General chatter - Does this sound ike a migraine? Has anyone else experienced this?




ThicknPretty
07-20-2010, 10:13 AM
So, I've been polling everyone in my life the past few days to get their opinions on something that happened to me recently...and I figured I'd ask here, too!

Friday night: Totally normal night. I had eaten normally that day, wasn't feeling sick or anxious or different at all and then BAM. I walked through the front doors of Target (with my 6 year old son in tow) and I couldn't feel my legs. At the same time I lost feeling in my legs, my head began throbbing and screaming in pain. I've NEVER had a headache in my life and it was very near to the worst pain I've ever experienced. My vision became blurry and I felt completely uncoordinated and disoriented. Embarassingly enough, I also peed on myself and couldn't feel it.

I ended up calling my mom to come pick me up and she took me to the E.R. On the way there and while waiting for her to get me, I began to experience difficulty speaking. I was saying things backwards if I could even form the words at all. My hands were tingly. The headache raged on. At the E.R., they did a cat scan, an EKG and drew blood...all came back fine and the doctor said I had experienced an "atypical migraine".

Since then, I have been googling a lot and talking to people. I have heard of some pretty severe symptoms, but the ones that worry me the most, I can't find any reference to (those being the numb legs, the slurred speech). I'm really considering getting a 2nd opinion and am just curious if anyone else has ever experienced this....


Belease
07-20-2010, 10:16 AM
I get migraines a lot, and nothing like that has ever happened to me. I'm not a doctor, so I can't say if you experienced a migraine or not, but I do think you should get a second opinion right away.

I hope you get this sorted out as soon as you can.

Passionista
07-20-2010, 10:18 AM
Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, speaking backwards, urinating on oneself unconsciously, tingling in the hands, numbness in legs/inability to feel ones' legs are NOT commonly associated with migraine at all.

That sounds very frightening and I'm sorry that happened to you, but am glad your mother was there to help take you to the ER.

I'd follow up with your general practitioner and see if they feel further testing and perhaps a neurological referral is indicated.


Satine
07-20-2010, 10:20 AM
Sorry to hear that this happened, but DEFINITELY get a 2nd opinion quickly...

Carri

annie175
07-20-2010, 10:26 AM
Sounds more like a stroke to me.

westernsoutherngirl
07-20-2010, 10:37 AM
I agree. Had tons of migraines myself and no experiences like that! I agree with Annie that it sounds more like a minor stroke or an aneurysm. Please get a second opinion -this isn't anything to mess around with!

parkedout
07-20-2010, 10:46 AM
I have migraines. And NONE of that happens to me. I get the pounding headache, the light and sound sensitivity and pain around the eyes and temple.

I think it sounds like a stroke.


:( Let us know! I am thinking of you....:hug:

Beach Patrol
07-20-2010, 11:38 AM
I agree with others here! - I've had migraines, and what you're describing sounds like a stroke. My great grandmother & my grandmother both died of strokes - and my mother has had a light one... this is nothing to mess around with! - I'd definitely get a 2nd opinion! And a 3rd if necessary!

~here's wishing you good health!

bargoo
07-20-2010, 11:38 AM
I have had migraines since I was 18 and have not experienced the symptoms you describe. I would want to know what the doctor means by "atypical"
Migraines typically have light sensitivity and sometimes nausea. My first clue that I am about to have one is sensitivity to light, that is simplifying it a bit , but most migraine sufferers experience that. I would check with the doctor. Tell him you have talked to several migraine sufferers and they don't have the same experience that you describe.

Lori Bell
07-20-2010, 02:57 PM
Awhile back you posted a thread about forcing yourself to vomit up your food on occasion. Are you still purging and did you tell your ER doctor of your past history of purging? This is very significant in your symptoms and should be addressed honesty with your physician. Search "Bulimia and stroke" to find out more. Purging can also contribute to ruptured disc in your back and neck, causing severe head pain and dizzy spells.

CrystalZ10
07-21-2010, 01:23 AM
Sounds more like a stroke to me.
Me too. Get a second opinion for sure. :hug:

Bry1638
07-21-2010, 08:24 PM
I suffer from migraines, have seen a neurologist, etc, and that was NOT a migraine. That sounds much worse. I've never heard of anyone losing feeling or peeing themselves. Plus, migraines usually start out dull and get worse, they don't just come on out of the blue like that.

lizziep
07-21-2010, 11:07 PM
update????

pinkflower
07-21-2010, 11:13 PM
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/strokes/htm/index.htm

I have migraines, get dizzy, nauseous, throw up, lose vision,get tingly, but never some of your other symptoms. I hope that you will get a 2nd opinion. Please look at the link above, it really does sound more like a stroke, as others mentioned, There are drugs that can prevent disability or death!!

sarahyu
07-22-2010, 12:29 PM
I agree with everyone else. My migraines come on gradually, with auras-little floating things in my eyes sometimes, light and noise sensitivity. Nausea, vomiting and I even get diarrjea which is absolutely no fun because it usually happens at the same time I want to upchuck. Kind of feels like part of my head wants to explode.

