Bad Migraine

Not a Tumah!

Sorry I have been out of commission today. I have suffered from migraine auras usually without headache for years now, but I’ve never had one this bad. Usually they start out as a dot on my field of vision that sparkles a bit, then expands to kind of a zig zaggy dazzling pattern. In the affected area, I can’t really see.

Usually the process runs through in less than an hour and I’m OK. Today I’ve been getting multiple waves of expanding auras and the dot area it usually starts as has persisted, which interferes with being able to read.

I went to urgent care this afternoon and the doctor (who also suffers from them) checked me out and agreed the symptoms were that of a migraine. Eyes fine, arteries seemed to be moving blood fine, oxygenation fine, pulse and BP pretty high, but I have white coat pretty bad. No symptoms of anything indicating possible stroke. Doctor prescribed Sumatriptan, with the warning that it doesn’t often work. Took the first dose and the dot is still there, though not throwing off expanding auras anymore. Just took the second dose, so we’ll see if that helps, but I’m not optimistic.

I’ve had enough of these auras I usually shrug them off, but this one is terrifying because it’s hung around all day. In the mean time, reading is possible but difficult with that part of my field of vision distorted. Laying down in a dark room helps, but I can only do that so much before going stir crazy. I’m just hoping I don’t have a damned brain tumor or something.

Compared to some of my friends who have them, I have it easy. One can be debilitated with pain and light sensitivity for days at a time. Until now I’ve gotten off easy.

19 thoughts on “Bad Migraine”

  1. I didn’t even know what migraine auras were until a few years ago. Then I was working on something that was really pissing me off, and all these psychedelic displays started, pretty much as you describe. I headed for the ER not knowing what was going on, but they went away almost as soon as I got in the car, and the ER was crowded, so I didn’t get checked out. I don’t remember how I figured out it was migraine aura. I’ve had several since, but much milder. I don’t get headaches, at all, knock on wood.

    However — about twenty years ago I temporarily lost the vision in one eye. At the time it was diagnosed by speculation that I had had a temporary blockage in the artery to the retina, which left no after-effects. But, what I was seeing along the way was, like looking through pebbled glass. I have since heard that is within the spectrum of migraine aura symptoms.

    Whatever, it’s all scary stuff. Take care!

    1. Yeah…. I was wondering when it wasn’t expanding if it might be a retinal issue, but I see it in both eyes, which is usually migraine. I’ve read some people have color auras. Mine are black and white. Color would probably at least look cooler :)

  2. Try a daily magnesium suppliment. My migraines are painful, last until I sleep, and accompanied by photophobia and increased sensitivity to smells, but since taking pills with “the body’s sparkplug” they’ve nearly ceased. Never seen an aura though.

    1. You, and Sebastian, and I, are actually really lucky. I have a friend who has had almost continuous migraines for years, to the extent that they collected Social Security disability. They just couldn’t work, or do much else. A couple years ago they began receiving a new therapy that involves receiving an infusion therapy that keeps them in the hospital for several days, every six months to a year, whenever the migraines come back. But it does give them long term relief they hadn’t had in decades, and they had tried literally everything else known to medicine.

      1. Yeah, I read a study of people who had what they call Persistent Migraine Auras, that lasted years. Though, I’ve learned not to google things. The people on forums and such for sufferers are usually worst case scenarios, and studies tend to be those people too.

      2. I have had the aura for years, always lasted 20 minutes. Then my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Soon after that lost vision in my right eye, came back within 5 minutes lots of tests no answer.happended three more times each occurrence showing different effects. Lots and lots of tests. Diagnosed as complex migraines. Doc put me on verapamil blood pressure meds because it helps reduce migraines. No right eye problems 2 very short 20% vision loss in left eye. Still get the usual aura.

  3. I used to get migraines every month or so, more in the summer and heat, though. The only thing that would get me through was a pitch black and cool room plus a damp, cool cloth across my brow – and eventually sleep.

    About 15 years ago, I developed sciatica from wearing a wallet in my back pocket. My primary care doc (a DO) suggested a chiropractor. After the initial consult, the chiropractor asked me if I had frequent headaches, and I told him about the migraines. He didn’t say much until 6 months later when he asked me if I had had any more headaches or migraines. No…. Not a one.

    When I moved to PA for a new job, a stopped going to the chiropractor. A year later – 1st migraines in 10 years. I found a new Chiropractor and haven’t had one since.

    When my son turned 10, he started to get frequent headaches, not migraine level, but bad enough to really bother him – and my wife and I. I took him to my chiropractor to see if he might be able to help. My son hasn’t had an unexplainable headache (not related to a cold / virus) since.

    I’m not saying that a chiropractor will cure you, but it might be worth a few adjustments. Knowing your profession, you’d probably benefit regardless.

  4. I have had migraines since I was 4. Ive tried a lot of the meds now, so personally I would suggest maxalt, although chiropractic care from a DO also works.

    My aura is funny, I get synesthesia. I smell touch. Smooth things have a mint like quality, rougher things are horrible smelling. At least that is the closest I can describe it.

  5. Is that what that is? Learned something new. I just assumed it was low blood sugar.

    Colorful sparkly psychedelic arcs in the outside area with a dark gray spot just under the center of focus.


  6. I’ve had mild optical migraines where the center of my vision “whites out” and loses contrast, as though the brightness on an old TV is turned up too high.

    I decided that my case is likely related to muscle tension and strain. I have a tendency to tense up the muscles in my shoulders and neck, and the dentist said I’ve been grinding my teeth. I bought a new pillow and a mouth guard for when I sleep, and I try to consciously relax my shoulders when sitting at the computer, and I think that helps.

  7. Wow, and to think some people pay good money to make themselves see things like that!

    Go figure…..

  8. Be well and get better. The internet will be here when you return.

    If its not, we all have bigger problems to worry about than migraines and politics.

  9. I once had one eye’s vision twist several degrees out of sync with the other, so I was seeing double…and a headache followed soon after. I was afraid it might have been a stroke of some sort, but I went in to InstaCare, and it was diagnosed as a migraine.

    I’ve had migraines before that, and since as well…

    Most of my migraines start out as a zigzag, whith then expands to fill my vision, and then becomes a massive headache. After a couple of hours, I’m no longer in the mood to stay in bed, but I’m still feeling completely lousy.

    I’ve never had success trying out medication, though, because while they seem to come in clusters of two or three, those clusters only seem to come once every three to six months — hardly regular enough to experiment with medication, to see what works and what doesn’t!

    While it’s been three or so years since I’ve had a migraine, I’m still worried that I might get clobbered with one. I have a half a dozen “superstitions” that I use to prevent migraines — I used to eat a bit of chocolate and drink a cup of grape juice daily, I wear polarized sunglasses outside, I generally (but not always) avoid sunglasses and M&Ms, for example — but I have no idea if these have had any effect on my migraines. (Indeed, I stopped the chocolate and grape juice thing in part because of the cost, but also in part because I was kindof tired of it, and I wanted to see if I could go without it…and apparently I could…)

    Oh, and I second what others have said: be sure to take it easy! (At least, as easy as needing to complete paid work allows.) We can live with the suspense of waiting for your next post!

  10. Migraine aura seems to be clinically related to what is known as spreading depression/depolarization. I study this dynamic at the center for neural engineering at psu. Check out this broad research review if you are curious:

    Working on speeding up or slowing down the wave front with electric fields, the last piece of my thesis!

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