Utilizing the Neurology Infusion Suite (Part 2)
Last updated: February 2022
In part one of this article, I share a detailed account of what led me to my most recent migraine in the ER experience, and basically, how terrible it was.
Here, I also talk about how I was seeing a neurologist, not a headache specialist, at the time of the incident. AND, at the onset of my switch to a new provider, I was introduced to a new option for emergency/IV medication.
My first appointment
During my first appointment with the specialist, we discussed my medication options, from preventative to abortive to emergency. As a Crohn's disease patient who has also gone through several rounds of IVF, I am more than familiar with giving myself injections. So, besides oral migraine medication, my doctor prescribed Toradol intramuscular injections for pain management with severe migraines.
My migraine doesn't always end
This treatment option has saved me several times. Having this alternative is something I am incredibly grateful for.
However, this isn't always the end of a migraine.
A devastating attack
A few months after establishing care with my new doctor, I experienced another devastating migraine. It uprooted my life, and I knew if I didn't take any action, I'd end up again on day 5, begging the local emergency room for relief.
A new treatment option
Except, this doctor had given me another option. I called his office halfway through day 1, and they said immediately, "Come into the office. We'll administer the IV migraine cocktail in our infusion suite."
My whole body rocked with relief. I felt validated and taken care of with just that simple sentence.
Treatment at the infusion suite
My husband drove me to the clinic and again kissed me goodbye as I went in alone. Here's when I noticed that the infusion suite is actually magic.
A place considerate of migraine
The lights in the whole place are dim. There are sliding doors separating each room, meaning the sounds don't permeate from one patient to another. The chairs recline. Each patient is offered a blanket, earplugs, and an eye mask. (Seriously? It's so nice.) The nurses that care for you are professional migraine whisperers. They are intimately familiar with the medications they're administering, the order they go in, how often they can be re-administered, when you should feel some degree of relief, and how to immediately connect with your physician if something isn't right, if you have questions, or your migraine isn't breaking.
My time at the infusion suite
I spent a few hours in the infusion suite. It was incredibly pleasant. Quiet. Low stress. I even feel like the nurses spoke in mere whispers to not aggravate you. There were only a few other patients present during my time there, so I felt like the nurse was accessible at all times. It took a few doses of medication this time to get me relief, but when I found it, I wanted to hug my nurse (& my doctor)!
A better option than the ER
I wish this type of treatment environment was available to all patients who struggle with migraines. Knowing that there is a suitable option for help in a place much less harsh, triggering, and frankly, expensive than the emergency room makes dealing with migraines somewhat easier. It has reduced my anxiety of asking for help when I know I really need it.
I've only had to visit this infusion suite twice, but both times were honestly really ideal experiences, and I have found peace in managing my migraines with the support of this available option.
Does your neurologist or primary care physician offer migraine infusion cocktails in their office?
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?