12/3/07 #2 - When should I go to the ER?

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  • Full Question:
    I have a question about when to seek medical attention. I get migraines that have gotten worse over the past 2 years (increased frequency, increased pain). I was prescribed Maxalt in January 2006 (the kind that dissolves) before I traveled to Bolivia. It worked for a while.

    I now generally take the Maxalt and then 2-3 Vicodin. Sometimes it seems to work and I sleep. On other occasions, I've had to go to the doctor for treatment. Even when the Maxalt/Vicodin work, my pulse is generally around 40-42 beats per minute and my left hand begins tingling/going numb. When the meds don't work, people ask me questions such as what day it is or what my name is or what my phone number is and I think I'm telling them the correct answer but apparently I am not. If I try to repeat something, once again I think I'm repeating correctly but apparently I'm not.

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    My question is when should I go to the ER. I've recently moved and don't have a doctor yet. Also, after my last migraine 1 week ago, I've had periodic but frequent tingling/numbness in my left hand and slight headaches. Should I be concerned about this? Sasha





    Dear Sasha;


    The first thing you need to do is find a doctor for regular medical care. Migraine is a neurological disease, and every Migraineur should have a doctor so you have continuity of care. The ER is not a good place for Migraine treatment.


    Any time your Migraines change pattern and you have new, unexplained symptoms, it should be checked out. So, you should absolutely be getting these new symptoms checked by a doctor as soon as possible to be sure that they ARE due to Migraines and not a stroke or another more issue more serious than Migraine.


    For a list of guidelines about when to seek medical care, see When to See a Doctor for a Migraine or Headache.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


    If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.


    Another good source of information and support is our forum. To post to the forum, you'll need to register, even if you're already registered on the main section of our site. You can use the same email address and password for both registrations.



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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

    Last updated December 3, 2007.

Published On: December 03, 2007