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I think I had a migraine but I'm not sure

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4/14/13 4:52 P

I never had migraines until mid life, and it took a couple of referrals to Neuroligists to determine that they were in fact migraines. A classic migraine. No headache. Starts with an aura, looks like jagged glass at the sides, or at the top of my vision. I quickly do what I have to do because in a few moments, I won't be able to read or write, when the confusion sets in and being able to speak coherently is a whole other matter. I don't get these migraines often anymore, but I did get the start of one the other evening. I hurried up, washed my face, brushed and flossed and took an Advil and went to bed. It passed quickly without materializing, and I got up again, but it did take me until the next morning to feel myself again. I usually feel a little off...I don't know how else to describe it. My mother had this type of migraine. My brother and sister had the same, but with terrible headache.

My Dr. said you cannot have a migraine without headache, and when I told the neuroligist, he said, "I'll write your Dr. a little note". And he told me not to worry about them, that they would never hurt me. Well, I do worry about them, because they are somewhat like stroke action, and it seems every year they learn more, and different reports talk about the connection between migraine and stroke.

Edited by: 16TREES at: 4/14/2013 (16:54)

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4/14/13 4:24 A

I have had migraines in the past, but not until I was in my mid 40's. When something unusual happens I always write it down in a diary. A couple times I was woken in the middle of the night and NEEDING to go to the loo which was very unusual in the first place. On the way there one side of my head was pounding, I had uncontrollable dribble from one corner of my mouth, my speech was slurred, I couldn't walk a straight line, and had to use my hand against the passage wall to support me because I had left-sided weakness with some residual numbness, and kept tilting over into the wall. When I got to the loo, had to use my right hand to pull myself around to head in there. All of this I wrote down. I was terrified I was having a stroke (I worked in Health Care for a lot of years, and recognized the symptoms as similar to a stroke.) I took my diary to the Dr, and before he finished reading it, he said if I had had a bad headache with it he would say it was a migraine. I told him to read a bit further! That is what he diagnosed.

My daughter has had bad migraines for a very long time. Hers presents in a totally different way. She gets very nauseous and (sometimes vomits) and can't stand light and sees spots. She has to go to a cool, dark room. She has medication to take daily, and also for the onset of any migraine.

Below is a link for you to look at:

The thing is, there are loads of ways that it presents, but there are also loads of other conditions, (some of which are more serious) which can present in the same way. It is best to keep a diary and see your Dr.


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 4/14/2013 (16:59)

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4/14/13 4:09 A

I have suffered Migraine and I always knew that it was one. The pain was so bad I felt sick and only wanted to lay down. Sometimes I could not think and driving was out of the question.

The last reply says a lot.

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4/14/13 2:13 A

I have migraines; I always, always get the aura first. Spots that block out a significant amount of the visual field- like if I am looking at a price tag I can see the dollar part, but not the cents. Or if I'm driving it's like the car ahead is diminished in size and warped on the right side. If I catch it early enough, pounding a couple cans of regular Mt. Dew and 4 tablets of Advil will take it away. If I don't, I'm down for the count. Severe pain, esp. on one side of the head, can't stand lights, sounds, throwing up, etc. It's horrible.

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4/13/13 11:26 P

I have migraines that sound fairly similar to what you describe. My Dr. called the spots "visual disruption".

When I was in my 20's, the visual disruption was accompanied by a splitting headache and the only way to deal with it was to sleep it off. My "spots" are the opposite of tunnel vision. I can't see the center of my visual image, but keep the periphery. In the past, this was occasionally associated with progressive numbness that worked its way across my fingers and then ended. I often felt a bit "off" even after the pain and disruption passed.

Now that I am older, I have noticed that the level of pain has significantly decreased and if I catch it early enough, I can pop a couple of ibuprophen and the visual thing will go away in about 10 minutes. I don't get the numbness any more either.

Unfortunately, I do occasionally get what one Dr. called a vascular headache. It can range from mild to severe and almost always lasts exactly 3 days, almost to the hour, from when I first get it. The only way I know to cope with these is to sleep through as much as possible and grin and bear the rest. I have tried several different OTC pain relievers and a few Rx ones, but nothing seems to touch these.

Ultimately, I think the main trigger for both of these types of headaches for me has something to do with hormones. There certainly may be additional triggers, but I do think the hormones play a big part.

I would suggest you make a note of what and when you experienced this time to discuss with your Dr. the next time you go in. However if you have another one, you might want to make an immediate appointment and go in sooner. Hopefully just to rule out other, more serious problems and give you peace of mind.

