Aimovig – Week 1

***I’ m a volunteer for the Speak Your Migraine Network that is sponsored by Amgen Inc.  & Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. SYMN is comprised of volunteers who share their experiences managing their migraine disorder in order to inspire others and build awareness. All opinions and experiences are my own.*** 

 



MY PATIENT PROFILE

Age: 41

Diet - No Special Diet In Place 

Exercise - 2-3 times a week/low impact

Years Living with the Migraine Disease: 31

Classification and Diagnosis of Migraine: 

Migraine with Aura - diagnosed at 10-years-old

Vestibular Migraine and Chronic Migraine - diagnosed at age 35

My Migraine Triggers:

Changes in the Weather - Incoming Storms, Barometric Pressure 
& Humidity

Changes in Hormone Levels - Menstrual Cycle

Food - Onions, Certain Brands of Bacon, Red Wine, & Smoked Cheese

Smell - Strong fragrances (Incense, Cleaning Products, Perfume, Cologne, & Burnt Food)    

Current Migraine Treatment Regimen:

SPG Blocks Injections - Once every 3rd week

Melatonin - Daily vitamin

One or More of the Following are Selected Based on Symptoms:

Benadryl

Naproxen

Zomig

Baclofen

Zofran

Toradol

Boost Oxygen

Cryohelmet or Cryoscarf 

Caffeine

Other Medical Conditions I’m Currently Being Treated For:

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fibromyalgia

Cluster Headaches

Osteoarthritis









Date of First Aimovig Injection

August 9, 2018

Day 1- I woke up at 3 A.M. to a migraine attack that had me immediately reaching for my Zomig, Benadryl, and Zofran. Knowing my Aimovig shipment was set to arrive by noon, I wanted to make sure I received my first dose that day.

I decided to wait until the afternoon to administer the first injection. I wasn’t worried about giving myself the shot, I was just a little concerned I wouldn’t do it right. I looked over the instructions a million times, okay I really didn’t, but it was at least 20 times.

By the way, I absolutely hate needles! I do have prior experience with giving myself injections. I once carried Imitrex injections with me at all times from the time I was 16 until my mid-twenties. As much as I dreaded having to inject myself during the onset of a migraine attack, I knew that I would feel better within minutes of the medication going through my system.

I currently do weekly injections to manage my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. The medication is in a vial and is not premeasured which means I have to measure each dosage. Lucky for me, Aimovig comes prefilled and is in an autoinjector.

I’ll be honest, I thought I screwed up and didn’t do the injection right. I clicked the button on top, but the yellow line didn’t move. I attempted it again until I finally saw the yellow line of the side of the injector pin slowly drop. I waited 30 seconds before removing the injection and noticed quite a bit of blood. More than I had anticipated.

I bled for a good 15 minutes. It wasn’t bad, it just took much longer to stop than any other injection I’ve received in the past. The only issue I had was experiencing soreness in my left thigh for 2 hours post-injection. It basically felt like someone punched me in my leg.

Day 2- I woke up feeling great, but that afternoon my head started to give me grief. Around 5 P.M a cluster of dark clouds moved through and shortly after the rain began. The massive left-sided throbbing and pressure spanning across my entire forehead caused me to sit in the darkest room in the house for the rest of the night. My pain level was between a 5-6. My whole face was numb and my stomach was upset. I used my Cryohelmet, Boost Oxygen, Benadryl, Naproxen and an energy drink to ease the pain to a bearable 2-3. This migraine attack stuck around for 6 hours.

Day 3- I was not expecting to wake up with some female issues that landed me in the ER. With everything going on with my body, there were no unexpected migraine attacks that day. I was not at all concerned that the Aimovig injection played any role in what happened to me that day. The on-call doctor and nurse also agreed with me.

Day 4- After all the excitement from Saturday was behind me, I had a rather relaxing Sunday. I did take things easy as requested by the ER doctor. I’m happy to report no migraine-related issues on this day.

Day 5- The morning started out fine. I got a lot accomplished until the humidity spiked and was at 90%.  My head made it known it was not happy which caused me to take a variety of medications to get comfortable enough to finish my daily activities. This particular migraine attack lingered around for almost 8 hours.  

Day 6- I had a fairly decent day. No migraine-related issues, but I did have a sensitivity to light all day. I sported my sunglasses most of the day which is nothing new for me. I’m certain it was due to my fibromyalgia acting up and not at all migraine related.

