• Sel Sel
    October 01, 2009
    Face, arm numbness and stiffness in neck?
    Sel Sel
    October 01, 2009

    I was out with my husband with a mild headache when I started to feel nauseated and my bottom lip and right eye started to burn; it felt like I'd rubbed hot sauce on my lip and eye.

    Then my lip went numb then the whole right side of my face and my left arm went completely numb in seconds. I felt very dizzy & hot. I had to lie down in the car. I had no other pain; the burning went and I was left with a numb feeling in my face and left arm and a slight stiffness in the right side of my neck.

    I couldn't speak, I couldn't use my arm as they felt paralyzed & I couldn't think.  I couldn't close my mouth or right eye. Then about 6 minutes later the numbness was gone and I was just feeling hot & nauseous.

    We went to the hospital and after three hours in the waiting room, a nurse came and took my temperature and pulse and said everything looked good. Then, two hours later, a doctor came and asked me a few questions sent me off for a CT Scan. He then said there were no problems, that I was fine and I could go home.  That was four weeks ago.

    Now the last two weeks I've been suffering from earaches (both ears) and terrible headaches. They are sometimes in the front of my head, sometimes on one side or both, but I always have a aching pain in the back of my head that can go from dull to extremely painful. Coughing or even moving my head slightly can be very, very painful. I've always had headaches, sometimes very painful, but nothing like this. I take over the counter Advil for Migraines, since they are the pills I can buy in the store that help with the pain, but even they don't seem to work or work for only an hour or two at most. I have seen a neurologist to see if I had migraines a few years ago and was told I suffer from cluster headaches. I was prescribed beta blockers, which did help, but they cost too much for the number of headaches I get.

    A friend who is a nurse at another hospital said the first incident I had a month ago may have been a TIA attack and that I should seek help elsewhere.

     Please can I ask your opinion on this matter? I feel silly after my last visit to the hospital since they said everything was fine. I wonder if you've ever come across this sort of thing before.



  • Dr. Kirk Laman: Wholehearted Cardiologist
    Health Pro
    October 01, 2009
    Dr. Kirk Laman: Wholehearted Cardiologist
    Health Pro
    October 01, 2009

    HI Sel: I'm not a neurologist:  but your symptoms seem like they could very well be Migraine/cluster headaches.  Beta blockers come in generic form and at Walmart are $7.00 a month. 

     Yes, a TIA is a possibility.  A neurologist would be the one to see for this. 

     I would recommend recontacting your doctor.  Perhaps you need other medications for the migraine/cluster headaches.  A CT scan of the head already didn't show much.  A carotid doppler could be helpful to rule out blockages of Carotid arteries.

     Best to seek further evaluation by your doctor.

    Dr. Kirk Laman



    Here are some other links that might be helpful to you:

    Using Tylenol Responsibly

    Let’s Talk Pain Meds


    • gropey
      April 11, 2012
      April 11, 2012

      Hi. You had a TIA (mini stroke). That was NOT a migraine and I am speaking from experience. Request a heart ultrasound. Most TIA's without any known cause ARE a result of a PFO (hole in the heart). An ultrasound will find this "if" there is one. Def follow up.



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