who values time with others and living in the present moment, living with migraine is one of my worst fears come true. I’m exhausted and tired of migraine stealing my time, my goals, my health, and for another post… my first year of marriage.

Empathy for invisible illness

When I was about 12 years old, my mom’s health put her in bed all day for weeks at a time. Prior to that she had been dealing with pain for five years, and it took an another five before she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism. I stepped into the role of an adult and caretaker to my two younger siblings. I did most of the cleaning and cooking for our family of 6, while my father and older brother took on multiple jobs to support us.

This affected me in a lot of ways such as overcoming resentment and behavioral issues in my 20’s and catching up on my education; as well as a lot of positive things too! For example, I have a strong sense of empathy. Watching my mother go through so much physical pain also created an inner drive to be proactive in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. It has also created a huge underlying fear that I might have a similar diagnosis, although all my lab work proves otherwise. The amount of time I spend in my bed, isolated and out of control of my body, really scares me.

Future Fears

How will this affect my relationship long-term? What does our family planning look like? Will I be capable of being a present parent?

I have things I can’t avoid doing, the worst is driving to/from work, as well as being in front of a computer all day. Doing smaller tasks also take a lot out of me, tasks that those without chronic illness probably don’t think much about doing… I certainly did not until this past year. Things like getting out of bed, general hygiene care, meal preparation and eating. Too many things add up to a lot of energy spent for someone who doesn’t have very much energy to begin with.

I do not want to feel like an invalid. I do not want to see my health, my relationships and my spirit suffer. I continue to survive every day despite the pain, and it really does help to know how to manage my energy. When your health is in question it brings clarity to what matters most in life. A month after this conversation and it’s looking like one of my more difficult months but I continue to dig deep. I continue to be resilient. I continue to power through.