As the year comes to a close, we are recapping the five highest viewed blog posts from 2019…
1. Pregnancy and Migraine Medications
Pregnancy is a step into the unknown. It can be the most wonderful time in a person’s life, but it can also be intimidating. For women living with migraine disease, contemplating pregnancy can be downright frightening.
I always assumed I would not have children. Motherhood and pregnancy seemed like an unthinkable undertaking to someone experiencing daily migraine since the age of four. But very suddenly, after 26 years of perfecting various migraine strategies and medications, I won my personal migraine battle. This was so life-changing for me that after a month without daily migraines I noticed flowers were beautiful for the first time. Four years later, I got up the courage to become pregnant. In truth, I was practically paralyzed with fear.
2. How to Use Essential Oils to Manage Migraine
I remember my reaction when someone would suggest a natural remedy for my debilitating migraine disease.
“They were one of those people who thought a migraine is just a headache,” I would quickly assume. They clearly had no idea on just how debilitating migraine can be – the sensitivity to every light and sound, nausea and vomiting, and the pain.
Like many others, migraine often landed me in the emergency room. But I got to a place of realization that despite my doctor’s best efforts, I was still experiencing debilitating migraine attacks. I was still on board with his plan for care, but I realized I needed to be proactive in preventing migraine attacks.
3. Breastfeeding and Migraine Medications
When we first become moms we face all sorts of new challenges and changes in our lives and in our bodies. Those of us managing migraines have an extra challenge: optimizing our own health and treatment plans while also doing what is best for our baby. Unfortunately, this often feels like scary and uncharted territory.
I suffered from 26 years of daily migraines that started at the age of four. By the time I got up the courage to have a child I had been married fourteen years and was well into the “advanced maternal age” timeframe. In my first pregnancy, my migraines became so severe that my doctor scheduled an early C-section at 38 weeks. When my daughter was born I stared at her in bewilderment. How could someone with a health history that caused so much pain and suffering produce a perfectly healthy baby?
4. The Relationship Between Stroke and Migraine
There are several ways to think about migraine and its relationship to stroke. Migraine is a disease that affects the nerves in our body, as well as the blood vessels. More specifically, it affects the arteries or the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of our body. There are two important relationships between migraine and stroke. The first is that some people can present with stroke-like symptoms when they are having a migraine. Second, migraine is now known to be a risk factor for having a stroke. These are both important topics to be aware of if you are someone who lives with migraine.
5. IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S A SUPER-RESPONDER: A STORY OF LIFE AFTER AIMOVIG
I sat staring at my phone, anxiously hitting the refresh button. The FDA was slated to announce their approval of Amgen’s new migraine prevention drug sometime today and the sun was beginning to set. As darkness began to fall, my heart began to beat faster. I had been waiting to try this medication for years and it felt as though I couldn’t possibly wait another minute. I hit the refresh button once more and all of the air I had been holding in my lungs suddenly whooshed out. I was speechless for just a moment and then shrieked. Aimovig had received FDA approval. Perhaps this was the first day of the rest of my life.
I had my first migraine attack in 2004. I still recall the panic-stricken look on my mother’s face in the Emergency Room and the sighs of relief that my parents breathed when they learned that I didn’t have brain tumor or an aneurysm. The doctor on call treated my symptoms and tried to reassure us as best he could. He suggested that I see a neurologist for further treatment. At the time, I didn’t think much about it. This was a fluke. Why would I need to see a neurologist?
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