I went to the ER yesterday for a status migraine spawned from the depths of hell. I was expecting little. It is pretty hit and miss with the ER here. Usually, I leave in pain after a long wait and this makes me pretty depressed, to be honest… I mean status migraines I pretty brutal on the mood. A migraine lasting days and days and days begins to affect sleep and mood… it gets stressful. You get desperate for some relief. And when that doesn’t happen? It can be pretty devastating. To the point, I have given up on the ER.
But then This migraine. This endless fricking migraine. I was just so tired. And in so much pain and I couldn’t go to work and knowing that I knew I Had to do something about it. So I went to the ER.
It was an 8-hour wait. Yes, I did, in fact, say 8 hours. 8 HOURS. And most sane people would have given up after three. Of five. Or six. But I did get in after a bit, just didn’t see a doctor. I was there a total of 10 hours. And that is insane. Just goes to show how much pain I was in fact in that I waited that effing long for relief. And how horrible I would have felt if I didn’t get any. Last resort and all. Not there for my own amusement that is for sure. Not when it is noisy, bright and smelly. When you have nausea fyi the hospital with its hospital Smell is the worst place to be. What is that smell? Antiseptic? Whatever it is that is all I smell. Hospital smell. And the brightness. Oh, the brightness. They do put me in an enclosed curtained off area with the lights so there is that.
Anyway, I waited my due time. And they were going to give me a shot of Toradol and fluids which is the norm. But I can’t get Toradol. I had a bad reaction in the past to it, as in bleeding ulcer and cannot take NSAIDs since, not even in the shot form… something to do with the aspirin leaching into the stomach and causing stabby stabby pain. Not nearly as bad as the pill form reaction, but very unpleasant.
I thought that would be that because usually, they have very little options at this point. But he said his second approach is morphine and Gravol, which I have never had before. I thought it wouldn’t be that beneficia, to be honest. I am used to painkillers just barely dulling the pain such that I think that is literally all they ever do. But it worked. And the relief I had was just unspeakable. I did feel a bit wonky for a few minutes when I was getting it but my head cleared fine. And the pain went from a high 8 to maybe a 3. It was there but not really noticeable. Most of it was the facial pain to be honest, like how the migraine had traveled into my jaw and teeth… that remained. But so profoundly less. I don’t think I had been that low a number of pain in ages. I mean, I don’t recall in the last decade feeling that low level of pain. I felt… good. Like I could do things. But it was of course too late to go to work and I was in fact now on medications I would not drive on anyway. But I did, in fact, feel like I was in a better state than I have been in in a very, very long time.
And you’d think I would then rush to my pain doctor and demand I be put on said wonder drug. But I can’t. Because opiates and meds like that all cause rebounds with migraines. So, yes, in this rare status migraine case it booted my pain in the butt and I had relief. But if I took it often or daily… it would make my pain worse. And that is not a nice thing to know. Feeling relief and knowing it is unattainable. It is rather cruel really.
You would think since I already have daily migraines it is about chronic pain management. And the quality of life. And managing that pain. So what does it matter? Surely taking something to manage the pain and have a quality of life is what is important? And you would be absolutely right for any other pain than migraines. Apparently. Because we score with migraines when it comes to pain relief. Because even though my migraines are in fact daily I can still rebound on medications. I know this from my experience on codeine. My doctor gave it to me as a rescue. But I am rather sensitive to it. I can take it once, which is moot since it isn’t effective. Take it again and I’d get an intense sort of tension like headache. Very intense. Same with two days in a row. Just because of the medication and it made the migraine substantially worse as a result. So a no-go for that for sure.
Begs the question if one had a better rescue med though. I wouldn’t mind that. One to be used occasionally that actually worked. That is absolutely a good question. Because we can use opiates as a rescue as long as they are used infrequently. Like we can only use our triptans a certain amount per week. Or it seems any damn thing it seems.
Yet, here is the thing about rebound headaches. I don’t want to mess around with them. I don’t like the idea of making my migraines worse. Not one bit. I actually cannot conceive how they can get worse, but I am pretty sure they can find a way. And I am sure they can not get Better. And I don’t want to push that by not doing something I should be doing. Even if I want the pain relief offered… I fear the pain relief offered. I fear that option. I fear it will help short-term and make things worse long-term. In some way. I also fear the pain because I know the effect That has on me. There isn’t any winning. Untreated pain has its own effects and it also should be managed. Either way, it is a crapshoot. I don’t think the research is very clear when it comes to triptans and rebounding and I rather think some people on continuous triptan treatment respond very well, those that can do that. That is one area I’d like to see more research but then again we may soon have more option. But the research with opiates and rebounding is quite different. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t. But like I said, we can use them as a rescue fine infrequently.
So I had a night of very low pain. And it was a fine thing. And it made me think about having that all the time. Which is just wishful thinking and makes me sort of sad that I have to always be this way. Just a good day, is such a bad damn day. And today? I’m back to the same old same old. Migraine right up there in the 8 range. Triptan fail as well. So joy. Can’t always be a win, can it? But it can’t rain every day.