Saturday, October 25, 2014
Saturday, November 03, 2012 kmripple, Community Member, asks

Q: Basilar migraine, exhaustion and bad anxiety

 Does anyone have trouble leading a "normal" life? Trying to work full-time, take care of two children and be a wife (and have a little of a social life on the side). By Tuesday I am dragging. By Wednesday I need to lay down as soon as I get home from work to function at night. It goes worse from there. I have issues with my eyes and cant' drive. As things go downhill my eyes play tricks on me even more and I see cars from next lanes coming at us so bad that I jump on my seat. I am too stressed out. Irritability also rises as week progresses. So does inability to concentrate and understand others. Eyes get more tired, sounds bother me more and so does light. I am doing much better now, couldn't work for an entire year. One day of the weekend I sleep all day. The next day I sometimes I feel recovered, but often not completely. I felt so out of sorts yesterday I couldn't make it to work (still need to do the work though but haven't been able to). Had to take a Xanax today because I was so anxious and cranky. Took a three hour nap and still feel exhausted. Crappy cycle starts again Monday. Does this sound like the experience of others with basilar migraines, or should I tell my doctor we still need to work pretty hard on finding a better med combo? Thanks.

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Answers (2)
Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
11/ 5/12 4:52pm

Hi kmripple,


No wonder you are exhausted  - you work full-time, have two children and a husband! With that kind of work week, the anxiety and stress level must be pretty high. Are you ever able to take time for yourself?


Stress and Migraines kind of go like this -when we are under stress we can become more susceptible to our triggers; like sleeping too much or too litte, not eating properly, getting dehyrated and so on. If we can watch the stress, we are better able to manage our triggers. Here is some great information on this topic; Is Stress a Migraine Trigger?


Are you in pain too? I didn't see you mention a  lot about pain, or is this how your Basilar-Type Migraine presents? What about your eyes, have you had them examined lately?


I'm not sure new medication would be the answer, and as much as I'd love to help you with an answer to this question, the only person who can do that is a doctor who can review your and your family's medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, and conduct a complete examination. 


I personally think everyone with Migraine would do well to take a course or class or something to learn how to cope with chronic illness. It is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Seeing a counselor for chronic illness was one of my better moves.


Good luck


kmripple, Community Member
11/ 5/12 9:55pm

Thanks Nancy. I've been taking a pretty agressive combo of preventive meds that keeps the pain and severity of symptoms at bay (most of the time). I take 2000 mg of Keppra, 750 mg of Depakote and 20 mg of Timolol. That keeps me "functional". So I still can have tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness, blurry vision, numbness, headache, sensitivity to light and sound, difficulty understanding and concentrating but it takes a shorter time to recover and the severity of the symptoms are usually less. The exhaustion is killing me right now though.

I've had my eyes checked and they are fine. And I still don't know exactly what my triggers are. Still learning I guess.

My husband is extremely supportive and helps as much as he can, but he needs to go work gigs at night so sometimes I have no choice but to be alone and take care of the kids.

I think I need to see a counselor, just don't know how to fit it in between not driving and having to leave work early or needing to work from home.

I talked to my boss today and she said that in cases where it is medically necessary, the company might consider letting an employee work 32 hours. Before they had said no, period. I might have to talk to the neuro about it. It is less money, but I am feeling like I can't keep this pace and have any quality of life (I'm also on day 5 of a migraine, so maybe I'll think differently in one or two days. Who knows?) I also told her I need to let go of the stress and pressure I am putting on myself cause that can't contribute at all to me being healthy.

Here's hoping you are feeling well and upbeat!

Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
11/ 8/12 5:19pm

Staying upbeat is pretty hard to do some days, isn't it? It sounds like you have a great boss if she is willing to let you be flexible with your hours. That sounds like a great solution to me and I strongly encourage you to discuss it with your neuro. It may be just a temporary thing too. Print out and hand him what you wrote here, and if he doesn't get it, something is wrong!!


Let me know how it goes,


Annie Kell, Community Member
11/10/12 5:07pm

I am having a real hard time with migraines.  I don't know what a Basilar migraine is? However what you are describing to me sounds like we are very much the same! Anyway right now my head feels like its in a vicescrip squeezing so tight!? 


I have never been on a forum before, never really new about forums, so this is new too me. 


I can't stay on here right now cause I have to go lay down and hope I fall asleep to get rid of one nasty migraine, but I have much to tell and much to ask! 


I'm signing off for now, hope to talk to you later if I get rid of the migraine!!



kmripple, Community Member
11/10/12 6:29pm

Hope your migraine did not last too long. Sending good, peaceful vibes your way! If you have any questions about basilar migraines, feel free to ask. I am not a doctor but I can give you my personal experience about it if you want it. 

Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
11/10/12 8:34pm

Hi Annie,


Basilar-Type Migraine (BTM) is a type of Migraine with aura where the symptoms come from the brain stem and both sides of the brain are affected at the same time but there is no motor weakness. We have full details of BTM in this article; Basilar-Type Migraine - The Basics.


After you look over the information I sent you if you have questions, feel free to ask away.


Feel better,


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By kmripple, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/12/14, First Published: 11/03/12