Edited by: RESOLVEDTOWIN at: 4/13/2013 (23:30)

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4/13/13 10:20 P

Definitely talk with your doctor, if for nothing else than peace of mind. And if this happens again, chart some info such as what symptoms you're having, what you ate, etc. There are many different types of migraines and one doesn't involve head pain but has other migraine symptoms. These are called silent migraines. I hope it doesn't happen for you again, but if it does please talk to your doctor. You don't have to suffer with these. I finally got help for my migraines and my quality of life is so much better now.

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4/12/13 12:06 A

If I were you, I would go to the doctor immediately!!! Good luck and God bless you!!!!

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4/11/13 10:46 P

I have lived with severe, disabling migraines for almost 20 years. I have done much research, seen many top neurologists in the field, tried numerous alternative medical treatments, and have spent countless thousands of dollars without ever finding an effective treatment. In fact, I was minutes away from death due to being overmedicated.

All that being said, there are different types of migraines and every person has their own unique experiences with them and are affected to different degrees. I am a rare case.

My best advice is not to accept anyone minimizing your symptoms. If you have repeated occurences, seek the best neurologist that specializes in headaches you can find and afford. I was able, after many, many years of insurance denial, to finally go to the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago where I was an inpatient for 10 days. While they didn't have the magic bullet, they still had unconventional treatments that have greatly improved my quality of life.

Be well.

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4/11/13 4:02 P

It sounds to me like the spots you were seeing is what's known as "aura" to headache sufferers. If I remember correctly, aura comes with what are called cluster headaches, which is a close cousin to migraines. I don't get aura very often, but I've never seen more than tiny pin point spots, not anything so huge that it totally affected my ability to see, and it's usually only in one eye.

My migraines are very sporadic now that I'm older, but mine almost always start out before 9 am as about a 5 out of 10 headache, and they progress very rapidly to a 9 or 10+ with sensitivity to light and loud noises, mild nausea, and a huge urge to lay down in a quiet room and just try to sleep. If I can catch it in time, Excedin Migraine can really be a huge help. If not, the only cure is sleep and/or throwing up. Mine average about 5 hours or so before they're totally gone, and I do feel extremely worn out the next day--I NEVER work out the day after a migraine for fear of a rebound headache.

I would write down everything you can remember from before, during and after the eipsode, and if it happens again do call the doc, especially if you've never really had such headaches before.

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4/11/13 4:00 P

It really doesn't sound like migraine to me. I've never had one where the pain could be described as "mild!" If I were in your shoes, I'd make an appointment with an eye doctor, or even just go to a retail optometrist who can take a look into your eye and rule some basic problems in or out. I would be worried about a tiny start of a retinal detachment, although even just a large but harmless floater can cause symptoms like you're describing.

Do you wear glasses? These things can happen to anybody, but they're more common if you're nearsighted.

And did you feel dizzy at all before or at the same time as you saw the spots? Low blood pressure can cause dizziness and visual disturbance, often followed by sort of a throbbing feeling in your head that goes away pretty quickly if you sit or lie down. The jury's still out on whether low blood pressure is a problem or not-- in Europe they medicate for it just like high blood pressure, but in the US they generally don't seem concerned-- but at the very least you'll need to watch out and make sure you don't fall or otherwise injure yourself during an episode. If your BP is "healthy" in the doctor's office, test it some day when you're relaxed and see if it's below normal.

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4/11/13 3:55 P


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4/11/13 3:43 P

I occasionally get some severe migraines, and they can make you feel very tired and worn out the next day. They can really take a lot of you.

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4/11/13 2:51 P

I have been diagnosed with migraines by a neurologist, I take a preventative medication daily and a medication whenever one strikes (less now that Ive gotten them under control)
In the beginning stages, I also kept a headache dairy, I recorded my pain scale, stress level, foods eaten, possible triggers etc. Everyone is different but for me certain foods is a major trigger. Sometimes the weather as well. Could it have been something you were eating for lunch?

For me the pain is purely centered around my right eye, it can be blinding. Sometime it gets so bad it moves down my neck and toward my ear as well, but its always the same location and can bad. Ive been out of work for days before and I for one can truly say that I am thankful I have gotten mine under control. I used to get them daily, now I get them once a month at most.

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4/11/13 1:23 P

You have phoenix in your signon. I live in az myself and have been battling sinus migraines over the last few days due to the wind storm we had monday. yes visual acuity can be affected. Beware the caffeine fix as a little goes a long way. Tylenol with a few sips will put me to sleep, but more than that gives me rebound headaches from the caffeine. My suggestion is keep a headache diary and look for trigures so that if they return/continue you have something to take with you when you go see someone.

