What type of migraine is this?

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old2young
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/6/2011 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Until reading some of the posts on this site, I thought that complex migraines and hemoplegic migraines were the same thing. I have been diagnosed with hemoplegic migraines but am now questioning it. My sister, mother, grandmother and my great uncle have all had migraines with stroke-like symptoms.

I am a 44 year old male and have had "normal" migraines for about 15 years. Since June of last year however, I have had about 8 stroke-like migraines and they seem to be getting worse every time.

Even though the symptoms vary somewhat from one to the next, they usually start out with confusion and/or a weakness and numbness in my left arm and leg, and the right side of my face. I also see flashes and shadows in my peripheral vision. This is usually followed by what feels like a baseball bat to the area just above my right eyebrow. The numbness is never complete but the paralysis usually is. The paralysis and numbness usually lasts about 2-4 hours. Lately I haven't experienced the confusion so much but I can't find or form words. I also can't read or write but I can draw pictures. The weakness usually subsides after less than a day, but twice now has hung on for a period of months! This, I have been told, is highly unusual. For 2 to 3 days after one of these migraines, written words are still jumbled and some of my memories can't be recalled fully. A couple more odd symptoms that I get AFTER these migraines are that I constantly smell a very specific scent ( it can be lake water, those big orange candy marshmallow peanuts or even blood. Different after every episode.) and time also seems to be jumbled. I'm not sure if an event just happened, happened last year or if it has happened YET ( sounds odd, I know). These symptoms also subside after 2-3 days.

Any feedback would, again, be appreciated.

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2256
   Posted 11/8/2011 5:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I admit, I can not diagnose what the heck you are experiencing but this numbness and paralysis part scares me. This flashes and shadows is a part of classical migraine, even I used to get it before I started on verapamil. I am diagnosed with classical migraine.

In your case, all I can say is change the neurologist, may be ask for MRI or a CAT scan of the brain. You don't mention what drugs you are on and if you can use anything abortive?

In my case, NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Neproxen (advil and alleve) help me a big deal as an abortive but NSAIDs can cause stroke. If you already have symptoms like it, better talk to a neurologist before trying them.

If required, take multiple opinions before really settling down to something.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 11/8/2011 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi old2young,

Welcome to Healing Well. Sorry to hear about what you are going through. It sounds very much like Hemiplegic Migraines to me, but hey I am no Doc!!! Each of us experiences whatever type of Migraine we have differently, and can experience one or two unusual symptoms.

Is your Neuro a Headache Specialist??? If not I would strongly urge you to have this diagnosis confirmed by a Neurologist who is a Headache Specialist - even if you have to travel some distance to see them!!!

Have you given all the details you have given us to your Neuro?? Keep posting, I am sure those that suffer with Hemiplegic Migraine will soon be along to offer their point of view!

take care

Ann
Co-Moderator of the Migraine/Headache Forum

DX: Hemicrania Continua, Chronic Migraine, IBS, Allergic Rhinitis and Heart Murmur

Meds: Imigran Injections, High Flow Oxygen, Mebeverine, Lansoprazole, Nasonex and Clarityn

old2young
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/9/2011 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the feedback!

I have seen 4 neurologists (3 of at the Mayo Clinic) so far but not a headache specialist. I have had cat-scans, MRI's, an MRA, EKG's and an EEG. All looked normal. The cat-scans were done without contrast since I am allergic to shellfish.

I have also been diagnosed with clinical depression, hypothyroid, cataphrenia (a rare sleeping disorder similar to apnea. A cpap does no good. ), high cholesterol and acid re-flux.

I take 240mg Verapamil, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Synthroid, Lipitor, Imaprozole and a baby aspirin daily.

I have also seen a psychiatrist thinking that this could all be psycho-somatic given my depression. He told me that just my thinking that that could be a possibility proves that this is not all "in my head". ;)

As far as my "normal" migraines go, the only thing that touches them is Extra Strength Tylenol at onset. They are still bad enough to put me out of commission for quite a few hours but it is a few days without this.

Again, thank you for the feedback! I was VERY excited when I found this site. I had posted a couple times before but received no replies. I'm glad to see that my original feeling of finding a support and knowledge base was founded. Our replies are important, everyone! Even if we feel that we have nothing to offer for information, the feeling of support given by a reply does almost more good than anything. Just my opinion. :)

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2256
   Posted 11/10/2011 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear that you have already been through so much, yet not of much help. I think its time to find a headache specialist. Few points of thoughts from your reply -

You have high cholesterol and you are on statins. Are you taking CoEnzyme Q10 supplement? Statins inhibit production of this substance in our body and if you are 30+, your body's natural ability to produce this substance also starts to weaken. On the top of that 300mg of CoEnzyme Q10 is found to be useful in some migraine studies. May be talk about about this to your cardiologist and neurologist/headache specialist you see next time. I don't know where you live but exercise in open air will be helpful.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am diagnosed with classical migraine. I am planning to start herbal supplement called as Butterbur. 150mg a day has been found to be effective in migraine studies. I am fed up with this migraine as well so I am desperate to get this crap under control. Verapamil helped me a big deal but during migraine attack, my condition is beyond any description.

You have acid-reflux. Have you tried alternate therapies for this? My feeling is, its rather easy to treat problem but we are not offered solutions by the doctors. My mother had a lot of problems and she was always on Ranitidine (about 10-15 years ago) Finally, it came to the point that the doctor said, you could end up with kidney problems as a result of ranitidine. She changed her lifestyle, diet and now everything is under control. Simple solutions like, more water, less meat, more cruciferous vegetables and less spices helped her a lot. From my knowledge, you should not take proton pump inhibitors for a long period. Longest you can take Omerazole (I can't find anything with Imaprazole) is 20 days, read an insert when you buy Prilosec OTC or any other Omeprazole. Alternatively, you can take a high dose every alternate day, still not too long.

I failed to realize why are you taking baby aspirin, with statins to avoid any cardiac issues prophylactically? If so, I hope you are aware of the fact that its thinning your blood.

I am not a doctor, just self educated. Before you take any of this, you MUST talk to a specialist and understand if there could be any side effect or interactions with medications you are taking.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

old2young
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/10/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, deltaforce. You sound very knowledgeable! I had never heard about the issue with CoEnzyme Q10. Something I will look into.
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