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Maybe Basilar

Hi all,

I have not officially been diagnosed with Basilar-type migraines yet as I still have my MRI-angio on Wednesday to rule out stroke, but my neurologist seemed fairly confident it wasn't a stroke, given that I am only 33. I am in pretty good shape. I workout five days a week (or I used to) and take my nutrition pretty seriously, so I don't drink or smoke. So I would be pretty cheesed if I was having a stroke to be honest. Not that a Basilar-type migraine really sounds a whole lot better.

Having read many of the stories on here, I think I am very fortunate. My doctor has worked very hard for me. I was able to get in to see a neurologist fairly quickly.

I had never had headaches before (other than the odd hangover when I was younger) and the onset was fairly sudden. Nausea and incredible dizziness started first, with headaches starting shortly after. The headaches were located at the base of my skull on the left side. As they would worsen, it would go up into my ear and feel like a screwdriver being driven into my temple.

My aura symptoms don't really seem to follow the typical "attacks" I've read about. Sometimes, I'll have only a couple small ones, but sometimes I'll have a lot. The worst led my mom to think I was having a stroke because I couldn't really figure out how to speak, I had trouble hearing out of one ear and everything looked really weird. It felt. and apparently looked, like I was very stoned (I was not). When I first started having the attacks, I would call them "derping out". I would have these episodes of lowered consciousness. Typically, when I came around I would have a pretty bad headache, but my headaches haven't really stopped. The pain at my ear will come and go, but the pain at the base of my skull has been non-stop. That's I guess what's weird about them.

I'm a lawyer and I can't function. I haven't been able to work much in the past five weeks. I don't know what to do. My doctor has put me on Topomax, but I'm only about a week and a half into that, so we'll see.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Hi Ananas,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. I'm sorry you've been having a rough time, that sound frustrating.

    As much as I wish I could tell you what type of migraine and/or headache disorder, but only a qualified doctor can do that. I can give you information on migraine with brain-stem aura (formerly called basilar-type migraine) and see if that helps; and

    If you don't get anywhere with your doctor, you may want to see a true migraine expert. These doctors are certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology. Here are a couple of articles on how these doctors are different and how to find one; and

    Let me know what you think,

    or create an account to reply.