- Depression, Migraine, Traumatic Brain Injury

My Crisis Begins

What Does A Migraine Feel Like?
What Does A Migraine Feel Like?

Migraine Alert!

After lunch it was back to the dayroom to sit.  I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t.  Around 4 PM I was getting a headache, so I went to the Nurse’s Station and asked Nurse Ratched (not her real name), if they had any Extra Strength Excedrin, as I had a headache.  A little bit of background here.  I get headaches every day, without exception.  This has been going on ever since I received my TBI in 1975.  I have been prescribed several medications for them, and they would work for a while, and then they wouldn’t.  The ONLY thing, short of narcotics, that works just about every time is Extra Strength Excedrin.  I always carry some with me in a pill container in my pocket.  Several bottles are strategically placed around my house so they are close by when I need them.  I have a bottle in my backpack, and I have a bottle at work.  If I don’t take the Extra Strength Excedrin, my headaches turn into Migraines.

Nurse Ratchet told me they were filling the medication dispenser and she couldn’t check, to check back with her later.  At 6 PM the patients started to line up next to the Nurse’s Station to receive their medications.  I didn’t know if I was supposed to receive any medications, but I wanted to see if they had something for my headache so I got in line.  When I got to the front, I told the nurse there that I had a headache and asked if she had any Extra Strength Excedrin.  She told me no, but she could give me Tylenol.  I told her that Tylenol doesn’t do anything for my headaches.  She told me they would put in an order for something for my headache.

Around 8:30 or so, the patients started to line up for their medications again.  I still didn’t know if I was supposed to receive anything, but I got in line.  When I got to the front, I asked the Nurse if anything had come in for my headache, and she told me no.  By now, it is 9 PM, so I go to bed to try and escape from my pain.  I lay there, and eventually fall asleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up. I still have my headache, and there is no way for me to tell the time.  It is dark outside, but the ONLY clock in the ward is at the Nurse’s Station.  I don’t know how many hours it will be before they get us up, and hopefully, they will have something that will relieve my headache.

Tylenol Again?????

They woke us up (I was already awake) at 6 AM, and I walked down the long hall to get my tray with my toiletries and a towel.  I went back to my room, cleaned up, and returned my tray to the cart.  Patients were already lining up for medication, so I got in line.  By this point I knew that I would be receiving medications 3 times a day.  When I got to the front I told the Nurse that they had ordered something for my headache that I had since the previous day, and asked if it had come in.  She looked and said, “No, nothing came in, but I can give you Tylenol!”.  I told her that Tylenol wouldn’t help and she said, “Why don’t you try it”.  I told her “Fine, I’ll try it but it won’t help, it never does”.  I took the two Tylenol.  Surprise, it didn’t do a thing for my headache.  I went to the Nurse’s Station and asked Nurse Ratched to look and see if I was scheduled for anything that day, or would I just be sitting in the dayroom all day.  She said I was scheduled to see the Psychiatric Team that was going to handle my care at 10 AM.

It was time for breakfast.  This morning I reveived scrambled eggs that had the taste and texture of rubber.  Also included is a small cup of mixed fruit, and Raisan Bran cereal with 1/2 pint of Skim Milk.  I hate Skim Milk.  It’s just like drinking water.  Just before 10 AM they came and got me and took me to a room with my Psychiatric Care team, about 8 people.  We talked for a while, and the the psychiatrist told me that I was rational, and making good decisions in solving problems.  She said the only reason I was in there now was to adjust my medications.  She told me that, if I was sure that I wasn’t going to hurt myself, I might be able to go home on Wednesday or Thursday.  I then told her about the headache that I had since the previous day, and how they wouldn’t get me anything for it on the ward.  She asked what I needed, and she told me it shouldn’t interfere with the medications that she was going to prescribe.  The social worker in the group walked with me to the Nurse’s Station, and she told Nurse Ratched to call the Physician On Duty and have them put in an order for something for me.

My Plan to Start Smuggling

While I was in with the Psychiatric Team, my wife came up to visit.  When you have a visitor, they escort you, and your visitor, to the Visitor’s Room.  It’s a room, about 15 X 15, with approximately 6 chairs in it.  There is a large screen TV embedded in the wall, covered over with plexiglass, just like in the dayroom.  A closed circuit TV camera is mounted in a corner of the ceiling so the Nurses could see everything that was happening in there.  I loved having my wife come and visit, but we didn’t have much to talk about.  I couldn’t understand what was being said on the TV, and I wasn’t going to sit there and try to sleep while my wife was there, so I usually cut the visits short.  Today I told my wife when she went home again, to go in my pants pocket and get the pill box with my Extra Strength Tylenol out of my pants pocket.  When visitors arrive at the ward, they have to empty their pockets and leave the contents, cell phones, and purses in lockers just outside of the locked entryway.  Then they would be buzzed in.  I told her to put the pill box in her pocket, and when she visited me that evening to give it to me.


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