Content bird flying and facing upward with eyes closed. There is a small subtle string wrapped around it's tail waiting to be pulled taught.

Is This What Wellness Feels Like?

Dear Loved One,

I think I told you that I’ve been trying the new drugs made for migraine. They’re called CGRPs. Researchers have basically discovered that people with migraine produce more of a certain type of protein than other people and these drugs block that protein. Three different drug companies came out all that once with these blockers (Aimovig, Emgality, and Ajovy) given by monthly injection. While they have the same aim, they don’t work for everyone in the same way. I’ve tried two of the three and am experiencing windows of wellness for the first time in years.

Newfound energy

I started with Aimovig which did little to nothing for me, but I’m having some success with Emgality. I’m experiencing my first taste of periods of wellness in over a decade. Like, total clarity from pain. And I honestly forgot what it felt like. Wild. It’s hard to describe how glorious it is. When I experience times with mild to no pain I am actually giddy with excitement and feel like adrenaline is coursing through my veins. It’s as if the energy that I’m usually using to fend off moderate-to-severe pain is now freed up and encircling me, and I’m honestly not sure what to do with myself.

Fragile optimism

Of course part of the reason I don’t know what to do with myself is that I have no idea whether or not this moment of wellness is fleeting. I’m afraid to announce anything about this improvement to the world because when I have let friends or family know about minor improvements in the past, it’s always ended up being premature. It’s almost as if I jinxed myself by saying it out loud. One way or another, any improvement I’ve experienced in the past has been temporary.

Major improvement

That said, I don’t recall ever feeling this level of freedom from pain. To be clear, the improvement is not comprehensive.  In the three months since I started the therapy, I’ve probably had about 15 days that involved notable periods of wellness  (either 3-5 hours of feeling pain-free or, if the pain was present, it was low and was not exacerbated by activity). To a person not living with chronic pain, that might not seem like much.  But I generally have a constant moderate-to-severe pain level, which is exacerbated by any activity. So this is a major improvement.

Appreciation and gratitude

It’s been so wonderful to partake in life these past months and wake up the next morning with energy still in the tank. Is this how everyone feels? I expect maybe so but…perhaps without this level of appreciation?

I wish everyone could wake up with this level of gratitude for simply feeling no pain; for having their health. The joy I feel from having no pain is truly overwhelming. Even if I’m unwell for days afterward, the experience of wellness helps me fly through the tough times. It’s such a lift.

Thank you for listening and for supporting me through this journey. I know you can understand the trepidation, the fear, and the joy I’m feeling, all wrapped up in one. Your nonjudgmental understanding has helped more than you’ll ever know.

-Holly

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