TIA or Complicated Migraine Questions

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Beautiful Mess
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/12/2011 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I am 38 years old.

I had a stroke at 35. I had no residual effects.

I take a daily baby aspirin prevent stroke.

I recently went to the ER after several strange events that could indicate a stroke or TIA. At first the neurologist was making it sound like I was having TIA, then another neurologist came in and said it sounds like "complicated migraine". I was discharged and my only lingering symptom was total numbness from the top of my head to the tip of my toe but I would say it was about a 1 out of 10 as it is not severe.

From my research I can tell is hard to tell which is which.

Here is my question...Do complicated migraine sufferer continue to have episodes days in a row? Is the headache severe? mine isn't.

Yesterday I had a minor headache that started to build (scale I would say 3) I took some Fiorcet to stop it progressing and as time went on my arm started to feel heavy again and when i awoke today I am more numb and I would now say I am worse (like a 2.5). Head to toe.

If you are a TIA or Complicated Migraine suffer tell me if any of this sounds familiar--briefly listing events

last Wed-dull headache all day
Thur- awoke with no headache at all. Sudden severe headache (10) with vomiting (whole event only lasted 3 minutes) then I was fine
Fri afternoon 3:30pm-my arm started to feel heavy and weird-within an hour my leg was involved-went to ER. Admitted but 10pm I had no symptoms at all except a slight headache.
Sat MRI clear-had no symptoms at all
Sat 11pm awoke with severe painful numbness and tingling on my entire left side (8 out of 10) (head to toe even internally-it's so weird!) by 3am it was less severe (3-4) and I tried to sleep.
Sun upon waking it was a (1)
stayed at that level with no new symptoms
until yesterday
Tuesday 4pm headache (3) took Fiorcet and felt arm getting heavy and then slept when I went to bed I could tell I was more numb.
Wed awoke more numb (2.5) slight slight headache (1)

So I feel like a crazy person. I go to see "my" neuro today. but in the meantime I wanted to see if anyone else had similar experiences.

Beautiful Mess
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/12/2011 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Diagnosed with Complicated Migraine...treating with a round of prednisone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 10/12/2011 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have basilar migraines so a lot of my symptoms are stroke-like - numbness, inability to think clearly and speak, lower level of consciousness etc... The numbness I experience is mainly around my mouth and it does travel down my throat. Sometimes I have pain - and when it occurs it is usually behind my eyes and back of my head.

With your history of stroke I would worry that maybe something else was going on - migraine is usually a rule-out diagnosis. Did they do an MRI? MRA?

Beautiful Mess
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/13/2011 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Both... however not after my second event.

It's crazy for sure!

The reason he determined migraine--is that my numbness traveled...with a stroke--it's an all of the sudden event.

I have found that people do stroke with these types of headaches---which makes me wonder.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/20/2011 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I finally got a diagnoses this week to similar symptoms.
I have had numerous trips to the ER over the last 7 years with varying symptoms. The symptoms always fit the description of TIA's(based on my own research) but were diagnosed as complicated migraines.
I was in my early 40's when they started. I was in good shape. Perfect cholesterol level. No heart anomalies. Good BP.
I suffered daily migraines for several years. No medications helped. Finally, I used an "Aqua Chi" detox and they abated but never really totally went away.
Symptoms that landed me in the hospital were different combinations of the following: migraine, loss of feeling in different parts of my body, inability to move, slurred speech, inability to talk, dizziness, loss of cognitive ability, numbness in limbs and face, swelling legs, blurred vision, and double vision. The worst episode happened just after getting of a plane. I eventually stopped flying out of fear of having an attack while I was alone in a strange city.
I was dispatched to neurologists and cardiologists but no cause was ever found. I looked like a giant hypochondriac to them I think.
I saw a new cardiologist this week and told her that I had been diagnosed with complicated migraines but I insisted that they were really TIA's. She drew a diagram and said the only way they could be TIA's is if I had a hole in my heart(Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)). She asked if I had had a echo-cardiogram with a BUBBLE TEST done. I had not. I had the test the next day and viola! I have a hole! I can't believe this was missed for all of these years! Basically a clot can pass through the hole to the brain and cause a TIA or a full out stroke.
She told me that most insurance companies don't cover this test but it only ran $99. This may be why it was never ordered. How short-sighted! I hate to think of the tens of thousands of dollars that were wasted on useless MRI's and other tests.
I was sent in for a TEE to determine the size of the hole. I will be undergoing a clamshell procedure in a week or so. The clamshell is inserted via catheter and will fix the problem once and for all.
I Finally can have my life back!
If you are having similar symptoms, PLEASE HAVE A BUBBLE TEST. It may save your life!

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/4/2012 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am a 49 year old female.  I've been on the birth congtrol pill forever.  I've had a similar experience.  I woke up one day and felt weird.  I was kinda grouchy.  I went to work and sat through a meeting, feeling terrible throughout.  The feeling was like I was not feeling right.  I couldn't explain the feeling.  The feeling was in my whole body.  After the meeting I want back to my office and started feeling worse.  Just felt terrible.  Then I got really confused, couldn't focus, and the words I wanted to say were not coming out right.  I was slurring my words.  I felt terrible.  I work in a hospital so they made me go to the ED.  I went through all the tests:  MRI, EKG, EEG, blood work, scan of my brain, sonogram of my corratid artiery.  Everything look good.  No one knew what to do with me.  I was discharged and told I had a TIA and to call my PCP and to take a baby aspirin. 
My PCP ordered a echocardiogram and bubble test.  I have a minor mitral reguration.  The bubble test was inconclusive.  The report said this could be indicative of PFO or transpulmunary path.  The recommendation was to have a transesophageal echocardiography (if clinically indicated).  I felt I should be followed by a neurologist.  I made an appointment and he disgnosed me with a complicated migraine.   He prescribed Gabapentin to take for a little while.  I took two today and felt woozy.  I can't work like that so I probably won't take it tomorrow.  He also prescribed Verapanil 120 mg to take every day.  He seemed to think I would take this forever.  I have low blood pressure any way, and this is just used to lower blood pressure.  Not sure if this is the way to go.  Any suggestions?  The bottom line is that I do not want to have a stroke!! 
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