Worst Migraine Ever?

Nancy Harris Bonk Community Member March 06, 2008
  • A Migraine attack can often be a horrific experience. How we handle one can make matters better or worse.

    For example, when using the phrase, "this is the worst Migraine I've ever had," let's make sure it is before heading to the Emergency Room. If this is the "worst pain," you may need a CT or MRI to rule out a stroke or other life threatening condition. In 2001, Sharon Stone thought she was having another Migraine attack. However, this time, the pain was indeed the worst she'd ever experienced, and while she wondered whether or not to go to the Emergency Room, an aneurysm bled into her head. See: When To Go To the Doctor Or ER.


    But before going to the ER, let's make sure we're not experiencing irritability, panic and anxiousness due to the Migraine attack itself, which can all occur. Some Migraineurs have had a full blown panic attack for the very first time during a Migraine attack.

    We can ask ourselves a few questions that may help determine if the ER is the next step:

    • Is this the worse head pain I've ever had, really?
    • Are these symptoms different than my "typical" Migraine attack?
    • Have I tried to treat this at home?
    • Am I panicking due to the actual pain, or the Migraine?
    • If I take some deep breaths, does this help me relax, re-group and make a decision to either go to the ER for care, or take a step back a treat at home?


    Choosing whether we go to an urgent care center or emergency room, we need to keep a few things in mind. An urgent care center is not usually set up with MRI and CT equipment. If these tests are needed, valuable time may be wasted transferring to an emergency room.

    I guess my point is to choose words carefully. On a pain scale, a ten out of ten would be "the worst pain in my life," in my mind, that would be reserved for pain so severe one is unable to function. Be real here--telling the doctor your pain is a "12 out of 10" won't get you better treatment, just an eye roll from the doctor. Emergency Migraine and Headache Care - Forms To Help, are useful tools to fill out before you visit the ER or urgent care center.

8 Comments
  • Anonymous
    sleepygirl
    Oct. 28, 2009

    I definitely had a 10.  I have had migraines for years and know how to handle them and myself.  But this one was way different.  However, I didn't know what to do.  Demerol didn't even touch it.  It was a different kind of feeling that I haven't experienced either.  It has passed now.  Took 2 and a half days.  I was so...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I definitely had a 10.  I have had migraines for years and know how to handle them and myself.  But this one was way different.  However, I didn't know what to do.  Demerol didn't even touch it.  It was a different kind of feeling that I haven't experienced either.  It has passed now.  Took 2 and a half days.  I was so scared.  Trying to get in to see my doctor and discuss.  My entire head was throbbing from the base of my skull through my eye into my forehead.  I could hardly move.  But I had to to keep from vomiting on myself.  I was like a horrible dream.

  • justgrateful
    Mar. 13, 2008

    Another Great post Nancy,

     

    It is always really hard for me to decide if and when to go to the emergency room.  I get the whole panick thing.  I have had panick attacks when I get my migraines.  Once, the vertigo was so bad and scared me so much.  Luckly, I wrote on the forum and someone told me to calm down and take a good breath. ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Another Great post Nancy,

     

    It is always really hard for me to decide if and when to go to the emergency room.  I get the whole panick thing.  I have had panick attacks when I get my migraines.  Once, the vertigo was so bad and scared me so much.  Luckly, I wrote on the forum and someone told me to calm down and take a good breath.  It works.  I use that all the time now.  I think it is a learning lesson.

     

    Since my migraines are I believe "transforming" (I get the headache phase now).  I have only been two times.  Once when I was diagnosed and the second when I had migraines four days in a row (with breaks) but had symptoms that were not typical to my migraines (heart palpatations, weakness in legs, black circles under eyes, hard time breathing)  We finally found out I was probably having a allergic reaction to a supplement I was taking. 

     

    Anyways,   I had a 8 migraine this weekend that would not break and I learned alot. Nutcracker informed me about the "awake" part of 72 hours, Geez I don't know how I missed that when I was reading it.  Also, I filled out the information emergency forms to be prepared if I had to go.  I also am asking my PCP (still trying to get into the Keeler Center) for rescue meds for nausea and pain.  So, I thank you and everyone here for helping me be more prepared.

     

    Thanks Nancy.  I can't say it enough  YOU ROCK!!!!

     

    HeartDar

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Mar. 14, 2008

      A dear friend starting having panic attacks about 10 years ago and they scared her terribly. She was a bit lucky, she didn't have the added component of a Migraine!

       

      Thanks for the kinds words, Dar.  You are a sweetie.

  • mcmurraychick
    Mar. 12, 2008

    i have only had 2 migraines that i can say were truly a 10.... both in the last year. and both had me in tears from the pain and unable to keep the meds down.

     

    i always try meds first. most of the time my abortive doesn't help. at least not anymore. and the rescue med has to be taken before the pain gets bad or it doesn't help. which unfortunatly...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    i have only had 2 migraines that i can say were truly a 10.... both in the last year. and both had me in tears from the pain and unable to keep the meds down.

     

    i always try meds first. most of the time my abortive doesn't help. at least not anymore. and the rescue med has to be taken before the pain gets bad or it doesn't help. which unfortunatly requires me to go to the doctor. i am at an increased risk for stroke, as my mom had a massive stroke.... that was initally misdiagnosed as a migraine. took a couple of days for us to realize that migraine wasn't a migraine.

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Mar. 12, 2008
      That's when it gets scary, when things are what they are "supposed" to be.  
    • mcmurraychick
      Mar. 13, 2008

      yeah the last one that was a 10 even after going to the hospital.... .having a ct done... and getting toradol, nubain, and phenegrin....... i was still at a 7... they only let me come home because i live like 3 minutes away..... and i begged to go home to my own bed.

       

      and the nurses called a few hours later to check on me.

       

      needless to say i worry...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      yeah the last one that was a 10 even after going to the hospital.... .having a ct done... and getting toradol, nubain, and phenegrin....... i was still at a 7... they only let me come home because i live like 3 minutes away..... and i begged to go home to my own bed.

       

      and the nurses called a few hours later to check on me.

       

      needless to say i worry about it... my mom was only 52 when she had her stroke. and they don't think that was the first one she had either.

  • Laura
    Mar. 12, 2008

    Thank you, Nancy! Well said.  I don't like going to the ER for anything, especially my migraines so it takes a lot of encouragement from my husband to even get me in the car.  Our golden rule is; Treat with abortives, next try rescues and if that doesn't reduce the pain or the pain has lasted consistently for 72 hours without...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Thank you, Nancy! Well said.  I don't like going to the ER for anything, especially my migraines so it takes a lot of encouragement from my husband to even get me in the car.  Our golden rule is; Treat with abortives, next try rescues and if that doesn't reduce the pain or the pain has lasted consistently for 72 hours without four hours of no pain (while awake) it is time to get in the car and abort the migraine at the ER. 

     

    By then, I'm usually at an 8 or 9 for a long time.  I guess I don't say 10 because I feel like that is when I would have to arrive by an ambulance?  I don't know....

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