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Is my migraine really bad enough for inpatient?

I have migraines nearly every day (about 3-4 days/month with NO headache; otherwise my pain level is about a 2-5). I see a headache specialist in Boston (who I waited for 6 months to get into!). We've done pretty much everything, including Botox. All triptans have either failed or have stopped working. Once a month I end up in the Emergency Room for a treatment of Dilauded, Torredol, and Zofran which will (usually) break a migraine that gets to a level 8-9.
My question is... at this point my headache specialist thinks it might help to go to an inpatient clinic (she mentioned Jefferson). What if I get an appointment and it's on a day that my pain level is only a 2? Is it even worth it? So many people I've read about here suffer so much more than I do.

Anyone have any thoughts?

  1. HI beckyalison,

    Thank you for your question and being part of the discussion forum - we're glad you're here.

    If this is something your doctor has suggested, you may want to seriously consider it. An expert doctor will take your entire medical history into consideration, not just the day you visit.

    Suffering is suffering. As hard as it is sometimes, I try hard not to compare my pain with others. It's OK to want to live pain free, we're worth it!

    Let me know what you decide,

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Nancy. I will see if my insurance covers it and go from there.

      1. Sounds like a plan beckyalison.

        Keep me posted

        1. When I first started having very frequent headaches (I also have 3 or 4 no pain days a month), I chose to do inpatient at two different clinics - MHNI in Ann Arbor and Jefferson Headache Center in Philly. I arrived in Ann Arbor with low pain levels but they keep you for a while so by day 4 I had high pain levels. Both of those clinics have the top names in headache treatment. MHNI was a better experience for me than Jefferson because I liked the daily panels where a group of experts discuss your case and group therapy approach (lots of interaction with other patients). Also, the hospital is one story and on a campus so you can go outside. Jefferson was purely DHE infusion in a hospital environment. Was not allowed to leave the floor I was on. Jefferson does offer lidocaine infusion which you can only get there. MHNI seemed to give most patients a "nerve block". The nerve block actually made me worse but I saw some people walk out headache free after they had theirs. Mainly I learned how to give myself DHE injections (which work much better than triptans for me) and got to interact with some others who were having the same problems as me. If you don't want lidocaine, I'd recommend seeing if you can go inpatient in Boston for DHE infusion to see if they can break the headache cycle in a local hospital. They need to monitor your heart while they do it but it doesn't require a specialty clinic. Otherwise, I'd recommend MHNI over Jefferson if you are traveling. I went to MHNI first because Jefferson had a 6 month waiting list.

          Note on insurance - usually you have to prove that your area does not have the kind of treatment you need. I had to fight hard to get covered at MHNI and it didn't get approved until after I was there a few days.

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