Should I Go To The Emergency Room?

Emergency Room Or Not?

For those who have not yet found that magic potion or pill to help kill the migraine pain, we often struggle with whether or not to go to the E.R. during a migraine. Sometimes the pain can be so bad we feel the only option is a trip to the emergency room. Many of us have learned to push past the pain and do our best to cope with the aching head pain that most will never understand.

Most of you reading this can relate to the migraine flare-ups or even getting sick on top of being chronically ill.  When this happens most if not all of you struggle with should you make the trip to the E.R. or not. As with anything, there are pros and cons associated with actually making the trip there? Most find it hard to believe this is an actual fear for migraine sufferers.

Some of the things we consider when deciding to go are the costs, especially if we don’t have insurance or adequate insurance. We also weigh how we actually feel versus whether or not the doctor can actually do anything to help.  Most of us will try to do whatever we can at all costs to avoid a trip to the E.R.

The anxiety of the visit

Some or all of you have experienced the anxiousness that goes along with the E.R. visit.  The reason for this is having to explain to the doctor why you are there.  Believe it or not, for migraine sufferers this can be stressful in itself.  Once you explain to the doctor why you’re actually there, some will actually see you as a drug addict. With the current opioid epidemic, some doctors think the only reason you’re there is to have an excuse to get pain medication. What I've found is that most people can’t understand the pain you are in, including doctors. Migraines are not visible conditions so at first glance the doctors thought is, “So what’s wrong with you?”.

There is nothing worse than going to the emergency room and walking away feeling as though you’ve been pain shamed. I also hate the anxious feeling worrying that the doctor will not be able to help me. Sometimes I think, "Most of the medications I currently take barely help as it is so what could the doctor possibly give me to help?"

For most migraine sufferers the decision to go to the E.R. is predicated by the following thoughts:  The pain is so intense you feel like your ears should be bleeding. Your head feels like your house is sitting on top of it.  Your eyes feel like you are spinning on a top and everything is blurry or double. Your sick to your stomach and your neck and shoulders feel as tight as steel.


Ultimately the final decision to go to the emergency room is based on several factors.  Yes, the ultimate decision is up to you, and if you have never been properly diagnosed with having migraines, it is probably a good idea to go and get checked out. However, there can be a stigma related to going but when you’re in pain, who really cares.  For most of us migraine sufferers, the E.R. is usually the last option after exhausting all other remedies. The bottom line for all of us is that the struggle between going and not going to the E.R is very real.

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