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4/11/13 12:43 P

Ok well... I do get migraines but they don't present themselves in me, the way you describe what happened to you.

For me:
- they come on fairly fast but not "out of nowhere" - i.e. I'll have a "tiny headache" too inconsequential to bother taking a tylenol for... a half hour later it's a headache-headache, and an hour later it's insufferable
- they do not go away quickly - once they hit, no amount of pills, food, cold-towels-on-forehead, will alter the course. All i can do at that point is choke down some tylenol and try to force myself to go to sleep for awhile.
- the first clue I have that it is a migraine, is light sensitivity. this sometimes includes difficulty working at my computer monitor.
- clue #2 for me, is extreme sensitivity to smell... simple everyday usually-unnoticed smells like the ink on a newspaper, i start to notice and become bothered by
- clue #2 is nausea... it ties in with #2, wherein the smell of newspaper ink will make me feel like retching.

I have never had a migraine interfere with my field of vision... not saying that it's not possible, but certainly that is a concerning symptom worth checking out with your doctor. Sorry, had to say it!

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4/11/13 12:31 P

I have had migraines. One I was having shooting pains from the back of my head to my eye in a straight line. I had blurry vision and nausea, I heard a buzz saw in my ears. And suddenly became sensitive to light. That was the worst.

Others the symptoms were half as bad as the first.

And some that aren't bad at all and instead of pain I feel electrical impulses shooting from the back of my head.

I have friends that suffer from crippling migraines. Where they have to lay down in the dark and quiet for one to three days.

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4/11/13 12:26 P

Man alive-that sounds incredibly terrifying. From what I remember of how my father described migraines, that sounds spot on. Caffeine is supposedly a good way to combat migraines sometimes, so maybe next time before your other go-to methods for headaches, try adding a cup of black or green tea (not decaffeinated, obviously) and see if that helps.
I hope this never happens to you again! Take care.

Posts: 9
4/11/13 12:23 P

I really just want a general idea of what a migraine is so here's what happened to me, please tell me if this sounds like a migraine to you...

Here are some stats about me:
I'm 28, I am a 27.5 on the BMI scale, for the past 4.5 weeks (wow) I've been working out every day and doing a couch to 5K program 3x a week. I've been in my calorie range 95% of the time and I've been eating a lot of fruits and veg, I could always drink more water I suppose but I try my best. I am not diabetic

Yesterday after my workout at the gym I came home and started to clean the kitchen while I ate my lunch. As I started to clean a pan in the sink I was started to see spots. I took a big drink of water, took a couple bites of food and continued. Then I realized the spots were crowding out peripheral vision in the right side of my sight. I held both arms out equally and stopped them when I could see them out of my peripheral. The left arm was easily spotted almost immediately, the right hand was a good 45 degrees out before I could see it. Obviously not a good sign so I sat down and looked on WebMD (which of course told me a million things it could be half of which were insane, some of which were only valid if I'd been in the Amazon or something). The reasonable choices left me with a few different types of migraines and something to do with diabetes which I do not have. I am now assuming it was some type of migraine.

I also thought maybe it was low bloodsugar so I went ahead and ate a couple of cookies and some of those tiny freezer pops you get from Target (I love those) and rested. The vision problems went away pretty quickly. Unfortunately this relief was followed by a slight (pain scale 3) headache, some confusion, nausea and a general "not right" feeling. I ignored calories for the rest of the day, didn't do any activity except what could be done sitting down and by the time I went to bed I felt more tired than usual but not unwell.

Today I feel well but I'm unusually tired, even after eating and having taken my vitamins. I was diagnosed with a B deficiency a few years ago and now about an hour after I take a B complex I feel my energy go up. This energy increase has not occured today and I would like to know what other people's experiences are with a migraine. Perhaps this is normal, as far as I know I've never had a migraine before so I have no idea. I've heard some migraines can occur without a painful headache and I seem to experience less pain when common things happen than other people tend to experience. For example, I felt almost no pain after having my wisdom teeth removed, I get UTIs relatively frequently but they cause me no pain like they do the other women in my family and although the women in my family all seem to have had a history of migraines and painful periods I have never had either.

I'm disinclined to ask people I know about this because I tend to attract hypochondriacs and before I know it someone will have spread a rumor that I have an inoperable brain tumor the size of a grapefruit, my grandmother will call me every 5 minutes to make sure I'm alive and that WILL give me a migraine.

I have already decided that if it happens again I will go to the doctor (so please don't just leave a post that says nothing except that I should see one) but in the meantime I would like to know what your experiences have been with migraines so that I can get a less hysterical and more realistic idea about them.

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