Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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When should you go to the hospital with a migraine?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Sasha, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've read that people sometimes get a migraine so bad that they end up in hospital.

    I get migraines and I've identified that they're food-triggered, and have successfully reduced them through limiting my diet. I'd now like to test foods for re-inclusion but my experience so far is that re-introducing certain foods as a test has triggered far worse migraines than I've had before, so I'm going to need to be careful.

    I've never had to go to hospital with a migraine, though, and I'm wondering what it is about a severe migraine that would drive someone to take that option (given that many of us here are already bed/housebound and going anywhere is a big deal, even without an agonising headache).

    Can anyone tell me why you'd go to hospital with a migraine? Can they do something for you there that you can't do at home?

    Particularly interested in what the NHS does... not sure if there are national differences in drugs you can get for home vs hospital use.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. ryan31337

    ryan31337 Senior Member

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    Hi @Sasha,

    Fortunately I very rarely vomit with migraine these days but back in adolescence cyclical vomiting (every 20-60mins) in the final stages of a migraine was the norm. I think if the vomiting didn't stop in the early hours and allow me to get some sleep I'd consider going, if only to get some decent antiemetics. My dubious vomiting 'record' was 13x times one night, but thankfully I always passed out eventually and that stopped it!

    Ryan
     
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  3. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    "The worst headache of my life" is a pretty common "get your ass to hospital now" warning.

    I would say one that triggers the panic response, brings you to the brink of the impending doom feeling, and is quite frankly unbearable.

    I think if you are used to migraines, or any health condition, then the dopamine system will play a big part by recognising that this pattern isn't like all the others, the nagging urge to get yourself checked out becomes too much.
     
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  4. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @Sasha No idea what NHS could do specifically, but generally when a migraine doesn't stop and the splitting pain goes on for many days or even weeks in a row, there is an option of getting a very strong medication (via injection) that will stop the migraine in most cases. Not sure what it's called. It leaves you severly drugged for at least that day, and absolutely unable to do anything at all. I have no idea if this is a possibility for PWME with extreme sensitivities though...
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    The last thing I'd want to do with a migraine is go anywhere, especially a hospital. I agree with @ryan31337 ... the only reason to go is if there's a life-threatening complication, like severe dehydration due to vomiting.
     
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  6. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    Or perhaps if meningitis is suspected?
     
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  7. themjay

    themjay

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    In my case it was delirium, projectile vomiting and screaming because of the pain that triggered my partner to telephone an ambulance I was stretchered out and cannot remember much except been kept under vert bright lights in casualty. They did nothing for me and kept me in other night monitoring blood pressure every hour automatically so I could not sleep. Then discharged with a prescription for paracetamol! No follow up, no offer of MRI, but what can you do - I have had hundreds of migraines and this was the worse - you know how they usually play out and this one felt very different and we thought it might have been a hemorrhage etc so you really cannot afford to leave it if symptoms are out of the ordinary.
     
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  8. Living Dead

    Living Dead Senior Member

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    I think the primary reasons are:
    1. When it doesn't go away on its own.
    2. When you don't know that it is a migraine.
     
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  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    :eek::cry::hug:
     
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  10. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    Two of my favorite foods, tuna and peanuts, give me migraines. Haven't had either in 25 years. I still crave them. I have resigned myself, I will never have them again.

    Hospitals have shots and pills that help. I'd only go if you are frightened by the headache, or vomiting. I think trigger avoidance is the way to go.
     
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  11. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    I've gone to hospital with migraine.

    No OTC pain relievers work--I wait days to see if it will go away on it's own but when I can't stand it anymore I go to hospital--and it's a grueling thing to do but I have learned that if it's been several days I can 'choose' my time and I take a taxi at about 5AM when I can usually be seen right away--thankfully.

    I get an IV bag with a strong pain reliever and rehydration. The rehydration generally helps me feel better than usual for a day or two.

    I haven't had a migraine in a few years as I've figured out the rehydration bit--I now supplement with electrolytes. So far so good although I am prone to immediate head tension whenever I overdo.
     
  12. RML

    RML Senior Member

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    I have had a migraine now running for last 4 days, and one for 2 days 2 days before the 4 day run. Real fun! I have given up now taking the meds for it cos they are strong and don't like taking to many days in a row, and well, they usually work and obviously not fixiing it now.

    I do have a history of migraines since a teen, long before I got sick. Mine were hormonal so usually once a month for 2 days. I used to get vomiting non stop for at least a day. So obviously painkillers were totally ineffective as they never reached or stayed in my system long enough. When I started using suppositories instead, the vomiting bit stopped thankfully.

    I have had many horror migraines but none that have lasted majority of the week before. I am worried about crazy levels of brain inflammation or whatever is going on to cause this. I have heard of people going to hospital before for migraines but I never went, just waited the agony out. I think hospitals would be a nightmare environment and last place I'd want to be if I had a migraine. But I was considering it last night and wondering when and in what circumstances make the move to hospital to be treated, so interesting to read this topic today.
     
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  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Sorry to hear you're in the grip of one, @RML! :aghhh::ill::hug:
     

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