New Year, New Migraine Medications for Me

After seeing a neurologist and being treated like a human being for the first time in a long time in a doctor’s office, I was excited and nervous to try my new medication regime. Instead of sumatriptan, I was going to try rizatriptan as a rescue medication. Easy enough to make that switch.

Did the rizatriptan help my attack?

It’s always hard to know, with a rescue medication, “what could have been.” I had to take rizatriptan all through our snow storm to keep my classic barometric pressure headache with aura at bay. I had to keep it up every day and repeat the dose usually midday. The headache was still a bit present, even on rizatriptan. But, I could feel my hands. I could see. I could stay awake. I could find most words. I can’t know if this was a mild migraine or if the rizatriptan was able to tamp down most of my neurological symptoms. It didn’t wipe out the headache completely and I was still caffeinated to the heavens to fight the rest (and keep up with my kids), but I was functional, so that was something.

How did my new preventive work?

The really new experience was my preventative medication change. I was prescribed Ajovy, one of the injectable CGRP migraine medications. In my neurologist appointment, they brought out a tester pen and showed me how it works. It looks like an epipen, which I don’t need but was trained to use when I used to teach kids with allergies. But, unlike an epipen, when you push the button, the medicine dispenses slowly, over the course of about thirty seconds, according to the instructions. The doctor told me there were few side effects and almost no drug interactions. It seemed too good to be true.

Was Ajovy too good to be true?

Also seeming too good to be true was the process for getting the medication. I was given a “coupon” that made the drug five dollars a month and the company delivered it, refrigerated with a sharps container and everything else I needed to self-administer the dose, right to my door. They talked me through the delivery on the phone and were extremely patient when I didn’t believe them that it could be that easy.

Why did the injection scare me?

Less easy was psyching myself up to stab myself in the leg with a needle and push a button. I thought I was totally fine with needles, but when the moment came, I almost chickened out. Part of my fear was doing it in my leg, a place with lots of tender spots. Next time, I’m going to try to find a section of my stomach with no possible muscle interference.

How did the injection feel?

I took a breath and took the plunge. It did hurt, but not worse than any shot. I pushed the button and down went the plunger, pushing my new medicine into my body. I had to keep the needle in an extra ten seconds after the “click” telling me everything was in. Then I took it out and wiped off the tiny pinprick of blood. I’d done it.

Did it help with my migraine attacks?

Sadly, I won’t be able to know if it’s working for a few months. I’m feeling optimistic, though, that there is a better medication plan in sight.

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