Speach problems, and not feeling your legs definately not part of migraines. Check with your primary care doctor immediately and push for answers.

Atypical tends to mean-"hey it's not what I think it should be" in medical speak.

Sarah

Satine
07-23-2010, 11:26 AM
Yes, we need an update please....we worry .... :o)

ThicknPretty
07-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Aww thank you girls so much for thinking of me and taking interest. It's really very sweet!

I have an appointment with my PCP in a little over a week. I've continued my research and am pretty convinced that what I experienced was a stroke. I'm not going to rush in and self-diagnose or be all melodramatic, but it just adds up to look as if it was. The American Heart Association web site lists the signs and symptoms of a stroke and I had every single one that day.

And I've had a mild, dull headache ever since it happened...which was a week ago! And I've had several episodes of feeling downright baffled and confused by really simple things...counting out change when paying for things, etc. This makes me really sad and scared...but I'm not going to jump to any conclusions or panic...

Thanks again, everyone, really...the advice and support and concern is amazing here. :)

westernsoutherngirl
07-23-2010, 03:49 PM
Okay Thicknpretty - just promise us worriers that you will keep us up to date! Hang in there! And if the severe symptoms return go to the ER immediately!

babenwaiting
07-23-2010, 11:04 PM
Sad to say, I've had too much experience with "atypical" migraines ... I get the very rare Basilar Migraines, and they can cause almost any symptom that a stroke does (the symptoms eventually subside but can linger for months/even years), and in fact, can cause a stroke. I am 9 times as likely to have a stroke as the average person. I've had my balance permanently damaged by them. It took me many years to be properly diagnosed, but the first very serious one was when I was 27 (I'm now 66.) I have a friend with this condition who did have a mini-stroke, but fully recovered. If you take birth control pills, I would get off them as quickly as possible!!! You need to see a good neurologist who can advise you as to exactly what your problem is, and whether there is preventative medicine that will help you. My very best wishes to you ...

Windchime
07-23-2010, 11:15 PM
I have migraines and have never had one come on suddenly like that, nor have I experienced numbness in my legs or uncontrolled urination. I'm worried that you are having to wait another week to see your doctor, especially since your head is still hurting.

GoldenLeaf
07-23-2010, 11:38 PM
My dad has had several TIA [mini-strokes] and that's exactly how his events were. Hope you get the right help you need. He had to go on medication and has to be monitored regularly for BP etc.

Personally, I wouldn't wait a week to see someone about this.

Smiling_Sara
07-23-2010, 11:49 PM
I get migraines a lot, and nothing like that has ever happened to me. I'm not a doctor, so I can't say if you experienced a migraine or not, but I do think you should get a second opinion right away.

I hope you get this sorted out as soon as you can.

same. well, I haven't had one in a few months *crosses fingers* but I do get them, I've never experienced not being able to feel my legs, or slurred speech, they basically make me want to shove an ice pick through my temple to eleviate the pounding, agnanizing pain.

Natasha1534
07-24-2010, 12:14 AM
I would want to know what the doctor means by "atypical"

It means "not typical." ;) Which is the point I was going to make when everyone kept saying they have migraines but have never had anything like that. HOWEVER...I agree that it sounds more like a stroke than a migraine. I have migraines as well and have had some rather debilitating ones, but never to the point of slurred speech and movement problems (classic stroke signs).

babenwaiting
07-24-2010, 12:24 AM
As I said above, I get Basilar migraines, and had numbness in one quarter of my body and slurred speech with the first one (ended up being checked out in the hospital.) Some rare kinds of Migraine can cause symptoms indistinguishable from a stroke; the OP needs to be evaluated by a very good neurologist. I have both Classic and Basilar migraines ... it's no picnic! :(

Cglasscock1
07-24-2010, 12:33 AM
In your research, did you find out about Trans Ischemic Strokes, or TIA's?
They are little mini-strokes that can cause the symptoms you had. My aunt once had one at the top of an escalator in a large store and suddenly could not remember where she was. TIA's can lead to full strokes, so please let your doctor know all the symptoms you had.

mandalinn82
07-24-2010, 01:31 AM
It sounds to me like your doc followed the standard of care for working up symptoms that might be a basilar or hemiplegic migraine or might be a stroke.

