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Hospital ER Experience

I have chronic daily debilitating migraines. I have given up on the words NOT having a migraine to the words of How do you RATE your pain at this time. My normal tolerance is 6 – 8. I can push the 10+ at home as long as I do not get sick to my stomach – once that happens, I’m toast. I have to go to my Doc for a migraine treatment. I am sure I have paid for his newly redecorated office (lol).

I’m sorry but I really need a sounding board or I will unleash on someone & they will not have a head or the possibility of other body parts.

I had to go to ER due to night and Doc was out of town. I really DISLIKE going to ER they do not know a thing & they think they so she has a headache. First, we get there at 11:00 a.m., I am placed in a room where no one is even in the wing. (Yep I am going to be treated) Then this very nice looking Nurse Practitioner was the one who took my case. Figured out that I was dehydrated so she hooks me up to an IV thru my infusa-port & they start running that fluid so fast it makes my port infiltrate. I have had this port for 5 years – so it has run much longer than many, but it was just used the day before & worked fine. That’s minimal. Ms. NP gives me a shot of Tordal, which I did at home (it didn’t work – but what do I know). Then she proceeds to tell me that I need to Layer my medications so that they will work more efficiently, so she gets 2 regular Tylenol & a shot of 4 ml of Zofran. Since my port seems to be giving them trouble, they send me down to radiology to have it checked.

While I was there, Ms. Doc & my husband have been chatting about how depressed I am & which clinic they need to send me to so I can get over being depressed. By this time I am just furious, she did not give me the medicine I needed, she told my husband I needed different treatment. I just started crying because I was in pain and could do more at home than I got here. I just told them I wanted to go home. Finally they set me free, migraine & all – but I was more than happy to get out of there.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • RTurner author
    5 years ago

    I know this is a delayed response – there are many times logging on and reading more than just a couple of minutes does me in. I really appreciate all of your responses. I have told my husband and vowed that if he ever took me to that ER ever again; there will be “heck” to pay! I have found one more clinic in Springfield, MO, that I am going to approach. Maybe I can get some assistance from them.

    Again Thank You for understanding and letting me vent!

  • Marian
    5 years ago

    I have a chronic migraine condition and live 1 hour and 45 minutes from the closest ER. Two years ago I had the worst migraine of my life. I couldn’t speak right I swear I could feel the photons of light hitting me as my husband drove me with my head under a towel to the ER. We had to stop 5 times in the snow so I could get out of the car and wretch. In the ER they had a hard time getting a vein as I was shaking uncontrollably. They gave me Toradol, Fenergan and Imetrex via IV. Then two doses of Morphine. I kept asking the nurse when the Morphine would start to work. It had not diminished the pain at all. After 4 hrs, more shots and a CT scan then gave me Demerol. Finally the pain started to abate. I asked the Doctor to please just knock me out so her ordered Benedryl.
    I was traumatized after that event and lived in constant fear of that level of pain and the fact that its onset was not predictable. I was told that many ERs do not give Demerol. Hey, that was the ONLY thing that helped! Traveling to an area that has a quote “Demerol free ER” terrifies me.

  • Tammy Rome
    5 years ago

    Your story reminds me of a bad round I had last June. I’d been treating with Toradol for 4 days with poor results and knew I could only take it one more day. In trying to reach my doctor (whom I knew would help), his substitute nurse got snarky with me. I told her I needed my doctor’s help because what I was doing at home was what they would do at the ER.

    She replied, “How do you know what they will do?”

    My pain was busting out the top of my head well above a 10 as I shouted, “Because I’ve been there dozens of times and they always do the same stinkin’ thing!!!”

    “Um…okay…I’ll have the doctor call you back,” she said quietly.

    Still fuming, I growled, “Yeah, you do that!”

    My husband took over the phone calls from that point. Doc got me admitted to the hospital where I met this awesome neuro who has changed my life. Never underestimate the power of a woman in pain. 🙂

  • Heather Benton
    5 years ago

    Ahhhh I feel like I am not as crazy as most people think when I refuse to go to the ER! I have had MIGRAINE as long as I can remember and I have an insane memory even of my early childhood. As I learned when my 2 sons developed migraines very young the pain is not always in your head!! Especially with children. Migraines run in my family as far back as my Maternal Great Grandmother.
    I haven’t been able to work in over 8 years due to what now are Chronic Migraines. I always have one it’s time just depends how high up the pain scale it goes. I run at about 6 to 8 everyday — Anything above that I am in bed for days or weeks.

  • Heather Benton
    5 years ago

    LOL using a tablet can’t type much at once. So as far as the ER when you say Gee I have had this migraine for 3 weeks, I know they think then why bother coming here NOW!Last time I waited over 6 hours, in a bright, noisy smelly waiting room,only to just get the attitude of your just wanting drugs.It was a waste of time, I won’t go back. It is so wrong we need to suffer, by now there is so much more known about them, yet the doctors all seem to have different views.

  • Jules2dl
    5 years ago

    Dear RTurner ~ my head is pounding in empathy after reading your ER experience. I have had so many of the same futile experiences over the years that I’ve lost count. The last time I happened to have a slight fever and didn’t realize it, and the doc was convinced I had meningitis. Same as you, I was just sobbing for them to let me go home so I could self treat with something stronger than Toradol.
    It truly makes me feel sick just to think about those ordeals. I believe that the general public is much more aware of the fact that migraine is a debilitating disease and not just “a headache”, and it seems a shame that ER staffs let patients suffer the agony of a migraine for hours without easing their pain.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    The ER is never a fun time, especially when your regular doc can’t call ahead to make arrangements for you. And every ER doc has a different way of thinking when it comes to treating headache patients. They can be especially sensitive when it comes to giving a patient pain meds, even when you desperately need them so that you can at least get some rest.

    In the past, I’ve found it hard to convey what I need or want. At that point I can barely remember what day it is, let alone communicate what is going to help me. My boyfriend and I have developed our own way of dealing with the ER. He knows the names of the drugs I’ve taken and what helps me in the ER. Having an advocate who can speak for you when you are in pain can make a big difference.

    Also we as Migraineurs are very good at masking our pain. In the ER is the one time when you need to be real about how much it hurts. This is really hard for me as I’m used to the grin and bear it approach.

    Check out this article by Ellen for some great tips on how to maneuver the ER. I hope you don’t have need any of them again!

  • Patricia Themaras
    5 years ago

    I am surprised that you did not kill anyone in that ER. TORADOL, Tylenol! Oh ,Omg!!! Then to call you depressed! I would never go to that er again. Last time I went I got lucky, the doc asked me what I take for this. I told him Demerol and Phenergan and happily to say he was smart enough to give it. I got better. Now I have a new neurologist whose treatment is to just bite the bullet. After all what doesn,t kill u just makes us stronger, right? HA,HA! I now picture myself as that cartoon character carrying a baseball bat and bashing my new docs head in then keep chasing her around with that cartoon bat repeatedly beating her over the head while saying to her.. Dont worry that med your getting is bound to kick in, on about two or three months , be brave, you’ll get better!!!

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