Auric Migraines Without Pain?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/28/2006 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   



I've just found this forum and I’d be really grateful if anyone knows the answer to this one.


I have about one migraine every 3-4 years, more as a teen and they seem to be getting further apart as an adult, so probably something hormonal. Both my mother and father used to get them but have grown out of them (dad sooner than mum) so probably genetic too.


When I do get them, they are full-on, mind shattering auric migraines. My warning sign is, anywhere up to three hours beforehand, I’ll lose the use of my left arm and side of my face - like going to the dentist and getting an anaesthetic injection, I just go numb. Then that goes away and a few hours later the pain hits. I also get prominent visual distortions, slur my words, lose my balance and so forth. The pain, when it comes, is earth shattering and on more than one occasion the doctor called out has checked for meningitis.


Now, I haven't had a migraine in about four years, so I’m due one. I've been under quite a bit of stress recently, haven't been eating properly, haven't been sleeping properly, probably been consuming too much alcohol and other such things - not taking the best care of myself. To top it off, yesterday I dropped a suitcase on my foot and had to go to A&E feeling like a right plonker - been fidgety with discomfort since, adding to the lack of sleep.


So, getting to the point, I had only a couple of hours kip last night. I got up, went downstairs, made breakfast and as I was coming up the stairs I realised there'd been a reality shift. I felt disembodied, my hand looked a funny colour and made me jump (because I didn't realise it was my hand!), I was disoriented and lost my sense of balance. 'Oh dear' thought I. Lay down to get a few hours kip and the whole of my left side arm/face went dead. 'Oh bollox' thought I.


I fell asleep for a few hours, woken by someone at the door and somewhat confused. The pins and needles have passed, my vision is still a bit squiffy with occasional wafts of motion sickness, I feel floaty and I have an incredibly mild (barely even noticeable) on-and-off headache which feels like a 'not had enough sleep' complaint.


But the auric symptoms earlier were full-on. Slurred speech, prolific visual distortions bordering on hallucinogenic, loss of balance (I fell over twice and walked into a doorframe *sigh*), and the total deadening of one half of my body. Never in my entire life have such symptoms added up to anything less than wanting to die to escape the pain.


I read somewhere a few years ago that there is a class of migraine whereby people experience certain symptoms but don't actually get the pain. Is this true? Would this come under that category perhaps? The only thing different was that I made sure I ate a good breakfast this morning and I’ve eaten well all day - maybe that and the sleep stopped the onset? Although in the past, not eating hasn't been a trigger.


I've had one similar incident about two years ago where I thought I was coming down with the symptoms and then they passed, but nowhere near as vivid as this experience. I was all ready to shutter myself up with a box of horse tranquilisers. The only other slightly odd thing was that, when I woke up this morning, I noticed that my left eyelid was significantly swollen. It's calmed down since.


Any ideas or information really appreciated.


Best wishes,




Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 9/28/2006 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marion,

Welcome to Healing Well. Have you ever seen a Neurologist to get a definitive diagnosis, as if you have not I think you should? Your attacks sound awful, it must be quite disconcerting!!! if you have seen a Doctor, what have they given you to treat this? Please let us know how you get on.

take care


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/28/2006 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the info. Yes, they're not pleasant but my mum used to have them too so I guess I never worried too much because she reassured me from the first one - if you see your parents go through something (like donating blood) you're less panicked about it.

The other thing is that I have them SO rarely, I meant here are years between them so it's not that easy to talk about medically because you're never sure you're going to be able to test out what they give you. It's been so long since the last one that I was pretty convinced I’d lost them for good - today's episode sort of backed that up because although it was a bit unpleasant, there was no pain/full-on migraine.

To be honest, I absolutely hate hospitals and doctors, might be part of the reason I don't pursue things like that - the less time spent around them the better ;) If it was more regular or if they changed substantially then yes, I might do - but I've been seen by call-out doctors and in-house doctors when it's been happening and, although severe, none of them suggested it was something truly terrible.

I guess I think of it as a bit of a rejuvenating experience - I’m just so glad to feel alright the next day that it's like a rebirthing LOL Suddenly a lot of stuff seems quite insignificant - puts things in perspective. If it only happens once in a blue moon then it's not so bad really, bit of a spiritual experience.

I might go do a bit of reading up about things, especially if I have any more odd occurrence. To be honest though, the accident with the suitcase resulted in local anaesthetics being administered, so it could have been a hang-over from that, you never know. Plus huge lack of sleep - so many factors really.

Thanks though, I think I will go off and have a bit of a brows and a read.

Best wishes,


virtual insanity
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/10/2006 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know if you'll check on this being some time gone but I have "migraine" symptoms without the pain and I have it for 5months of the year only in winter and am looking for some help. Please let me know if you get anywhere with this.

Many thanks

a frustrated Virtual Insanity

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/19/2007 3:33 AM (GMT -6)   
This might be helpful...

Acephalgic migraine is a neurological syndrome. It is a variant of migraine in which the patient may experience aura, nausea, photophobia, hemiparesis and other migraine symptoms but does not experience headache. Acephalgic migraine is also referred to as amigrainous migraine, ocular migraine, optical migraine or scintillating scotoma.

Sufferers of acephalgic migraine are more likely than the general population to develop classical migraine with headache.

The prevention and treatment of acephalgic migraine is broadly the same as for classical migraine. However, because of the absence of "headache," diagnosis of acephalgic migraine is apt to be significantly delayed and the risk of misdiagnosis significantly increased.

Visual snow might be a form of acephalgic migraine.
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