Basilar-Type Migraine presents symptoms that can mimic other, far more serious conditions. It is essential that the diagnosis be definitive and correct. An imaging study such as a CT scan or MRI should be performed to rule out other causes for the symptoms, and an EEG is often performed to rule out seizure disorders
http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/types-of-headaches-40278-5_2.html

Hemiplegic migraine. Temporary paralysis (hemiplegia) or nerve or sensory changes on one side of the body (such as muscle weakness). The onset of the headache may be associated with temporary numbness, dizziness, or vision changes. These need to be differentiated from a stroke.
http://women.webmd.com/guide/migraines-headaches-migraines?page=2

It surprises me that they did an EKG and not an EEG, though.

So yes, the symptoms you experienced could be caused by a stroke, but they absolutely also could be caused by a basilar migraine or hemiplegic migraine. The CT that they performed was to rule out stroke..if they sent you home, it read normal (and that's not a 100% guarantee of no stroke activity, but it's a pretty good indicator, especially combined with bloodwork and minor symptom variations). The CT indicates that your ER doc took stroke into consideration, evaluated you for it, and found that your symptoms were more consistent with a rare type of migraine than with a TIA or other type of stroke (probably also contributing to the diagnosis was the length of the episode. Most TIAs stop causing symptoms within an hour to an hour and a half...if you were in the ER longer than that, that's another sign that something else is responsible for the pain) Which is a good thing!

You definitely DO want to see a neurologist, especially because you are worried it might be something else, and because basilar migraine can increase your RISK for stroke in the future. And if you're really stressed out about it or your symptoms change, I'd really try to get seen sooner if you can. But about 20% of people who present to the ER with the classic symptoms of stroke are having some sort of event that is a "stroke mimic", including migraine.

Bottom line: There is no way that anyone on the internet with a description of your symptoms, no matter what experience they have with stroke or even in the medical field, can diagnose you better than the ER doctor who read your CT, bloodwork, and other results. Get a second opinion, definitely, but not from a message board.

This reminds me of what happened to me this past March. I basically developed EVERY (and I mean EVERY) symptom of appendicitis. Textbook case, so much so that the physicians who were admitting me were already reassuring me about an appendectomy, and making jokes about it ("You still have your appendix? NOT FOR LONG!"). Sent me up for a routine, confirmation CT...appendix came back normal. Turns out, I had an extremely atypical stomach flu that mimicked appendicitis.

I'm sure if I posted on a message board my symptoms, a whole lot of people would have said "Hey, that sounds like appendicitis! Get a second opinion! My uncle/sister/cousin/friend had those exact symptoms and it was the appendix!". And they'd be right, of course, that it DID sound just like appendicitis (which is why I went to the ER and the docs were joking around about my future operation), and I actually did get a second opinion from my primary care doc the next day...but in the end, symptoms be darned, it was just a very atypical stomach bug.

Hopefully your second opinion will agree with the first (which WAS based on standard of care testing and the best information that doctor had) will be right, and you just had a rare type of migraine headache.

:hug: to you! Keep us posted!

mandalinn82
08-04-2010, 04:08 PM
Hey - any update? Been thinking about you and hoping all is well!

bargoo
08-04-2010, 05:13 PM
It means "not typical." ;) Which is the point I was going to make when everyone kept saying they have migraines but have never had anything like that. HOWEVER...I agree that it sounds more like a stroke than a migraine. I have migraines as well and have had some rather debilitating ones, but never to the point of slurred speech and movement problems (classic stroke signs).

I get that atypical means not typical , so if it is not typical what is it ? That was the point I was trying to make.
Doctors use these terms forgetting that much of the time we don't know what they mean. We need to learn to ask "What does that mean ? "

Natasha1534
08-04-2010, 09:30 PM
I get that atypical means not typical , so if it is not typical what is it ? That was the point I was trying to make.
Doctors use these terms forgetting that much of the time we don't know what they mean. We need to learn to ask "What does that mean ? "
I'm not sure where the confusion is. It's something that doesn't normally happen w/ migraines but sometimes it does...so it's not the typical symptoms but it is still a symptom. Or are you wanting a deeper explanation for what the symptoms might be other than an atypical migraine???

ThicknPretty
08-04-2010, 10:25 PM
Hey guys, thanks for checking in! Mandalinn, thank you for that additional info, too! It's so nice that anyone gives a rats butt and you always find the info that I can't!

I wondered about the atypical thing too, though. I mean...it seems so broad.

