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Work and Migraine

  • By Chance Black

    I have been in and out of the hospital for the past 10 days because of a migraine that refuses to leave me alone.
    My doctor gave me narcotics and nausea medications that have helped a little but have also made things worse.
    When I was in the ER last night the doctor gave me morphine that made the pain vanish while they were running a bunch of tests and figuring out what they could about my head pain. The nurse was an idiot and said I was a whiney child and shouldn’t complain about a headache. I wanted to slap her, but I was on drugs so I couldn’t. She was a nurse and was telling me that I had no right to complain about a migraine. I was speechless.
    Here I am now getting ready for my first day back to work and I am terrified. I am out of my Norco and my nausea meds and I have to return for a 10 hour day at work. I am not sure how things are going to go considering it will be day 11 and my pain is still 15/10. My head is in screaming pain and no one understands and I have no idea how I am supposed to explain to my Manager how the pain is and what she can do to help work go by smoothly. I don’t know what to say or anything in this situation. My head hurts so bad that even sitting here typing on this forum begging for help hurts.
    I keep running to the bathroom to throw up and the pain is seriously progressively getting worse and I don’t know what to do. I cannot keep going to the ER and the stress of being scared of losing my job is just getting worse.
    Can someone help or give me suggestions or anything? because I am lost and I have no clue on where else to turn…

    I am 22 and working at a retail cashier associate situation.
    I hope I put this in the right section but I doubt it

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Chance Black,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sorry however, you are having such a difficult time right now. And this is the perfect spot for your comments, let me see what I can do to help.

    You’re right, pain medications can make things worse and are the best choice for migraine management as they simply mask the pain, they don’t stop an attack, which is what we want to do. So the first thing that comes to mind is to find a doctor who is better educated in migraine and headache disorders. Here’s the thing neurologists (and GP’s for that matter) may be fine doctors but have difficult time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy and others. Migraine/headache disorder specialists are just that, experts in one area – migraine and headache – and are board certification in headache medicine whereas all neurologists are not. It’s also important to note that all neurologists are NOT migraine/headache disorder specialists even though they may claim to be, and all migraine/headache disorder specialists are not neurologists. When you get a chance take a moment and read this information about how these doctors are different; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    You’re also correct about not being able to go the ER all the time. That’s not how the ER is best utilized, but I understand the need to go when we are in extreme pain. That is no excuse for a medical professional to be nasty however, I’m sorry you had to go through that. Clearly she’s never had an attack!

    A problem we can unknowingly get ourselves into is called medication overuse headache or moh, and may occur if we take pain relievers and/or migraine medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week. If we are in an moh (formerly called rebound) cycle, our attacks will be more difficult to treat and we can end up in a endless cycle of pain that too is hard to break. I’ve been here and it’s not fun, but can be broken. Here is information on this; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    Something to keep in mind is if we get four or more severe attacks a month, it’s time to talk to our doctor about migraine prevention. Migraine prevention can include things like magnesium and B vitamins and/or daily medication. We have information on migraine prevention here; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives-start/.

    I wish I had a quick solution for you, but I’m sorry to say with migraine there isn’t one.
    I’ve given you a lot of information. After you’ve had a chance to read it let me know if you have questions.

    Nancy

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