complex or complicated migraine

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/27/2015 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Anyone familiar with complex, or complicated migraines? I posted this on another health type board with no responses. I haven't been to this site in some time but thought I might get some reply's here. Thank you for any information.

I had a migraine in March. Throbbing in left temple. I usually get an aura first but not this time. I took Excedrin Migraine and it went away.
The next day I felt a slight numbness in my left arm and leg. Not really numb, no pins and needle feeling, just a bit strange feeling. I thought it would go away.
I ended up going to the ER a few days later. Had a cat scan of brain and was told it was a complex migraine, Paresthersia.
Blood work and urine and ekg all looked good. Blood pressure was normal. I have an appointment to see a neurologist.
I am still feeling this odd feeling in my arm and leg, sometimes it goes away. It almost feels like I slept on it funny.
I have had neck problems on the left side for years, I woke up the morning of the migraine and realized I had slept with my head on a high pillow, which I never do, and I'm wondering if it could be a pinched nerve? I asked at the er but they didn't seem to care.
Anyway, if anyone has had this did it last this long? It's been about 3 months now and I am very scared. I have bad anxiety and I am hoping I can get some insight here. Thanks

Just to add, I saw a neurologist this past week, she seems to think it was a complex migraine and wants me to get a mri and a mra. The feelings still come and go, some days i think its gone. I am very nervous and hope its nothing serious. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7515
   Posted 6/28/2015 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back.

I have had complex mig since 2006. I am on a combo of meds for maint. and Dilauded for break through pain or when I get TN/cluster/facepain at the same time.

topomaz 225mg per day 100am 125 pm
proprananol 125 xr pm
buspar 15mg 3 x day

was taking cymbalata 60mg. insurance issues and generic [tried all 3] not working had to stop. Thus the dilauded for break through. Still working on consideration of other med.

Current pain level daily is 3-4 on 1-10 scale. 10 being the worse. I can live with this.

Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/29/2015 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I also have "complex" migraines, however the accepted term is hemiplegic migraines. This is a rare hereditary condition. BUT I also have neck problems which were ignored for many years because of the neurologists diagnosis of complex migraines. You should insist on an MRI of the neck. I asked for evaluation of my neck and was denied for many years. Turns out that in addition to migraines I had cervical spondylosis and had developed significant myelopathy (pressure on the spinal cord) over the course of 11 years of increasing migraines, neck pain and intermittent numbness to one side of my body, which occurred especially after sleeping in the "wrong" position. It is possible to have more than one condition with similar symptoms. If you are under age 50 a doctor will not initially consider neck problems as a cause of tingling and numbness to one side of body when a history of migraines is present. Neck problems can trigger migraines! This may not be the case with you, but at least it should be considered and evaluated!
I hope this will help you.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 7/1/2015 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks BnotAfraid and qadira for your input. I have never had a complex migraine before this episode in March. I am worried about the feelings I have been getting off and on since then in my arm and leg. I actually don't get many migraine, maybe 1-2 a year and that is with an aura. I did mention to the neurologist about my neck but it seems she has ordered mri and mra of my brain only. I am going this week and I am so scared. I am 60 and I am alone so I have no one to talk with about this and I have very bad anxiety and worry so much. I appreciate you both taking the time to respond to this. Thanks again.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/1/2015 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
summer blue, please insist on MRI of neck. It is easily done with MRI of brain and costs the same to do both at once. You are over 50, so I'm surprised the neurologist isn't addressing your concerns. Neck problems cause headaches and also the symptoms you are describing to one side of your body. It is unlikely at your age you would develop "complex" migraines, but not impossible. I went to many neurologists over the years before I was "granted" a neck MRI . To me being told it was "complex" migraine was akin to being told "go away, I can't be bothered with you".
The neurologist that eventually diagnosed the neck problem related to me that most neurologists have a narrow focus and have difficulty seeing that a skeletal/ mechanical dysfunction from the neck can cause what looks like a neurological problem. In the absence of genetic testing, " complex migraine" is a catch all category that means they don't know.

Post Edited (qadira) : 7/1/2015 11:28:07 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/12/2015 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello- :)

I can relate to your worry. I'm 26 and thought I was having a stroke at work one day. No on could tell me what was wrong. Went to the neurologist, got an MRI, he determined it was a "complex" migraine. Its really scary not knowing what's going on. I had been having migraines for about two years 2-3 times a week, but didn't know other issues I was having were also part of the migraines (dizziness, confusion, etc). I never listened to my mom when she told me to get myself checked out until I thought it was something really serious

Just went for my first follow up last week and started taking topamax. It's held off the migraines so far but there are side effects, some of which are the same as my migraine symptoms. I've have nearly no head pain so its worth it for now.

Best of luck to you. :)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 7/13/2015 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Got the mri and mra last week. , doctor called and said all was normal. Now I have read the finding and this was at the bottom,

Conclusion: No acute intracranial process. Mild degree of nonspecific
white matter disease. These findings have been reported in association
with migraine headaches. Other diagnostic considerations include mild
chronic small vessel ischemic changes, vasculitis, demyelinating
disease and Lyme disease.

I looked up what I could, and I am confused. Does this mean I could have Lyme? I am a bundle of nerves, why would she say all was normal? I was better off before reading this.

Post Edited (summerblue) : 7/13/2015 8:21:44 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/16/2015 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, New to group. Not sure how all this stuff works. I have a 22 yr old daughter who suffers from what I believe to be hemiplegic migraines. We have been to numerous types of doctors over the past 10 years and had several different types of tests done. Oddly enough these have only happened every 2 to 3 years with periods of either some loss of eye sight or mild muscle spasms or normal head pressure in between. Then when an episode happens all of these things happen at an alarming rate bringing on muscle spasms from the face down to the point of paralysis on both sides until the migraine is over. the muscles contract and become rigid and all limbs curl in tightly and cannot be loosened. This has happened the last 2 times and lasted for more than 4 hours each time. Once the muscles loosen and limbs can be straightened it takes at least an entire day for the muscles to stop constricting and become normal. The entire episode can last 2 o 3 days. I recently came upon research about the hemiplegic migraines and will be calling another neurologist for further evaluation. Hope this info helps someone. I welcome any comments. Hope I can find m way back to this page. :)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2018
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/26/2018 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi summerblue,

I know it’s been awhile since this post but I was wondering if anything ever came of your situation and if anything was figured out. I had a very similar situation to you besides the lymes disease note at the end of my MRI. I hope all is well!

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