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When Insurance Denies My Migraine Medication

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There’s a cure for my migraines, but my insurance company won’t let me have it.

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. The combination of Botox injections and Vyepti infusions was helping me maintain my condition, and when my insurance refused to continue paying for both it sent me spiraling backward on my migraine journey. In case you don’t have migraines, it’s hard to describe how awful they are. It’s not “just a headache.” It’s like having your brain pummeled by a jackhammer. It’s like shards of glass exploding behind your eyes. It’s like bashing in the sides of your head. Sometimes it makes me vomit. Sometimes it makes it hard to see or even move. Sometimes I’m stuck for hours in a dark room, unable to do anything but wallow in my misery, because any sound, light, or movement triggers the pain to shoot through my head.

And it could be avoided, if my insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid, also called BlueCare) would simply approve the medicine my neurologist told them was medically necessary. I was on both treatments for several months and my migraine days were way down. Before that, I was only on Botox and now I am only on Vyepti. Both then and now my migraine days are frequent and out of control. Neither treatment is enough on its own.

I have to hope that somehow, my neurologist will change the insurance provider’s mind. Or that the petition I started will get enough signatures to make a difference. Or that somehow I can appeal, again. It’s my only chance for being functional, for being able to type without closing my eyes, for being able to go outside without searing pain from the sun. That hope seems so slim and far away now, as pain has taken over every aspect of my life.

Getty image by Volha Barysevich.

Originally published: May 23, 2022
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