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Hemiplegic Migraine Sufferer... found out to have had a Stroke on MRI

I started having migraines when I was very young. The earliest I remember was when I was 6 years old but I guess I was even younger than that. When I was very young I used to get them infrequently (I guess at times of either excitement or stress of exams) and they used to follow the same pattern: the aura (“mum I can’t see things are vanishing, or I have a flashing light in front of my eyes) and then I would have pins and needles or numbness that would spread up my arms to my face and then everything would sound strange and echoey... these symptoms were a prequel to the immense pain I would suffer and would eventually make me vomit several times until my stomach was empty. Even the next day when I was sent back to school I would feel delicate, and describe the after effects of my migraine as a ‘shaky headache’ as every time I moved I could feel the pain.
As I turned 16 my Migraine cycle changed to include Aphasia (at the works medical center, I couldn’t even say which department I worked in ... they thought I had had a Stroke)
Then came Migraleve if I caught the Aura in the early stages I could sones stop the attack from progressing. The sumatriptans were Ok but seemed to cause more of the same. Naratriptans seemed to be the best for me in stopping the headache at the visual aura stage with no other symptoms ( provided I drunk it down with gallons of water or other liquid to ensure it was completely in my system) I took these for approximately 25-30 years... they were my lifesaver (especially if I was working).
While living in Florida I sought the attention of a Neurologist as my Migraines were becoming more frequent, he prescribed Topiramate and Zanex together they really helped.
In the UK when I returned they took me off the Zanex and the migraines and my ‘normal headaches’ gradually picked up their pace.
A few months ago I felt a numbness in my big toe that had been there for a couple of weeks so eventually went to the doctor because I was concerned that it affect my balance... he wasn’t too concerned and asked me to return if it was still a problem in a few weeks. I left it a month and the problem seemed to have spread to the next 2 toes. I was referred to a neurologist, he sent me for MRI Scans of Head and Spine ... 6 weeks later I was informed by the consultant I had had a small stroke!
This had been a shock.
I am a non smoker have a good BNI (147lbs 5’6”) Cholesterol was ok, blood pressure low, heart beat normal
Eat Healthily: fresh veg, meat most days
Exercise most days: have a dog!
Stress high
Currently doing every test under the sun (under NHS UK) have put me on Statins 40mg straight away (!) Blood Thinners Clopidogrel 75mg, Amitriptyline 10mg to prevent migraines/ ease pain/ help with stress

Anyone been in a similar situation?
Sue Pashley

  1. Hi suepashley1,

    First let me say I'm sorry I haven't responded to you sooner and I'd like to thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us.

    I've not experienced anything like, but I'm sure others will be along shortly to share their story if they have.

    I can tell you people who have migraine with aura are at an increased risk of stroke. Let me share our information on migraine disease and stroke with you; https://migraine.com/?s=stroke.

    I hope this helps!
    Nancy

    1. Hi suepashley1,

      First let me say I'm sorry I haven't responded to you sooner and I'd like to thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us.

      I've not experienced anything like, but I'm sure others will be along shortly to share their story if they have.

      I can tell you people who have migraine with aura are at an increased risk of stroke. Let me share our information on migraine disease and stroke with you; https://migraine.com/?s=stroke.

      I hope this helps!
      Nancy

      1. Hello Sue,
        I used to have this type of migraine 50% of the time, back when I had five to seven migraines a week. I suffered aura, loss of motor control, couldn't speak, could barely move and a couple of times, could not even will myself to breathe. Thank God he did not let me die over this. Over the years my trigger management has gotten better, but 2 months ago, stress caught me off guard and I went through 3 weeks of 2-3 migraine days, had a week "off" and then, two more weeks of it. Now I have strange things going on in my left eye and I look like I aged 5 years. At one point during the last week, I suddenly felt that this moment was the one in which I would have that stroke. I don't know if I did. When I am back to work with insurance, I will go back to a neurologist and get oxygen to stop the fragrance trigger from effecting me anymore. My heart goes out to you. I cannot take any Triptans as they shut my Colon's blood supply off the last time and my gastroenterologist thought I was going to die. But he kept that to himself, had me on jello & broth for 5 weeks, then was astounded that my colon completely healed. All I can do now is equate migraine medicine and an ice pack. But when I'm able to get oxygen, I will have a lot less trouble!

        1. Hi ,

          Thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us. I understand how difficult it is to access medical care without insurance. The thing is when we experience new and/or different symptoms it's important to let the doctor know so he can make sure everything checks out OK.

          Will you let me know how you are?
          Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate/Moderator

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