I think I'm having Hemiplegic Migraines... what to ask dr?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/12/2012 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
This started for me on August 24th. I woke up around 2am with my arm and leg feeling "asleep". I could move them but they just had that tingling feeling. Then my speech started slurring & it was really difficult to speak. We headed to the emergency room. This was my 1st time ever experiencing this, it was so scary. I was admitted to the hospital and they did a ton of tests. EKG, MRI, MRA, CT Scan, doppler test on my neck & heart. All tests were normal. I'm 28 years old. I have no risk factors for stroke. After all tests were done, I was sent on my way and told to follow up with my primary care doctor.

I followed up with him the next week & he thought the migraines might be caused by anxiety so he prescribed me Lexapro and told me to come back to follow up in a few weeks.

Then on Sept 1st, I had another episode. We were having a picnic and all of a sudden my leg and arm started going numb & tingly. I didn't have the speech thing this time. I just felt really weak and tingly. Then we went home and laid for for a little but that didn't help. I started vomiting and kept feeling increasingly weak & absentminded. We went to the emergency room again. They kept me overnight because my pain was so intense they had given me some strong pain medication and wanted to make sure I was ok for the night. Once again, they said to just follow up with my primary doctor in a week.

I had an appointment scheduled with my primary dr on Sept 14. On Sept. 11, I woke up at 5am and had the numbness, muscle weakness, it was really strong this time, I almost felt like my throat was closing in, it was difficult to breathe, also had the slurred speech, difficulty speaking, etc. Again, went to the emergency room, the speech/weakness symptoms always go away within about 30-45 mins and then I'm just left with a horrible pounding headache & vomiting all day.

This is my entire experience with migraines. I'm trying to come up with questions and ideas to discuss with my doctor. I'm afraid they're going to start coming more often or stronger, I can't miss all this time off work, I can't afford to go to the emergency room every time this happens since it's $200 per visit. Plus, I know it stresses my husband out and I have 2 small children.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 9/13/2012 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi browngouda,

I want to start by suggesting what nearly all experienced headache patients and neurologists know: Going to the ER for headache problems is almost always a bad idea unless you feel like your long-term health is in eminent danger. Emergency rooms increase your stress levels and the doctors working in them are not equipped with the knowledge and the tools necessary to treat these problems. In the end (in the best case scenario), you end up with a big bill, often unnecessary tests and a load of stress (when you already had more than enough of that). So these problems really lead to an important question that you should be sure to ask your doctor: When things get out of control, what should I do; what are my options?

In terms of preparing for a doctor's visit, it really depends on whether you're seeing a general practitioner or a headache specialist. If it's a GP I'd first ask your doctor if he or she feels qualified and able to treat your particular issue -- and if so, what s/he plans to do.

However, if you're seeing a headache specialist, while there's plenty you can do to prepare, you can expect the office to tell you what you need and the initial evaluation to be lead by the specialist. There's a pretty good article that I found about preparing for an appointment with an HA specialist @ www.healthcentral.com/migraine/doctors-161942-5.html.

Best wishes,

DX: NDPH (2003-present), Abdominal Migraine (2010-present), CRPS (1998-?)
RX: Lamictal, Indomethacin, Propranolol, Provigil, Viibyrd, Oxycontin, Clonazepam, Zyprexa, Melatonin, Magnesium, Boswellia Serrata
CPAP for mild sleep apnea
PRN: Oxycodone

@Jefferson Headache Center, Philadelphia, PA @

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 9/16/2012 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I have hemiplegic migraines, dx about 9 years ago
If you look them up they recommend a calcium channel blocker as prevention, such as verapamil. I would just ask the neuro if its a possibility. They'll have to run tests to rule out other things. Oh and verapamil isn't too terribly expensive. Best of luck to you. I hope you don't have them. They are frightening, for me anyway. Feel better soon...K
GAD, panic disorder, bipolar1, GERD migraine with aura, hemiplegic migraine, prolonged q t interval, tachycardia, arrhythmia, fibromyalgia, polycystic ovarian disease, PTSD

Klonopin, Cymbalta, Abilify, Eskalith,Lyrica, Flexeril, TalwinNX, Prilosec, Verapamil, Toprol XL, Synthroid, Lipitor, Phenergan, Melatonin, Multivitamin, B12, b complex, vitamin c, magnesium, vitamin d (50,000iu's prescribed)

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/16/2012 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
skull  I am a 20 year army veteran and have suffered with migraines and headaches since 1976.  2005, I was put on Topamax, around 2006 my migraines started going away, but the aura, ringing in the ears, nausea, throbbing on one side of head, photohobia etc....continued.  In Aug 2012, my husband and I were traveling, I losted the use of my right arm, scotomas, aura floating and  disoriented. I became hopitalized, per doctors (Neurologist) I did not have a stroke but suffering from Chronic Headaches and was told to see a Neurologist that specialized in headaches. I saw a local Neurologist and was diagnosed with Hemicrania Continua, my Topamax was increased to 150mg, but my insurance only would approve Topiramate, I'm afraid that this med will not work the same, because I was taking Topiramate when this epsiode took place. Is there anyone else using Topiramate and suffer with this type of migraine?????? Why is there a gneric medicine and a name brand type if there is NO differents!!!!???? Why does on work and the other does NOT? Help, I need some answers.
Thanks in advances  confused                
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