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Numerous symptoms including intense muscle spasms

I've struggled intermittently with migraines, usually preceded by sparks in my vision and vision loss, for almost 20 years now.

But recently I've been having strange episodes. The first episode was the most severe, and I was in so much pain and confusion, I called an ambulance.

It started with tingling and pins/needles in my arms and legs followed by vision loss. Then I developed a strong brain fog that escalated to where I was having difficulty forming words and sentences in my head and difficulty speaking. After that, my thigh muscles started cramping. The spasms were so intense that after the episode, I realized I'd managed to pull the muscles in my legs which caused walking to be difficult. I developed an all over ache and my breathing was slow and shallow. I forgot to breathe several times.

I take lithium, so I was afraid of lithium toxicity. I ended up calling 911 (after driving myself home, which was ill-advised, but I was so out of it making decisions was difficult). They gave me an EKG, and told me it was all anxiety and that it wasn't worth it to go to the ER since there was an average 6 hour wait.

So I went to bed and woke up the next day with what felt like the worst hangover ever and pulled muscles in my legs.

I've had a few episodes similar to that one, but less severe. All of them have had muscle spasms that resulted in pulled muscles. One involved the. Muscles on the outside of my forearm, and my hand became clumsy and slightly numb.

I went to my doctor who told me it was all probably just a vasovagal response. That didn't sit right with me, so I requested a referral to a neurologist. I went to the neurologist and he seems to think it's complex migraines. He gave me medication to take when I feel the symptoms coming on. And I have to go in for an MRI.

I guess I'm wondering... Is this normal migraine behavior? Am I wrong to feel a bit off about all these medical professionals being so quick to write off my symptoms?

I take testosterone, and one of my doctors immediately jumped on that as a possible cause. I don't know why doctors are so quick to blame HRT, but boy do they like to do it. Although, that same doctor also mentioned the possiblity of MS, which I don't really know much about.

I don't know. I'm just kind floating through doctors appointments wondering who's right and who's wrong.

  1. That sounds like a very scary experience. I know it can be frustrating for different medical providers to have different opinions. Did you explore the lithium question you had? Migraines can be so different for everyone so it's tough to say what's "normal". Please keep us updated on how you're doing. April - Team

    1. This is absolute thinking out loud here -- I am not a migraine expert at all so please, talk to your doctor if you think these thoughts are interesting. First, there's hemiplegic migraine, which often looks like a stroke in that you can go numb, tingle and have serious issues thinking and speaking clearly. But that is usually only one side of the body (hence the name HEMIplegia). Cramping and muscle spasms can be caused by an imbalance of electrolytes or other nutrients, and those same imbalances can be a trigger for migraine. Lastly, there are other conditions that mimic migraine, so I would continue the process of ruling out as much as you can and seeking out other doctors until you find one who is willing to listen and take you seriously. Have you had a chance to use the medication you were given? I hope it works out for you and that you can get to the bottom of this. -Melissa, team

      1. - What a horrifying experience. I hope you find out what is happening sooner than later. I absolutely agree with what April and Melissa wrote above. As I read your description above, I was just wondering how were your labs? Did they take your labs in the ER? As Melissa stated - imbalances in electrolytes and nutrients surely can cause muscle spasms and pain. I would consider what your physicians are offering as reasons for such pain and discomfort - lithium has horrible side effects, as well as HRT, and MS is a possibility. Is there a way you can work it out with your doctors to see if holding off on one or the other treatment to see if this helps - if it is an option? Sending you vibes of pain relief and pain-free days ahead ~ Rebecca (community advocate)

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