I have to say, this post is not a complaining one. I was getting migraines 4 days a week earlier this year, so now that I’m down to less than one per week, I am definitely not complaining! Migraines vary in intensity, location, onset symptoms, and duration…every person’s experience is different so this is not a medical journal, advice, or step by step miracle cure. It’s just my story.
I woke up this morning at 5:00 am to immense, steady, unrelenting pain just over my left eyebrow. This is the standard location of my migraines. I sometimes get tension headaches at the base of my neck or sinus headaches which cover my entire forehead and eye sockets, but the migraine is always over my left eye. The other headaches go away with over the counter pain relievers and/or sinus meds. Those don’t even touch my migraines.
These days, I don’t even wait to “see if it will go away on it’s own”…I know better, so I just got up and took my Imitrex and waited for it to take effect. This medication is a double edged sword for me. While it relieves the migraine in 60-90 minutes and usually takes care of it completely in several hours, it leaves the rest of my body hurting and achy, like a serious case of the flu, and makes me extremely tired (not sleepy, just worn out.) Some days I have to choose which pain is worse and whether or not the Imitrex will be worth it. Today I have a full schedule and can’t reschedule, so I decided the med was the way to go…it will allow me to me to at least be able to function, albeit at a slower pace than normal.
I should probably back up just a bit…
I’ve gotten headaches off and on my whole life. Migraines run in my family, but because I didn’t get physically ill with mine and they didn’t occur with much regularity or high frequency, I just thought they were the normal run of the mill headache everyone got. I thought that for 50 years. Earlier this year when they started occurring once a week, then twice a week, then 3 days a week, and so on, I finally went to my doctor and asked her about them. We talked about my symptoms, including light sensitivity, nausea, dizziness, trouble driving with the sunlight flashing through the trees (usually one day prior to a headache), and head pressure prior to the onset of a headache. She said often people who have had migraines for a while, will find they disappear with menopause, but occasionally they will worsen. Lucky me…I’m the latter.
I’m grateful for 2 things. One, the medication to resolve the headache once it’s arrived and two, a preventative shot I take once a month. Emgality has literally changed my life. I can’t take Imitrex every day, so weeks when I’d have migraines 3 or 4 days in a row, I would struggle with when to take it. Do I take it the very first day and hope I don’t have another one for several days? Do I go to bed on day one, waste an entire day in pain in the chance that I may get one tomorrow and need the med to attend to my normally scheduled life appointments? Instead of living life 7 days a week, I was operating on a 3 day week and still trying to accomplish a normal week.
I’ve been taking the Emgality shots for 4 months now and while they don’t 100% cure the migraines, they have absolutely reduced the frequency. I am down to 3 days a month instead of 16. I feel like I finally have my life back.
Feel free to share your story below, but please do not attack my personal medical choices.
***I am NOT a medical professional. This post is not an endorsement of Emgality nor Imitrex and is NOT medical advice. This is just my personal experience.