The Emergency Room Migraine Stigma - #migraine #chronicmigraine #health #healthcare #stigma
chronic illness,  Hemiplegic Migraine,  Hospital,  Migraine

I Am Not a Drug Seeker

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The Emergency Room Migraine Stigma - #migraine #chronicmigraine #health #healthcare #stigmaDo you want to know what it is like to be treated like a drug seeker? Go to the ER and tell them you have a migraine. Often times you are talked down too, disrespected, made to feel like you are a bother to everyone around you. They often give you strong narcotics in an IV and send you on your way because they think they have given you what you want. But those narcotics give you re-bound headaches so you are caught in a vicious cycle.

The type Of Migraine that I have is rare. Approximately 20,000 in the US have this type of Migraine. What I have is Hemiplegic Migraine. This rare disease causes me to loose sight in my right eye, loose my ability to speak clearly, paralyzes my right arm and causes the right side of my face to droop. This is called an Aura and it is very dangerous because it mimics a stroke. To make things even more complicated…Hemiplegic Migraine increases your risk of having a stroke!

Why am I telling you all of that?

For 2 reasons:

  1. When asked what my reason for coming to the ER is… I say “Hemiplegic Migraine”. Once the word Migraine comes out of my mouth they forget the Hemiplegic part all together…you know the most dangerous part of my migraines. It makes me want to stand in the bed and scream “are you even listening to me”…but the only thing that will come out of my mouth is gibberish so that won’t even work.
  2. A Migraine is NOT a headache! Yeap that’s right! The headache is only a symptom of the Migraine! Look up Silent Migraine…it is a Migraine without a headache. It is a real thing and is actually common. It will make you just as sick as a migraine with a headache.

Emergency Room, Drug seeker, Migraine, Hemiplegic MigraineMigraines really are more than just an over-used excuse to miss work…it is more than a headache!


  • Valerie

    I have suffered from hemiplegic migraines since 2010. I know exactly how you feel. My local ER has treated me so poorly that I hate to go. I have had a TIA so I’m even more at risk for a stroke but they continue to ignore me and label me as a seeker. I was last hospitalized in 2016 for 4 days!! Still that wasn’t enough to prove that my migraines were serious. Luckily we have found good prophylactic medications that keep them at bay for the most part with few breakthrough migraines. Just wanted you to know you aren’t alone!

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