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Migraine and Emergency Room – ER

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  1. I almost went yesterday. Migraine was horrible and unrelenting. I was crying and writhing in pain. But I kept thinking of sitting in the waiting room in those hard chairs and with those bright lights for God knows how long and the thought was intolerable. I thought it should last four hours. If I could bear this horror for four hours. So I did. I cried. I moaned. Finally it subsided. To add insult to injury I had two subsequent migraines later in the night that woke me. Thank goodness they didn't last too long. But what a horrible night. Today I've done nothing. I'm exhausted. Having a few minor migraines compared to yesterday. My eyes are red and swollen and I'm exhausted.

    1. I just want to highlight an experience I had that far exceeded anything I had expected. I have had a few trips to the ER with migraines and none so pleasant or prompt as the service I received at Liberty Hospital last night. From the moment I walked in the door I was treated respectfully and kind by the triage nurse who immediately saw my pain and trouble with the lights and checked me in allowing me to keep my head down and eyes closed the entire time. He admitted that his fiancé has migraines and his understanding of my pain was more than elvelant in the his calm quiet and courtesy demeanor during our interaction. At some point a very loud and impatient-patient came to the window to complain about her time and I buried my head in my arms plugging my ears and cried bc of how close and loud to me she was. This was the worse part of the entire trip. The triage nurse some how dosmissed the lady, (I' sure he was kind) then he lead me around the corner into his little triage space and closed the door. After taking my vitals he retreated a wheel chair and helped me into a dark quiet waiting room letting me know that I could keep the light off and staff would be back to get me as soon as they could. They were cleaning beds or something. By the time he left the room I was vomiting into one of those amazing little green bags and praying no one else came into the room. I'm not sure how long I was in there. I don't think it was too long -but when you head feels like you'd be better off it it had exploded, seconds feel like hours. I was laying in one of the wide seats when another staff member (maybe even the same triage nurse) came for me and moved me to a bed. Moments later the doctor came in and sat quietly next to me, telling me to remain where and how I was that he understood I wasn't feeling well and he was going to help me feel better. He briefly questioned my symptoms. Calmly and quietly. (I wanted to kiss the man for being so kind. Might have if it didn't mean lifting my head up from dangling off the side of the bed wrapped in my arms and plugging my ears.) There were a few other staff members in and out. The lady from registration was not as considerate and forcing me to move around get my drivers license ended with my face down once again in a green bag, but I understand-/she has a job to do and she is not a dotoctor or staff and to her it's very possible. Migraine is just another headache and I was just a pansy patient overreacting. She still wasn't half as loud as the impatient-patient at the beginning of my visit. Shortly after I had an IV placed and one medicine after the other which although I know the kind RN was quietly telling me what she was administering and when-I did not care. All the matter to me was help was on its way and like a kid in a candy store I couldn't wait to feel or taste it. Then somewhere around the third-forth shot everything started tingling and felt hot and itchy-STERIOD! Oh yes how on earth could I have forgotten. Immediately the RN started to apologize and I began to sob. Not so much because of the steriod, but rather because all of my nerves twitching and flexing and me moving around with it, caused my head to hurt even more. She assured me it would go away quickly and it did within a few moments but again seconds are like hours...nothing it instant and although rationally I knew it would be only a few moments to relief I thought I might die before then. The RN administered a few more shots. 1 remember her saying Benadryl was one of them and I knew this would fix the steriod side effects which helped me calm down a little bit and reminded me to trust that God was right there with me and this RN was an angel just like the doctor and the amazing triage nurse. I must have falling asleep soon after. I was in and out but wore out from pure exhaustion and medicated. I dozed in and out but could tell relief was settling in. My once 10 pain turned 8...7...6/5. Doc came back in to check on me and I let him know I was much better. A 5 I can handle. He wanted me to stay and the nurse came back in to give me more fluids. I most have thrown myself into a bit of dehydration. I continued to rest and when she came back in to discharge me my pain was at about a 3. I walked out and thanked the triage nurse. Seeing his face for the first time and thanking God that he had blessed me with some many wonderful people during this visit. With four crazy active and slightly uncoordinated children and myself having migraines, my family is no stranger to the ER, but this was by far the greatest over-all-expierence I have ever had.

    2. @MigraineMerry,
      THANK YOU for posting a positive story about your ER experience. If we could bottle that and sell it to all ERs, we would be in a lot better place! I recently wrote about how I've started to write thank you notes to nurses when I'm in the hospital. You may want to consider doing that.


  2. I'm so sorry Elaine and scrapbookcindy. Going to the ER is so stressful for so many of us. Many doctors just don't really know what to do with us and just wish to get us out of their emergency departments. Sometimes it is helpful to have your doctor write you a prescription for whatever protocol they want given to you. When you have to make that trip to the ER, give them the prescription. Most doctors will follow it if it is reasonable. Some don't and seem to just make it their life's work to make us as miserable as possible. Don't get discouraged. Keep working toward eliminating triggers, getting good preventative therapy and a better abortive(s) to help you.

    I've been a year and 5 months since my last ER visit. It took making some radical changes in my meds etc, and I may end up paying a price later, but for now, I am surviving and not needing hospital visits or stays. *crosses fingers*

    1. I started having to go to the ER for my migraines almost 8 yrs ago. At the beginning I didn't realize that what I had were migraines. One of the ER Dr.'s asked if I had ever seen a neurologist and then referred me to an ex-colleague of his. That referral was the best turn of events for me! Unfortunately we have found that the only real sure way to break my pain cycle is an ER visit to get my 'cocktail' of medications. I have used the same ER since the beginning of my attacks and have come to know the rotating Dr.'s very well. It's almost like walking into Cheer's, they all know my name. I started out going 3-4 times a year. Now I am there about 4-5 times a month. I feel like a human pin cushion! But it is comforting to know that the ER staff knows my whole history of Migraines and treats me as a person and a patient and not like a drug seeking liar.

      1. Alasandra,

        Are you and your neurologist working on Migraine prevention? How long have you been seeing him or her? I'm glad you get good care in the ER, but I know how hard it is to have to go to the ER with a Migraine.


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