Being Laughed At By 911

My first migraine was on my 21st birthday. I wasn’t feeling great so my new husband & I were going to go out for a low key dinner. Before we left the house I started getting my first aura. A tiny ring of scintillating lights in a prism of colors. I was terrified and had no idea what was happening to me. My husband dialed 911 for me as I couldn’t see the numbers clearly. I explained my symptoms through tears and hysteria (I was certain that I was having a stroke. I had just started birth control pills and had been told it was a possible side effect). The aura was intensifying, becoming larger, closer & felt more “aggressive”. The next thing I remember was the 911 responder laughing at me. She was telling me that I wasn’t having a stroke, but just a migraine. That I should hang up, lie down & take a couple of aspirin. It was humiliating & pretty much summed up my experience with professionals regarding my migraines in those early years. It wasn’t until Imitrex trials that I was able to get non-narcotic relief.

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Comments

View Comments (4)
  • jeffpoleet
    3 years ago

    This is what happens when law enforcement hires people who barely got their GED, and then have the even better idea of giving them some authority. I would have had that woman’s job if she laughed at me, and I would have gotten a copy of the tape and given it to the local media. So sorry that happened to you, people suck.

  • SilverPhoenix13
    3 years ago

    911 operators should not be making diagnoses and they certainly shouldn’t be laughing at someone in a potential medical emergency. If someone had done that to me, I would have been lodging a complaint with the dispatch company as soon as I felt well enought to.

    Migraines are no laughing matter and can CAUSE a stroke or seizure.

  • Douglas
    3 years ago

    As Anne stated, the 911 operator could not be sure (even if she had experienced similar symptoms). Had you been having a stroke or seizure, things could have turned out very poorly.

  • Anne
    3 years ago

    how did she know you weren’t having a stroke – she’s not a doctor. That’s very scary that she diagnosing people over the phone.

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