Is this a migraine? No head pain, possibly triggered by lights

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dizzygrl85
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/23/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys, I'm wondering if you could help me figure something out.

I get textbook migraines about once a month around my period, just nasty ones with throbbing pain on the side of my head that knock me out and make me feel dizzy and sick. I also have sinus issues often, so I'm used to that sick/dizzy/lightheaded feeling nearly constantly. Ugh.

I've had a few scary episodes within the past month or so where I'll be out somewhere in public, watching a movie, walking the dog, last night during a timeshare presentation, where I'll suddenly feel really lightheaded, kind of a tingly sensation in the back of my head, and my head will feel quite heavy, like my neck can't hold it up. It's incredibly hard to focus, and I get nauseous. I feel clumsy and slow, and get goosebumps, feeling freezing and shaking uncontrollably. It comes on really fast. Bright lights make it worse. In fact, I think bright lights actually set it off sometimes, because now that I think about it, it usually happens after I look at a lamp or there's a change in lighting. These are really scary and debilitating!

There's never any pain involved; more like my head feels "off." Could this be a type of migraine? I have Maxalt that my doctor gave me (haven't tried it yet for the common migraines), but I noticed on the info sheet that you're not supposed to take it for "basilar migraines." Is this what I have, and why couldn't I take the Maxalt? Would there be bad side effects if I take it and it's NOT a migraine?

I've already had a full workup of blood work, heart tests, and CT scans that all came back normal, and I'm young, only 24.

Any advice or suggestions would help!

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 8/23/2009 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dizzyrl85,

Welcome to HW! I wish I had some solid, quick answers for you. I really think you need to talk to your doctor (a headache specialist is best with these types of things-I often find that neurologist is a little less "on the ball")

My intial reaction says that yes, it is POSSIBLE that this is a migraine. Some people have AURA without the actual pain part of the headache. To me, it sounds like you have two different types of "headache" and need to discuss how to treat them. Maybe they will respond to the same thing and maybe not.

The best advice I have at this point is to research and learn as much as you can about your symptoms and different types of headache classifications. No one knows you, and your head pain, as well as you do! I had to read a lot of things to figure out where I fit as far as the different classifications are concerned.

Sooo...I have found a pretty good website with information about BAM (Basilar Artery Migraine) or now called BTM, (Basilar-Type Migraine) http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/types-of-headaches-40278-5.html you might want to take a look.

Diagnosis of Basilar-Type Migraine requires at least two attacks meeting the following criteria:

Aura consisting of at least two of the following fully reversible symptoms, but no motor weakness:
dysarthria (impairments or clumsiness in the speaking of words due to diseases that affect the oral, lingual, or pharyngeal muscles)
vertigo (sense of spinning)
tinnitus
hypacusia (impaired hearing)
diplopia (double vision)
visual symptoms simultaneously in both temporal and nasal fields of both eyes
ataxia (incoordination and unsteadiness)

Also, read up on Familial Hemiplegic or Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine as these can have some common symptoms.

Good Luck! I am hoping that helps some. Let us know how you are doing.
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
Battling headpain for 17 years.
DX: occipital neuralgia-radiofrequency nerve ablation every 6mo
 
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michelle1
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/24/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi dizzygrl85,
 
I just found your post.  This is the first time I have ever posted/replied to anything on this cite.  I just have to know what you have found out.  I have searched and read hundreds of blogs/postings for months about migraines and other problems people have reported and have never found anyone with symptoms so similar to my own.
 
For the past two years, I have been having episodes where I will begin to feel intense pressure in my head, not pain, just pressure.  I get very light headed and feel as if my thinking is very slow.  Those around me notice immediately that I cannot process information at my normal rate.  I too have tingling in my face and other parts of my body.  My hands usually get very cold, often to the point that my finger tips turn purple.  My brain seems to slow down to the point that within minutes I am unable to speak or move.  I can still hear what is going on around me, but am unable to respond.  Sometimes I do not even blink for minutes.  I become nauseated and very cold.  Once I am able to move and become able to verbally respond, I am very cold and need a blanket.  I remain mentally slow and sometimes confused for up to an hour.  
 
After CTs, EEGs, MRIs and other tests, my neurologist ruled out seizures and said I have basilar migraines.   I do not know if I am satisfied with that diagnosis.  Obviously not or I would not still be looking.    Please let me know if you have found out anything.
 
 
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