Being Okay With the Small Miracles
It’s an overcast spring day here in Athens, Georgia, and I just took an Imitrex for the first time in weeks. Though I feel I should be elated at this news (OMG! I have only needed to take a triptan once in the last 6 weeks instead of twice per week!), I feel frustrated and scared.
This happened to me a few weeks ago when I had a moderate-level migraine-the first in weeks—and had to take an Imitrex to abort the episode. Since then, I’ve been trying to unpack my feelings around this. It’s not as if I truly thought that Aimovig would erase migraines from my life, right? I mean, surely I am well-versed enough as a patient and a health advocate to know that there is no cure for migraine, and that even drugs and interventions that are ground-breaking for some patients won’t cure them of the illness forever.
Hoping for a cure
I have to acknowledge that a less-than-rational part of my brain hoped against hope that my migraines would be a thing of the past once I found the right drug. And, for all intents and purposes, Aimovig is the right drug for me at this point in my life.
Treatment after treatment
Like many patients who have been prescribed Aimovig, I have a long list of treatments I’ve attempted since having my first migraine attack (that was over 25 years ago for me). At the beginning of my journey as The Migraine Girl, I would harbor such strong hope when heading to the pharmacy with a new prescription (or starting a new exercise routine). Maybe this is the key for me. Maybe this will be my breakthrough, the thing that gets me back to being a normal person. (A “normal person”? Whatever that is.) As the years went on and treatment after treatment proved mildly effective at best, I stopped being as naively hopeful. That is, until I started taking Aimovig in late November 2018.
I had read the research and had met with some pharmaceutical company reps who had been working on this CGRP-inhibitor for years. I had a friend (a fellow migraine.com health advocate/writer) who had been a part of a CGRP-inhibitor trial and had seen drastic improvements in her migraine-related health. This might be it, I thought, subtly considering this new drug in the way a hopeful romantic might feel after an incredible first date (“Is she the one?!”). In most ways, this is it. This drug treatment has been monumental for me. For years I said I would do anything, try anything to reduce migraine’s impact on my life. Over time, I’ve had some breakthroughs, but nothing as long-lasting as this.
There’s no cure for migraine (yet), and there’s little to no chance I’ll never have an attack again. But I’m working to be at peace with what is and to focus on being grateful for my healthy times. But wow: when there’s a cure for migraine, I’ll be ready to try—but I’ll definitely try to temper my expectations.
How have you been feeling lately about your health journey? What insights (positive, negative, or in-between) have you had that you’d like to share?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?