migraine – trip to hospital 

Hitting the fifth day of my migraine I made the executive decision to drive to the emergency department and get what I hoped would be an uncomplicated shot of pain relief to break this barstard migraine down once and for all. 

I take migraine prophylactics (topomax) and I have medication specific for migraine pain (imigrain) but aside from a few hours reprieve it kept returning. Same pattern, excruciating pain over my left side of my head effecting my left vision and hearing, making me extremely nauseous, slurred speech and having problems with short term memory. Yesterday morning getting the kids ready felt like someone was drilling my skull and stabbing my eyeball with hot needles, my sunglasses saved me from the light and from the kids seeing my tears of pain. I begged them to talk quietly.

Of course the ED was about as much fun as a tortoise race. Miserable nurses making ‘just so noisy’ comments about lack of staff and bitching about other staff.  While patients with protruding limbs waited helplessly. 

When I was moved to a cubicle, my Dr, who was very nice wanted to wire me up to a drip. I needed fluids, anti nausea meds, pain relief, etc. this might seem odd to most but I have this incredibly perverse fear of drips/IVs. I think it’s being tied up to something, it makes me go a bit mad. The only time I barely survive them has been during pregnancy when I’ve been very ill, even then I’ve been known on a few occasions to pull the things out of my arms. Then make a dash for it with blood going everywhere- I never said I was good at it! It’s a horrible claustrophobic feeling. I also hate hospitals- not unlike a lot of people. So I want to know I can leave whenever I want. So the drip can be an issue. I’ve made my husband swear blind that if I’m ever unconscious I must not wake up with machines and tubes in and on me. I’m yet to meet anyone with the same sense of fear as me. And I will kick off. I can’t bear to be blocked in, tied down, held back – even in the name of my health.

So with this hospital trip I knew that my migraine was leaving me debilitated and I needed the medication and the fluid. I also knew the drip was set to the fastest setting and they had a quick turnaround in the ED, so I shouldn’t be there for longer than necessary. I reasoned with myself I could handle it and try and rest.

Within five minutes of the drip starting I felt that restlessness starting. The realisation that I was committed. The fact that I should have left and just tried to sleep the migraine off at home. The smell of the hospital became so strong it was sickening. The plain, white crisp sheets and the White plaster walls. The murmurs and crying in the background. I tried to conjure good memories of hospital, of my children being born, the relief and joy. But the fear and sense of being vulnerable was too great. I could imagine nurses examining me, talking soothingly while I cried, while I winced in pain. The blood tests to see if I had HIV or Hep. The look of pity. The belief that I was wrong down there. That things were different. 

When my husband and I lost peanut. The pain was overwhelming. How we lay together all night on the hospital bed, knowing we were losing our baby. My body was failing. Was it because of what had happened to me? That is why I thought I’d never have children.

The suicide attempts. Wishing the pain would just be over. Not wanting to live one more day in that black world.

All the eyes around being privy to the pain, the suffering, the tears, the anguish, the despair. The most private, most intimate moments.

And always the same smell regardless of country. Sticking to your hair and clothes.

All of my dark tumours lay there beneath the surface. Waiting to be relived. And the machinery will stop me from running. 

I feel exposed and unsafe.

The panic grew, and in the end I called my husband. Who of course knowing the situation came to be with me.

I received good pain relief and was untied from the machine. Free to leave. 

My head is just a dull headache now which I’m treating with panadol. I will have to see a gp, my actual gp has left which I’m gutted about because she was really good. Even though I rarely saw her!

My nights continue not being very good. I am reminded in my dreams that I’m not good enough. That I’m dirty. That I’m useless. It’s like having my parents around at night!

My husband is away this weekend again so I’m dreading how this one will go!


5 thoughts on “migraine – trip to hospital 

  1. I wish there was something I could say. I’ve been spared having migraines but they sound debilitating. Glad you called your husband, a hospital alone can feel so scary in addition with such sad memories.


  2. So sorry your hospital experiences are so scary for you but glad you got some relief. I get migraines but not that brutal! Hope you get through the weekend without too much stress and that your relief is maintained. Been there with you in several of your other experiences. Hang in there girl, you are good enough and you deserve your peace.


  3. I know the pain of migraines, and the awfulness of only having your medication work for a few hours, or not even work completely. I’m sorry for this. I’m glad that you were able to reach out to your husband and stay at the hospital long enough to get some pain relief.
    You are enough, you aren’t dirty, or bad, or undeserving. You are good. I hope this weekend is good, that things go smoothly. Xoxo


  4. I have chronic migraines that require an unfortunate decision after 5 or 6 days to go also (not an option now wait times are 8-12 hours on good days). When I have gone, they treat me as very low priority and at one hospital only give me torodal and anti-nausea med, no narcotic which relieves most of the pain. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had docs who experience migraines themselves, otherwise they treat you as “take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning”

    No one knows how horrible this pain is, I can’t even wear my glasses my face hurts too much. Take care.


  5. Amazingly brave staying and sticking it out ,even though it sounded much needed. .good choice in calling hubby.
    I do hope my friend you manage over the weekend and get some rest with your kids hopefully entertaining themselves the weather doesn’t appear great our side so sure it won’t be long and you guys will be getting some rain…stay warm and take care lisa


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