Went to my doctor. She feels like what I experienced was in fact an atypical migraine, but the type that is often a precurser (sp) to a TIA and mini-strokes. My maternal grandmother began having mini-strokes and seizures at a very young age, so genetics can also come into play. For now, there is not a lot they can do, but she encouraged me to monitor my symptoms (such as the mild confusion and memory loss, loss of coordination). There is a medication that I can take if I feel another of these migraines coming on to lessen the intensity...I really, really, really hope I never go through that again!

bargoo
08-05-2010, 11:56 AM
I'm not sure where the confusion is. It's something that doesn't normally happen w/ migraines but sometimes it does...so it's not the typical symptoms but it is still a symptom. Or are you wanting a deeper explanation for what the symptoms might be other than an atypical migraine???

I am not at all confused about migraines having suffered from them for many years, as did my mother and her mother before her. I am only suggestng that ThickNPretty got a pretty vague description from her doctor of what happened to her, leaving her with a lot of questions. She got more information from this forum than she got from the doctor apparently.

Natasha1534
08-05-2010, 08:04 PM
I am not at all confused about migraines having suffered from them for many years, as did my mother and her mother before her. I am only suggestng that ThickNPretty got a pretty vague description from her doctor of what happened to her, leaving her with a lot of questions. She got more information from this forum than she got from the doctor apparently.
I think I'm not communicating what I'm trying to say very well. I'm not referring to migraine...I'm pretty familiar w/ those myself, unfortunately, but Zomig helps a lot. ;) Anywho, I don't know how to put into words what I was trying to say before.

bargoo
08-05-2010, 08:36 PM
I think I'm not communicating what I'm trying to say very well. I'm not referring to migraine...I'm pretty familiar w/ those myself, unfortunately, but Zomig helps a lot. ;) Anywho, I don't know how to put into words what I was trying to say before.

Well, what are you referring to ? You've got my curiosity up.
The origional poster was asking about migraines.

ThicknPretty
08-05-2010, 10:03 PM
I think what bothers me about the word atypical is that it could mean pretty much anything and there is a lot that could fall into that category. There is typical, which is your normal, run of the mill migraine with all of it's usual symptoms...and then apparently there is atypical...which means...what...anything that isn't typical? That's quite a bit...

Natasha1534
08-06-2010, 12:08 AM
Well, what are you referring to ? You've got my curiosity up.
The origional poster was asking about migraines.

LMAO...I'm talking about "ATYPICAL"...I don't know where everybody got lost w/ that seeing as there were quotes and discussion on it. *shrugs*

And this...

I think what bothers me about the word atypical is that it could mean pretty much anything and there is a lot that could fall into that category. There is typical, which is your normal, run of the mill migraine with all of it's usual symptoms...and then apparently there is atypical...which means...what...anything that isn't typical? That's quite a bit...

...is what I was trying to ask.

bargoo
08-06-2010, 01:46 PM
I felt that her doctor should have explained what a typical migraine is and what makes this atypiclal. It seems that she was left with a lot of unanswered questions. Doctors use phrases that don't mean much to us that don't have medical training.

babenwaiting
08-08-2010, 07:34 PM
ThickNPretty, I really wish you'd see a good neurologist. Many family doctors are not that familiar with atypical migraines, so don't know what's best for them. There are medications that help classic migraine that can, in fact, make a Basilar migraine much worse and more damaging.

amyleigh
08-08-2010, 08:12 PM
i've been getting migraines for about 12 years now. they always start with numbness in my face and hands and blurry vision, sometimes to the point where i can't see anything but shadows. when they hit hard, i can't feel my lower body but i can still control it (it's numb but not paralyzed). i've never lost control of my bladder, however if i got the first one at this age i might be so scared from it that i would. i don't have backwards speech, but like when i get a high fever, i don't make sense because the pain is so bad. i'll frequently use wrong words that have NOTHING to do with what i'm trying to say and not realize it (My mom always refers to the time at 3 am when i was trying to ask for exedrin and kept asking for the car keys...i knew i wanted medicine and to me that's what i was asking for). i also get very nauseated and have uncontrollable vomitting. i also get the shakes because of the pain. typically the extreme pain will last from 2-10 hours, with a bearable headache anywhere from 2-5 days after. i get pretty extreme, but even these symptoms aren't quite the same as yours. i can see why a doctor would say that, however. you may have had a more severe version of the migraines i get.

Mulberry14
08-08-2010, 10:25 PM
There's a good book called "The Migraine Brain" by Carolyn Bernstein, MD

It has the definition of Basilar Migraine in it and some information. Much of the book is about just living with migraine, and triggers and such, but I think that the two chapters on "How To Find The Right Doctor" and "When You Have To Go To The Emergency Room" would be helpful for you.

I know you said, you just wish it never happens again, but better safe than sorry.

She discusses things such as having a note from your neurologist indicating what kind of medication the ER should give you, so they don't give you the wrong kind for your kind of migraine.