From Full-Blown Migraine Attacks to Twinges

I’ve lived with migraine disease since my childhood, and one of the hardest parts is not knowing when I might become debilitated. Even before my diagnosis, I instinctually knew that certain things could “cause a headache” as I used to put it. I’d worry whenever I was facing. Although the migraine attacks are debilitating, that fear — though warranted — is also debilitating. At one point, when I was experiencing almost daily attacks, I also started having panic attacks when I was facing a trigger. This of course, compounded my level of disability — no fun at all!

How has the unpredictability of migraine affected me?

Since that point, I’ve had many ups and downs with my migraine disease, but I've been able to reduce the number of attacks I experience every month. Still, that anxiety when facing a trigger never completely went away. It’s not fun to live with a condition where you know you might be completely debilitated on any given day.

What abortives have I tried?

During this journey, I’ve also tried many different abortive medications, which are treatments you start at the earliest sign of an attack (if possible) to abort or at least lessen it. Most have been in the triptan category, such as sumatriptan or rizatriptan. Some have barely helped me, while others have at least lessened the attack.

Has Ubrelvy worked for me?

A few months ago, I started a new abortive in a newer class of drugs called CGRP blockers. The drug is called Ubrevly (ubrogepant). Since I’ve started taking it, I haven’t had a single full-blown migraine attack! I feel a twinge, some pain in my temples—light sensitivity, brain fog — and I take the Ubrevly. The twinges eventually subside, and I’ll be migraine-free!

Once I've realized how successful the new abortive was for me, I start to relax a little when I know I’ve hit a trigger. “If a migraine starts, I’ll be ok,” I tell myself.

How has this experience felt like rock climbing?

Around the same time that I started my new abortive, I also started rock climbing. When you climb at an indoor rock gym, you hook yourself up to a harness and a rope to catch you if you fall. If it wasn’t for that rope and harness, I likely wouldn’t climb too high. There are many times I’m trying to climb a course that’s a little bit more difficult than I can handle, and my hands will slip, and the rope catches me.

The insurance of the rope reminds me of the safety net of my new abortive. I can take more risks, knowing that I have a support to catch me when I fall.

I realize that my entire life until now, I’ve been climbing without a harness. I’ve taken falls and been incapacitated. It’s nice to know that, at least for now, I have some extra support. I hope it lasts a long time.

Note: As an addendum to this story, I’d like to mention that just because a medication helps someone in the community, doesn’t mean it’ll help us all. I know others who benefit from similar medications, and those who don’t. We are all still searching, so be kind to yourself and others if they are climbing without a rope to catch them, or even taking a break from climbing for now.

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Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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