TL;DR: Ajovy made my head better by some margin, but it doesn’t help my overall situation much. Because of the background headache that so far nothing has touched.
– I’ve now been using Ajovy for 17 months and my actual migraine attacks (Level 3) have reduced from 8-9 a month to 1-3 a month
– I haven’t noticed any negative Ajovy side effects at all
– The actual migraine attacks’ intensity has also lessened, so that now I sometimes can’t tell whether I’m having an actual attack or just a bad background head ache day.
– Still no completely headache-free days, but last year I had more Level 1 (mild background head ache, doesn’t stop from doing anything but you notice it) than ever before since the migraine going chronic in summer of 2008. A good number of the Level 1 days have an hour or few where I experience just a weird head-feeling for an hour or two and actually feel **good**. That counts as headache-free now.
– I’ve had mostly Level 2 (bad background head ache, have to limit what you can do and for how long) days since mid-March. I think it’s because around that time it got spring bright and sunny. I’ve never before noticed a difference so clearly before between my winter head aches and spring/summer head aches! Nothing else has changed nor are there new external stressors that I can think of, so I really think it’s the bright, sunny weather that’s giving me these majority Level 2 weeks.
– It’s hard to be patient with these Level 2 days because I had gotten used to only having about 13-17 days of a month being like that. Now it’s around 20-22 month 🙁
– I used to be able to tell between Level 2 and Level 3 because the actual attacks always throbbed. But now sometimes there’s no throbbing but the pain is hard enough that if I were working, I’d probably take a sick day or leave work mid-shift. Usually I use the cold gel pads to ease my head like in an actual attack and it feels really good. Currently I’m always marking such days as migraine attack days in addition to the actual migraine attack days, but I’m not sure yet how I should handle the logging. I feel like I should make a new level for these days, but I don’t know.
– Since starting Ajovy, the headache doesn’t tip into a full blown migraine attack as easily anymore. It just aches really hard and feels like it will tip into one at any second. Before Ajovy, as an example, whenever I visited someone, whether that was my Mom or my best friend (where I don’t have to pretend anything and can be my full self so it never stresses me), I’d always get a migraine attack in the evening. Often it would start already before I even left for home. It’d always happen if the whole trip took more than about 2-3 hours. With the trip there and back home again with the bus, the trips usually take at least 5 hours. Sometimes I’d only drop off something, would only stay for around 15 minutes before heading back and the whole trip would take two hours altogether; those were the times I wouldn’t get an attack.
– Same thing with all my medical/professional rehabilitation things before Ajovy – those days usually last 4-6 hours, not counting trips. The trips there and back home add another 2 hours to day. I’d do okay until about the last hour or even through that if it’s a good day – but then on the way home (roughly one hour one way) the migraine attack slowly begins. No meds could stop that. And that’s why I ended up on a new year long sairaspäiväraha/long term sick leave again. And some of those rehabilitation things were only once a week but it made no difference – migraine attack in the evening the latest.
– So before Ajovy, from experience, my head couldn’t handle more than about 3 hours of controlled by outside forces structured rehabilitation/work/studies away from home, even if that only happens once a week.
– At some point I’ll have to try rehabilitation again now that we’ve seen what Ajovy does, and I’m not looking forward to it. At least right now, with most of a month being Level 2, I fear it would easily tip over to many, many migraine attacks again. Or even barring that, just a hard Level 2 headache all day, every day. I might be crazy, but I think if working makes you physically hurt horribly or makes your illness worsen so much you end up on a year long sick leave time after time, it shouldn’t be required of you.
– There’s no opportunity to try to do same kind of controlled by outside forces structured rehabilitation/work/studies but at home, to see if my head could handle that. Some day I’d like to try that, but I’ve never seen or heard about a rehabilitation thing that involves working at home. It’s always something you have to go out for for many hours.