Hey guys! So, after my neurologist prescribed me Aimovig I’ve been on a journey!
Let me tell you a little history of my migraines for any newbies here. I have lived with Chronic Migraine for over 20 years. I spent 18 years of my life being told by doctors that my headaches were stress related, that certain medications and or birth control couldn’t possibly be making my headaches worse, it was sinus related and or it’s allergies. Stress was the biggest diagnoses and then I was blown off after that. I fired some many trying to figure out why I had so many headaches. I have about 3-4 headaches a week, minimum. I could still function with most of them, so I didn’t think they were migraines. Finally, I found a doctor who believed me at least about the bad ones. He told me I was having a migraine. He prescribed me Imitrex for the migraines and told me to meditate. Considering meditation wasn’t a big thing back when he told me this, that was pretty progressive. Unfortunately, he retired about 2 years after that! So, I began another search for a new doctor.
Fast forward 18 years later, and countless uphill battles, I found a trial study for a new migraine medicine. They called and interviewed me and told me I didn’t qualify for that study because what I described was chronic migraines. I was like, “What!!!!! First off, you, believe me, secondly, I’m chronic? I told my neurologist about it and she didn’t realize that all my headaches were migraines, just varying degrees of pain. Most days I can function with the pain, but I’d developed a high pain tolerance. That being said, it takes a toll on your body. Here I am 48 years old, I keep putting on weight, and by the time I get home from work, I’m exhausted from pretending to others that I was fine and pushing through the pain. My family isn’t getting me at my best, they are usually getting me at my worst. Lastly, I’m not getting enough exercise, because I’m completely depleted of energy by the end of the day.
Back in November, my neurologist prescribed me Aimovig. She filled out some paperwork so that I could get two doses/two month supply for free to try. After I took the first dose I did have less mild migraines. After the second dose, even less mild migraines. I just started making progress and feeling good again, and the insurance company then told me it would not be covered because I hadn’t tried one of three class of drugs. Insurance companies require you to try cheaper preventatives first, which include: Beta-Blockers which are primarily prescribed for blood pressure regulation, SSRI’s which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that help with anxiety and depression and Anticonvulsant or Antiepileptic drugs which are used to treat Epilepsy. I had already been on several different SSRI’s over the years. My doctor chose to put me on a Beta-Blocker because they have far less worrisome side effects than the dreaded Topamax.
I was on the Beta-Blocker for a month and a half to give it a fair shot. It didn’t help, and on top of that I had a migraine for 21 days straight. I lost all the progress I had made. I called Amgen and they have an Aimovig Ally Access Card program. I was able to get a few more doses for free thanks to this program. You can get up to 1 year of free Aimovig provided it’s been prescribed to you and your insurance company has denied coverage. Then after your insurance company approves it, you have a low co-pay. I was anxious to get back on it because the longer I feel well, the more I can do! Right?
I’m happy to report that my insurance carrier FINALLY approved my Aimovig and with this discount card I currently only have to pay $5.00. This is a $500.00 a month drug!
I’m still working on getting Botox for Migraines covered. Most of this is due to the fault of the doctor’s office where I got the injections in July of 2018. They STILL have not billed my insurance for it and keep sending me a bill even though I’ve talked with them numerous times about it. If you want to see about the Botox Savings Program please follow the link. Hopefully, I can get pre-approved for Botox and see if this in conjunction with the Aimovig will help significantly reduce my migraines. I’ll keep you posted.
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So, today is day 17 of my first Botox experience. I intended to write a day 10 article, but life got in the way. Day 10 is the day when you are supposed to see and feel some results. So, here are my results thus far.
I didn’t realize how much effort I was using to keep my eyes open. I have deep set eyes and as I age, it’s getting harder and harder to see without forcing my eyes open wider. That has gone away! Yay! I’ve had a total of 2 migraines. One right after my treatment, which I expected and another after a long stressful day. HOWEVER, the 2nd one, went away with plain Advil.
My WTF lines in my forehead are barely visible now. That’s cool. Rarely are there “good” side effects when you take a drug! My temples feel more relaxed than ever. I still have the bruise next to my eye. Yesterday I thought I was on the verge of getting a migraine all day. I took some Advil and after a few hours, it didn’t help. I had my Imitrex waiting for me and I was getting ready to take it. The pain was tolerable, but it was slowly increasing, and then it just went away.
So, I’m leaning towards saying that this is helping me so far. I will write another follow-up article to see if my progress continues and what happens when I get the second round of Botox. They said they could give me more if necessary, and I think I do need a little more above my right eye area, which is the area that always hurts the most when I get a migraine.
Do you put anything extra or buy water with extra ingredients to help with your migraines. They always tell us to drink plenty of water. So I drink a ton of water and then always buy some that has electrolytes in it. Lately I’ve been gagging down 20 drops of Trace Minerals added to my electrolyte water in the morning. It has a slight metallic taste to it. So I do it like a shot and then chase it with anything that tastes decent! It could be that I’m just having a good week, but I’ve been pretty decent this week since starting this. I got the Trace Minerals here.
I’m channeling my inner Chandler Bing here. I know that since I’ve become a mom, my indoor voice and outdoor voice are way louder than they used to be. However I know some people who are always just very loud. Whether it’s due to hearing loss or the fact that they too are just mother’s trying to be heard!!!! I get it!!! However, some days when I have a really bad migraine, I’d love to scream this! (but I can’t b/c it hurts too much!)
I think we have all done this, pretending your well. My standard answer is that I’m fine, even though I’m in pain. Now if it’s a two Imitrex and lay down migraine, I’m not pretending I’m well. However most days I can have a migraine and pretend like nothing is wrong. How good are you at that? Now that is acting!!!!
I’ve read many articles over the last couple of months that say that exercising helps headaches and migraines. I have to admit I’ve often scoffed at those articles. The thought of exercising with a headache, let alone a migraine seemed ridiculous. Now, I’m not saying I exercise when I have a migraine, that would just be crazy! However, I have been exercising for 3 months and my migraines and daily headaches have been cut in half! Did you hear me, by HALF!!!!
Here are some of the articles that I have read about exercise, migraines and headaches.
I usually do about 30 minutes of plain cardio about 2 to 4 times a week (depends on how much time I have) and 2 HIIT routines a week, plus strength training. I also pay very close attention to my posture at work as I’m a Systems Administrator who sits for most of my work day. I also try and get regular sleep at minimum 6 to 8 hours every night.
Exciting news for me! I was recently accepted to become part of a trial for a new medicine and the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I will be going there on the 22nd of February for my first evaluation.
If you want to find out or participate in a study go to this page and find out more details and call them! The more research and treatment options we have the better!!! Make life better for people with Chronic Migraines!
Since MHNI categorized me as a Chronic patient I am going to be finding out what the process is to receive Botox and get it covered by my insurance. I will let you know what the process is and give you tips and see if it helps me and let me know if it helps you!
After my last 12-day migraine I’m willing to try anything to ease the pain and regain my life back!
If you suffer from Migraines help yourself while helping others!!!! VOLUNTEER!!!