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Migraines started at age 44?!

TIA for help....around the same time as the quarantine began in the USA, I began to have headaches. My neurologist feels that they are migraines. MRI no contrast negative. Sleep study pending but I've had two in past ten years negative. But I'd never had HA before, and I'm 44. Went through complete surgical menopause years ago and on combined HRT but nothing has changed since then.

It's really scary, not just the pain, but what gets me is the "brain fog," or the cognitive effects. I work in a field I have to use my brain or someone can die, and my brain doesn't return for days! They are also NOT understanding about being absent. The migraine seems to respond to Nurdec some (stops pain and vomiting, but not the dizziness, crushing fatigue, and derpiness). The oral triptans don't do squat, plus many of them have lactose, which I'm allergic to. I'm seeing a second neuro next month to push for a spinal tap which the first wouldn't do - he kind of patted me on the head after a whole 3-min conversation and sent me home. The only other weird thing is my vision astigmatism in my R eye has worsened substantially and suddenly after 20 years of a stable measurement. And I *think* my son and I had covid-19 in Jan 2020, but we can't prove it. This all began in March 2020 but has been the worst this fall, gets worse every month. 🙁
I think my triggers, or the whatever it is, seems to happen a lot more after shopping in stores, wearing masks (nope - not trying to start a political or medical debate lol), or extreme stress. My husband says my hearing becomes sensitive like a bat and my speech gets slurred during these attacks, too. I get very dizzy and sensitive to light and sound and movement...but at the same time I get cravings to listen to 1980s "big hair" rock music, which seems to help some with the pain and nausea!
Did anyone else get migraines starting past age forty? Or anyone have any ideas what it could be? Sorry for the grammar, my brain isn't back from my attack two days ago.

  1. Hi, tortie. Welcome again! It sounds like you've had a rough year. I'm sorry to hear that you're suddenly dealing with so many frustrating and scary symptoms. We can't give medical advice here for your own safety, but many of the things you're experiencing are indeed associated with migraine.

    What you should know is that it's definitely possible to develop migraine after 40 (or at any age). There are so many potential causes, and sometimes there's no apparent trigger.

    The brain fog you are dealing with is a common feature of postdrome. There are four phases of migraine: prodrome, aura, headache, and then postdrome. It's sometimes nicknamed a migraine hangover because of the way it tends to linger after an attack. One of our advocates, Lisa, started a good conversation about this last year. Check the comments too:

    Also, I'm glad you are continuing to seek out a neurologist that gives you the time and attention you deserve. Remember that doctors work for you, not the other way around! You can always seek a second (or third etc.) opinion, and you can leave a doctor who isn't meeting your needs.

    Hopefully others will come along and offer their input, especially regarding your work situation. I know this is only the beginning of your journey, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want and vent whenever you need to. We're here to support you. Sending hugs! -Melissa, team

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