Worst Migraine Ever?

Patient Expert

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.