Hello to everyone! First off, I would just like to say that I am so incredibly happy to have found this forum! I seriously thought I was the only person in the world experiencing what I have been this past week. I thought something was terribly wrong with me and that there was no way anyone else had ever experienced what I have been. It all started a week ago yesterday. I keep having symptoms of what I believe to be of hemiplegic migraines or at least some other kind of migraine. I have had many other things of what it could be cross my mind such as stroke, brain tumor, diabetes, some kind of heart issue, and MS. This is going to be a very long post so I am very sorry for that LOL but I would like to get some feedback from others who have experienced hemiplegic migraines so I can maybe determine if this is what I really am experiencing or if it’s something else.
Like I said it all started about
a week ago. I felt fine all day, I wasn't stressed, and I didn't do anything real physical, it was just a lazy Sunday for me. Around 5:00, I sat down to watch a movie. about
20 minutes later, I started to get this numbing/weakness feeling in my left leg. I thought it was just from the way I was sitting and I caused my leg to “fall asleep” so I got up to walk around. Then the numbing worked it’s way up my leg, through my hip, my left side, chest, shoulder, down my arm to my fingers, neck and side of my face. I also felt some tightness in my chest and felt short of breath. By this point, I was so freaked out that I was almost panicking. I thought I was having a stroke and was going to fall over dead right there in my living room. I was home alone so I decided that maybe I should go to the ER. By the time I got my shoes on (about
5 minutes after the attack started), the numbing started to go away. Then my vision started to change. My eyes felt sensitive to light and I started seeing weird colors and spots (Like I stared at a bright light for too long). It also seemed like I could only see half of things. Like when I would read something, I felt like I was only seeing half of letters, words, sentences, etc. It sounds weird and crazy, I know, and it’s hard to explain. I also had trouble writing or texting. I tried texting my mom, but every word I typed was completely wrong. I felt like all of the sudden I just became stupid and didn't know how to do anything. I didn't really feel confused or anything, but my left foot and arm weren't working right. Like every time I tried to grab something, I’d just end up knocking it over or when I walked, my foot sort of dragged against the ground and I kept tripping. However, everything went away within about
10 or 15 minutes after it all started. I became very relieved after it all went away and decided to not go to the ER. I still felt “funny” mentally the rest of the evening. I just felt really out of it and I wanted to lay down and rest. Everything just seemed extra loud and bright to me. I never got a headache at all after this happened so I never thought at first it could have been because of a migraine.
The same thing happened again the next morning but it wasn't really as bad. The only real difference was that this time my vision wasn't really effected but I did develop a slight headache in the right side of my head. The pain was maybe a 3 out of 10. For the last week, I've been having an attack about
every day, sometimes a couple of times a day. I keep hoping this will all go away eventually but so far the longest I've went without an attack this past week was about
a day and a half. The symptoms from each attack seem a little different than before. The last few days my symptoms have been starting with the numbing in my fingers, hand, and arm, working it’s way up to my arm, shoulder, side of my neck, side of my face, down my side, hip, and leg. But the symptoms go always go away within about
15 or 20 minutes, then I usually feel perfectly fine afterwards, like nothing ever happened. Sometimes I get the headache, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have problems with my vision and other times I don’t.
I never have any issues with speaking when I have an attack. I can usually walk and do stuff when I am having an attack but it just takes a little more effort for me to do it and I usually drag my left foot against the ground a little bit. In fact, most people can’t even tell I am having an attack. I also experience the “detached” feeling from my arm, like my arm is hundreds of miles away but that usually goes away when the numbing does. Like I said, my symptoms vary with each attack but I ALWAYS get the numbing feeling along with the pins and needles feeling as well. So far my headaches have not been too bad. Like I said, sometimes I get a headache when I have an attack and sometimes I don’t. So far I have only had a couple of really bad headaches that I would rate as a 8 out of 10. They usually go away after a few hours.
I never experience any nausea or vomiting when I have an attack and I usually don’t get that “confused” feeling that I have seen a few posters talk about
, although sometimes after I have an attack, I feel like all I want to do is sleep. I have had a couple of attacks that effected my hearing. There was one night I had an attack, my roommate was talking to me. I could hear him talking but I couldn't understand a word he was saying. It was like my brain wasn't comprehending what he was saying or something. I kept saying “What?” but I could not understand him. It was like something was blocking the words from my brain or something. I have been worried sick all week of what this could be. I've spent hours researching my symptoms. Unfortunately, I don’t have insurance right now and I’m currently looking for a full-time job that offers benefits (I’m a substitute teacher and a part-time teacher’s aide). I would have went to the doctor by now if I did have insurance, and I keep thinking each time I have an attack that I’ll go to the ER but my symptoms go away so quickly that I’m afraid no one will believe me after I get to the ER. I did call my childhood doctor back in my hometown a few days ago and described my symptoms to him. He named a few possibilities of what it could be and one of them was migraines. He mentioned one specific type of migraine but I couldn't remember what it was. I immediately started researching migraines and their symptoms. I came across hemiplegic migraines and the symptoms seem to match those of what I've been experiencing. Then I stumbled across this forum and started reading about
other posters who suffer from hemiplegic migraines. Some of you have even described your symptoms that matched mine so perfectly. I am almost certain this is what I am experiencing although I have not received an official diagnosis yet.
But each time I have an attack, I still find myself questioning if this could really be what it is and it’s really something else. I usually don’t experience all of the symptoms of hemiplegic migraines and each attack is usually different than before. Is this normal or am I suppose to have all of the symptoms in the exact order for this to really be hemiplegic migraines? I know that it is normal to have an attack without the headache so I haven’t been worrying about
that too much. Some of you have mentioned that you only experience an attack every few months or once a year or something like that. But is it normal to experience it almost every day like I have been for the last 8 days or so? Will it eventually get better? Is it common to have more than one attack a day?
Also, I read that hemiplegic migraines can be genetic. I talked to my mom and she said that no one in our family really suffers from migraines except for my aunt but her migraines aren't really this severe. So I am thinking it’s not really genetic. I also read that hemiplegic migraines typically start in childhood. I have always had “small” headaches for as long as I can remember but nothing too painful. Then when I was in about
the 7th grade, I had what I think may have been an attack due to migraines. It started with me getting a slight numbing feeling in my legs then the vision stuff happened. All of the sudden I started seeing weird lights and had a bunch of blind spots in my vision. I literally thought I was going blind, but then about
15 minutes later it all went away. I don’t remember having a headache when it happened. The same thing happened again a few years later when I was in high school. The same stuff happened to my vision but I don’t remember the numbing happening or the headache. I had headaches a lot in high school, usually towards the end of the day and they were usually on one side of my head. It was always that pounding and throbbing feeling. I had headaches almost every day when I was in college but I never really thought of them as migraines. I thought it was just plain ole headaches caused by too much stress. I’m now 28 and a male if that makes any difference but it seems like these migraines happen more in women which of course has me a little nervous. Also like I said, I have no insurance right now so I can’t really go to the doctor at the moment, but are there any over the counter medicine I can buy that might help with my symptoms? I have been taking Excedrin Migraine, it helps with the headache part but doesn't really help with the symptoms. I heard Benadryl and Bayer work good. Once again, I know this is an incredibly long post but I hope someone can answer at least a few of my questions and give me a little feedback since I am still a little worried about
what all this could be and making it go away. Thanks for your help!