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New and Interesting Migraine

Hello world. I'm a 23 year old male who just recently experienced some interesting symptoms. For about a week I have had small spurts of pulsating pain, primarily on the left side of my head. The feeling was as if my left (or right) side of the head pulsed all together. It is a mild pain that leaves the second the pulse ends. It's happens rather often; more random than continuous.

This seems all well and normal, save that I experienced a bizarre collection of symptoms this past weekend. It was super late at night, and I was smoking a joint with a friend of mine. I was quite stoned. I decided to follow my friend outside to finish our discussion on out porch, when I suddenly become very cold. (This is normal of me. My body temperature will drop sometimes if I'm stationary in cold weather.) Suddenly feeling chilly, I ran back inside. I began to warm up, however, I still felt as though my head was shivering (or in some sort of a chill). I then experienced what I could only describe as the feeling of a "bubble bursting" in my environment. I was greatly confused, weak, and (strangest of all) found it very difficult to speak. I could barely muster simple sentences. I instantly recognized that something was wrong, and immediately tried to communicate this to my roommate. I calmed myself and slowly reconstructed my ability to speak. The whole situation lasted 5 minutes. No pain.

The obvious question here: "Weren't you stoned?" Well yes, however, in all my years of experience smoking marijuana I have never experienced this sensation. I do find it difficult to speak while stoned, however, the sensation is entirely different. Also, my natural stoned aphasia doesn't last 5 minutes, it last until I'm no longer stoned. The sensation I felt was one of my mind briefly slipping away from me, then returning. Further, I'm a professional mathematician, and find it within my ability to do math stoned -- I never feel as though my mind has slipped away the way it did this past weekend.

My immediate thought was that I was having a stroke, or some sort of strange panic attack. Coincidentally, I had a planned doctors appointment the next morning. I told my doctor what I had experienced, and he felt that given my history that it was likely a complicated migraine and not a stroke. I did not go through any serious medical evaluation.

A few days later and I still feel the pulsating headache on the left side of my head, coming and going. Again, the pain is not severe, only mild. Totally random. It's more annoying now then before, but largely because I've been freaked out by the whole incident this past weekend.

A few notes about my person:
I'm 23 year old male in good shape. I eat healthy, vegetarian, and mostly drink water. I do not drink alcohol often, and moderately when I do. I'm not exercising as much as I normally do, but I still walk multiple miles to work (and back) every day.
I have a personal and family history of migraines. Mostly visual, blurry vision and lightheadedness. Sometimes headaches. I also have a history of aphasia -- randomly loosing my ability to recall simple words and names.
I haven't had prolonged headaches like this before (that I can remember), but I have been under sustained stress for some time now and am under significantly more stress recently than the normal amount of sustained stress.

I may still get further checked out. I'm not asking for a full on diagnosis. In fact, the last time I asked the Internet for a diagnosis, it told me I was going to die -- turned out I had a cold. There was that one time I tried inquiring about what turned out to be flea bites -- dead again.
I would appreciate any advice or shared experiences! Thank you!

  1. I get a pulsing pain like that right before my migraines. I am 24/7 headache so my pain level will bounce around, I get a europhia for an afternoon with mild pain, crying fit and deep depression for up to 8 hours, one or two pulses of pain like you and then WAM migraine. Maybe it is A migraine trying to start but not quite able to? I would keep track of the symptoms and see if there is a pattern (come on when you go out partying, not sleeping, not drinking enough water etc.

    It may be cluster headaches as well so you can ask your doctor about that.

    1. Check out this article from a Harvard professor on urgent vs non-urgent headaches. It also has a pretty cool quiz you can take when you have a headache.

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