Day 7- My head hated me today. I woke up to excruciating throbbing all over the top of my scalp that only got worse as the minutes passed. I used everything in my migraine emergency kit to abort this migraine attack. The relief was temporary with each attempt. I spent all afternoon stuck in my bed. I was in too much pain to move around. The humidity was 100% which explains why I failed at getting rid of my migraine. This migraine attack lasted around 14 hours.

What are my thoughts on Aimovig during week 1?

It’s too early for me to tell. Weather is ALWAYS a factor when it comes to having migraine attacks. No matter what I tried in the past for treatments, my head does it own thing PERIOD! Now I will say this, since starting SPG Blocks in March of 2017 my migraine attacks are not as severe. I only had one ER visit during that time frame for a migraine attack that was a 10+ and caused me to be severely dehydrated. Considering I was making so many frequent ER visits that the staff knew immediately why I was there before I even mentioned what was wrong with me; that’s one hell of an improvement.

My hope is Aimovig will work in accordance with my SPG Blocks to help me to where I am able to have less migraine days and live a better quality of life.

Check back for Week 2 to see if I had any setbacks or major progress.

Adventures of a Spoonie Mom is Now a Proud Partner of the American Migraine Foundation!

We’ve joined the American Migraine Foundation to fight debilitating   head pain together

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing meaningful information, resources and support for those living with migraine, Adventures of a Spoonie Mom is thrilled to announce our new partnership with the American Migraine Foundation.

The American Migraine Foundation is the official resource for millions of Americans living with migraine seeking reliable information about diagnosis, treatment and advancements in research. Launched in 2010 as a patient support and advocacy effort of the American Headache Society, AMF’s mission is to mobilize a community for people living with migraine and their support networks, and to drive impactful research into the third most common and sixth most disabling disease around the globe.

“Adventures of a Spoonie Mom is a cornerstone organization in the migraine world. It is truly an honor to work alongside them as we #MoveAgainstMigraine,” says American Migraine Foundation Executive Director Meghan Buzby. “We look forward to continuing to make an impact together.”

Like Adventures of a Spoonie Mom, the American Migraine Foundation is dedicated to helping people with migraine live meaningful and pain-free lives. We’re so excited to join forces with AMF to provide support, advocacy and treatment innovations to people living with this disabling disease.

The American Migraine Foundation supports people living with migraine by providing free, comprehensive information sourced directly from headache specialists, by maintaining a searchable database and map to improve access to headache specialists, by investing in research efforts towards new, innovative treatments, and by creating support networks and communities where people with migraine can support and learn from each other.

We couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration. Be on the lookout for additional resources and enhanced communication from our team in the very near future.

Together, we are as relentless as migraine

SPG Blocks: Treatment for Migraine and Cluster Headaches

Each person living with migraine experiences different outcomes when it comes to pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments. In this article for Longevity, I share how a procedure called a SPG Block, helps with both my vestibular migraine and cluster headaches.

https://longevity.media/spg-blocks-treatment-for-migraine-and-cluster-headaches?_ga=2.31818492.372826613.1512279217-833467392.1510667544

Migraine Again Guest Post

With another school year about to start, I have much more responsibilities to get my teen ready for his Freshman year than my middle schooler.

Not only do I have to attend orientation and more activities as a parent of a high schooler. I have to prepare my son and his new teachers for migraine prevention 101.

With 5 years worth of experience of educating the school’s staff on how my young migraineur has certain treatment requirements based on the severity of each migraine attack, I was more than happy to share my tips with Migraine Again.

To read my guest post on Migraine Again, please click on the link provided.

The Best Ways to Juggle School and Migraine

 

INVisible Project: Migraine Edition

A few months back, the U.S. Pain Foundation contacted me about having my 13 year old migraineur, Colton, as one of the featured participants for their first migraine edition of the INVisible Project.

Without hesitation, Colton accepted the opportunity to share his story about the daily struggles he faces as a teen living with the abdominal and chronic migraine disease.

Colton felt it was important to speak up about the stigma that often accompanies a person battling against an invisible illness and how his chronic pain contributes to him missing out on so many school activities that he loves.

As a mom, I couldn’t be any more proud of my son’s courage and strength to overcome so many medical hurdles just to be a normal teen.

As a migraine and headache disorder advocate, I’m honored to have this young man alongside of me, fighting past the barriers of delimnas a patient faces to have a better quality of life while hoping a cure is found for a neurological condition over 37 million Americans live with.

To learn more about Colton and the other migraine INVisible Project participants, visit:

Colton De Keyser and Family