Lately, I’ve been collecting diagnoses: migraine-associated vertigo, panic disorder, MTHFR deficiency, PTSD, IBS, seropositive RA … The list just keeps growing. Migraine, it seems, is a disease that gets along well with others — or at least enjoys bringing them along for the ride. (I, for one, would be happy to let a couple of these guys off at the next stop, but no one’s asking me.)
Anyone living for long with chronic migraine knows that comorbidities occur frequently. However, I was surprised to learn — until I started my own personal collection — just how many there are. For instance, while I knew that migraine with aura was associated with vertigo, MTHFR deficiency, anxiety, and PTSD, I had less knowledge of the link between migraine and IBS and no knowledge at all of the link between migraine and Rheumatoid Arthritis. While knowing about something doesn’t necessarily change the prevalence of it, I think it would have helped to be prepared.
Juggling multiple conditions isn’t easy, especially when the medications used to treat one disease (e.g. RA) tend to exacerbate another (e.g. migraine). Doing so while working, raising a family, and nurturing a strong marriage is even harder. But I’m not one to let the difficulty of a task faze me.
I started my migraine journey with the determination to figure out how to live the best, most joyful life possible, and I have no intention of stopping now. The journey may be a little rockier, and slightly more precarious, than I had anticipated, but it is the journey I’m on. I fully intend to find the magic moments and silver linings, and I’ll continue to write and share about my progress (the good and the bad) as I go.
Yesterday, the migraine community was abuzz with the news that the FDA finally approved the first drug in a line of new migraine preventatives, a CGRP blocker named Aimovig. As the story was the number one trending story on the New York Times website for most of today, I’m not going to go into details about Aimovig or CGRPs in general. However, if you’re looking for more information on the treatment, the science behind it, or what else is still to come, I’ve compiled a list of links that may help. And, if you want to get a glimpse of how amazingly important this development is to the migraine community at large, take a look at my friend Katie’s video tweet from yesterday. I think many of us can relate to her joy. I know I certainly can.
Long-time advocate Kerrie Smyres wrote a response to the impending FDA approval just a few days before the official announcement. In addition to being a personal friend, Kerrie is also one of my favorite migraine writers. And, in this piece, she shares some of her fears about the CGRP drugs — fears she and I have discussed in detail because I share them, too. While I’m definitely excited about this development in preventative therapy, I feel it’s important to consider the flip side of any new treatment. Particularly when it’s one so many people are relying on so heavily.
And, to balance those worries, I’m also sharing a poem written by another one of my fellow Migraine.com advocates who has a personal history with the CGRP therapies. She’s ecstatic and was even months before the approval.