An eye with blocks of colors meant to represent migraines and auras.

Of Migraines & Hospital Stays

3 mins read

As I’m sure we all know, migraines are pretty awful.

But as someone who is prone to chronic migraines, I have an idea of my triggers and how to avoid or mitigate them… for the most part.

However, for the past month, I had a migraine that rendered me unable to do anything, including looking at screens, so all of my classes and blogging projects have suffered. How did this happen? I have absolutely no idea what caused the migraine, but I have a theory that it was a combination of electrolyte imbalance and a concussion I sustained roughly two weeks before the migraine appeared.

Now, I’ve had long migraines in the past, so this isn’t exactly new to me. (My longest migraine to date lasted about 6 weeks before I went to the hospital for treatment.) But this one was different in that it caused me to vomit pretty much continuously, regardless of what was (or wasn’t) in my stomach at the time.

This had me worried because I usually feel better after vomiting, but this time I didn’t. There was no relief from any of my symptoms.

When I finally gave in and went to the emergency room of a local hospital, I ended up sitting in a bright waiting room for hours before finally being taken back into a room full of chairs and more bright lights. Apparently, no one took my symptoms seriously so they put me in a place where they had those whose conditions didn’t warrant much treatment or observation.

I was sitting in a corner of the room (thankfully near a bathroom) mostly forgotten for hours. I had my vitals taken once in that whole time frame and was not given the medicine that I knew I needed until there was a change of shift, at which point a nurse (who also gets migraines) saw how bad I was getting and told the doctor that I needed treatment right then and there.

However, because the original doctor didn’t even bother to give me an IV for medications or fluids, I couldn’t receive the usual medicines that accompany my treatment (for both the reaction I have to the medication that eventually breaks my migraines and the nausea that it causes). There was even a question of whether or not I could get any medications because the original ER doctor put in the order incorrectly and then just left me to sit and wait.

When the hospital finally sorted out my medication issue, I was too dehydrated to have an IV placed in the usual way and spots that work for me. It took three attempts with an ultrasound machine to guide the needle before I finally had a working IV (and, by that point, a decent collection of bruises).

After I received my medication (still without an IV), they again left me to sit for several more hours before someone bothered to take my vitals. When they did, though, they were immediately concerned; my blood pressure was about 90/80 and my heart rate was about 130, which is higher than my average resting heart rate by at least 15 beats per minute.

When the doctor finally saw that I was deteriorating rapidly at that point, he decided that my condition warranted an actual bed and blood pressure monitoring that I would not have received in that chair where I would inevitably have been ignored again.

After an EKG to assure that I wasn’t having a heart attack, the doctor finally inserted an IV into my arm and gave me some of the medication I needed. Apparently, he had read my chart and seen that I had to be admitted in the past for the same type of migraine, so he arranged for a bed in the observation unit to see if I would get any better overnight. After 16 hours in the ER, I finally had a room where I could turn off the lights and get a chance to explain what treatment I needed.

After two days of treatment with the correct medications, I was able to be released.

Now I’m back to using screens, doing my classes, and working at my part-time job, as well as maintaining this blog.

I hope y’all didn’t forget about me in my absence, and I’ll write another post again soon.
Hopefully this time it won’t take a month for me to create new content.

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