Migraine Driven Urgent Care Trip

Last updated: August 2021

I have battled with chronic migraine since 2009. While I have taken short weekend trips out of state, the only extended trips I have taken have been in Texas (where I am from). For the last several weeks, I have been in Ohio, visiting my mother. This trip forced me to go to urgent care for the first time in years.

My migraine

I rarely have a day without migraine pain. The only thing that profoundly changes is the intensity of the migraine. Due to living this way since 2009, I have learned to operate with a certain level of migraine pain. I use the medications I have at my disposal to deal with my migraines, specifically the more difficult migraines. Despite this, like many others with migraines, there are always some attacks that are just overwhelming.

How I try to avoid urgent care

My toolkit includes two abortive medications, nausea medication, muscle relaxers, anxiety medication, and pain medication. I also have a sleeping aid that I will use at times when the pain is just too much. While most people use the option of going to urgent care or an emergency room, I normally never consider it.

Why I avoid urgent care

My decision to not consider going to an urgent care center or emergency room is not because I do not feel a significant amount of pain to go. After years of living with migraines, my personal experience is what makes me feel as though I am better off staying home. I have had so many providers treat me as a drug seeker. In some of these situations, they will give me a nausea medication and Benadryl to see if I will fall asleep because they do not even want to give Toradol. When you know this will be the outcome, it does not make the movement of the car ride and the waiting room noise worth it.

My migraine attack in Ohio

As usual, I dealt with my normal migraine attacks. I did end up with an extreme migraine that showed no sign of letting up any day soon. As usual, I went through all my normal techniques, but nothing was helping. Sometimes I have an issue with forgetting a word I want to use during a bad migraine attack. This time it was way worse than normal. My speech and my ability to text were messed up to the point that what came out was so not right most of the time. This was much worse than my usual forget an occasional word situation.

Going to urgent care

Since my mother is from Texas as well, she was not sure how the urgent care centers would treat migraines here either (she is episodic). Additionally, since I was visiting from another state, we had to contact my insurance provider to locate in-network urgent care. Luckily, my mother spoke to five locations provided by my insurance to see if they treated migraines.

Much to the surprise of both me and my mother, the urgent care acted quickly. Once they verified my insurance and current prescriptions, they put us in a room. They had to take my blood pressure several times, but that was the only hiccup. There was no issue over them believing I had a migraine or giving me a Toradol shot to help break the migraine. I was able to go home to bed and feel relief the next morning.

State to state

I can now understand why some people do not understand why I am so hesitant to go to the urgent care center to help with a bad migraine. If this experience in Ohio was my experience every time I went, I would feel as though it was an easy and local step in migraine management. While we Texans are proud of our state, I will, hands down, give Ohio the win in this urgent care situation.

What has been your experience with urgent care centers for migraines?

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