Friday, April 25, 2014
Monday, September 08, 2008 Nancy, Community Member, asks

Q: migraine aura confusion

I was diagnose with migraine w/ aura. However, I experience severe confusion and numbness and muscle tighness usually on my left side of my entire body, mouth included. As well as the eye flashes/impaired vision. I have suffered since I was a child. To this day I have never met anyone who has experienced these severe symptons. Anyone familiar or have similiar migraines?

 

Nancy

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Answers (5)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
9/16/08 2:53pm

Nancy, Your question has been answered in our Ask the Clinician column. Please see Migraine aura confusion?

 

Teri

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tasia_fire, Community Member
9/ 8/08 4:57pm

I get the same thing. Its my right side that goes numb though. The only thing I know to do is sleep it off. Wish I had better advice.

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Jenaferocious, Community Member
10/21/08 3:24am

I have these symptoms too. I have migraines with aura. Flashes in my eyes. Distorted vision. Temporary blindness. I get extreme tightness on the right side of my upper body. I also have numbness and tingling. It starts in my hand usually and works its way up my arm. The feeling of tightness is similar to when get your blood pressure taken. It then works its way up into my neck, face and tongue before hitting my brain and causing pain. I also have confusion. I forget simple things like how to talk and what my husbands name is. I even forgot how to spell "and" once. It's very scary. I understand what you are going through. This all started when I was 19. I am now 34 and still struggling to understand "why me!" I wish there was a cure. I cut all triggers including caffeine and chocolate, pizza, everything. I get fewer migraines but I am not cured. You can talk to me anytime. I understand what you are going through.

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Cynthia Thornton, Community Member
11/17/10 7:11pm

I had my first one @ 18...will be 31 in Jan.  I agree with you that nobody understands or could even begin to understand what we go thru.  I absolutely hate it.  When I get an attack, and the aura starts sometimes I wait a minute before taking my imitrex, hoping that maybe the sunlight just hit me the wrong way...I think, not now...not again.  It honestly scares me everytime and I have them every month, and have had them every month for almost 13 years.  I dont think I will ever get used to it.  It is very scary...the numbess in my arms and face (especially my face...i hate that) then there is the loss of vision or either flashing zig zaggy lines.  I hate the disoriented feeling.  Like I am in slow motion and I cant think straight.  The headaches are like nothing I can explain.  I gave birth with no drugs and did not shed one tear...a migraine is the worst pain I have ever experienced.  I do not personally know anyone who has them...so sometimes I feel like people look at me like I am crazy when I try to describe them.  It amazes me to hear other peoples stories and know I am not alone, that there are people who truely know what a migraine is.  People who know it is SOOOO much more than a bad headache!  To many people have migraine confused with a headache that is a little worse than normal.  They have no idea it is a neurological disease and that the headache is just one of many symptoms of the migraine.

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yany, Community Member
10/21/08 3:00pm

Hello Nancy:

 

I was very happy to read your response. I was diagnosed in the last two weeks of the same kind of migraine.

 

It started around one month ago, and I had five episodes so fair. Before I took medication, it started with numness of my left side (i.e., arm, leg and hand). Then, it turned to my tongue and created language difficulties. Then I got confused for 1-3 hours, and came back slowly to a baseline. I was completely exhausted.

 

It took the doctors one month to figure that out. Now I took one prevention medication (ralvary or something like that). When, I feel the numness I take migraten. By taking this combination, I was able to avoid the language difficulties and the confusion part. And my last episode lasted about 1 hour and a half (only a light headhace and the aura). I feel much better after this one.

 

I'm still worried about the frequency of the attack (once a week). Do you have any tips? How do you to prevent/control? What do you take? What is your neurologist saying?

 

Thank you for your tips. I really need them.

 

Yany 

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rensilan, Community Member
7/16/09 11:16pm

Nancy,

 

I've had migraines since I was a kid, that became severe at around age 23 and ticked up to 3-7 a week at age 30. For the last few years, each migraine has been accompanied by extreme tightness on whichever side of my body the migraine is on.  I describe it as if there was a string running through my body from my big tow, up my leg, through my back shoulder and side of my neck that someone was just pulling and pulling until everything was really tight.  None of my doctors have really been able to help me with that. When I'm in that condition and seek a massage, the masseuse is usually shocked by how tight my muscles are.

 

I've also had a lot of other strange sensations/symptoms in the past few years that I know are migraine related. Like the time I experienced extreme pain in my teeth and jaw, and had trouble swallowing--it woke me up in the middle of the night and sent me to the ER.  The doctors told me that my trigeminal nerve was doing something, but they didn't know why. Now I know that the trigeminal nerve is often affected during migraine. I also went through a period where I'd have numbness and tingling in the arm on whatever side I was having my migraine.

 

Basically, I think that a lot is just going wrong with our nervous system on whichever side we're having our migraines, and it manifests itself in different ways.

 

What I wouldn't do to have someone present me with a cure for this darn affliction...

 

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Nancy, Community Member
7/16/09 11:32pm

Thank you for taking the time to write.

For the longest time I felt completely alone. My family didn't know what was going on and just chalked it up to being "not well." Since I didn't recognize a severe headache with each episode I went undiagnoised until I was 35. I have lived in fear of having these episodes. These migraine episodes have prevented me from enjoying life w/out fear. I am trying to actively accept my affliction but it is tough at times. For example, spent over 30,000 for my education and cannot work in law enforcement. Or, going places with people I am usually anxious. I recently hqave been battling depression something I haven't before and I tell you that was scary. I was told that depression, migraine, anxiety...kinda go hand in hand. My nuerologist gave me several diffrent scrips but I haven't used any. Midrin I will try if I get a bad one. I have adjusted my diet and I haven't had a migraine for about 4months...I think because the depression superceded it...lol. Thank God for hope! I am doing better as of late but I have this voice in the back of my head wondering when the next one will be. I hope you have more success  in conquering your migraines. By the way, do you find that you travel less or are uncomfortable doing so or do you just do it ?

Nancy

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rensilan, Community Member
7/16/09 11:44pm

I do everything less. I've missed important birthdays, baby showers. Sometimes I feel like all I can do is hole up at home, where I've made sure the lighting is soft, there are no harsh fragrances, and there's always somewhere to lie down. I'm beginning to worry that I won't be able to work over the long term. I miss on average a day of work a week, and I never know when its going to happen. Though people say they understand, they don't really, and inevitably, I'm thought of as unreliable at every place I work. And even once the headaches are gone, I'm left exhausted--like I've just been run over, and left limp, trying to reconfigure myself.

 

And I've tried EVERYTHING. Endocrinologist, ENTs, accupuncture, chinese medicine, tons of supplements. Every kind of preventative medicine you can think of.  I'm now on daily doses of Effexor as a preventative, and take Imitrex when I get a headache (if I have enough--the insurance company is always trying to limit access).  I am avoiding all foods with any sort of additives. The last thing I have to try is to start exercising again--when my headaches were daily, I had abandoned exercise. I'm scared to, because exercise usually brings one on, but studies seem to show that sustained moderate exercise will start to lower the incidence of migraines after two months.

 

Before they became so frequent, I used to go out, get drinks with friends, go dancing, travel frequently. Now I am as boring as you can imagine. I'm even beginning to bore myself. But to be quite honest I just don't feel like I have the strength to do anything beyond stay at home and get to work as many days a week as possible.

 

And yes--it is terrible to always be fearing when the next one will strike. Its like you can't even enjoy the pain-free times, because you're worried that every twinge might be a new one.  

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By Nancy, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/18/12, First Published: 09/08/08