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The Difficulty of Conversing During a Migraine Attack

Though personality assessments have me riding the line between introvert and extrovert, most people who know me will tell you that, without a doubt, I am a poster child for extroversion. I am calmer than I used to be, less likely to draw attention to myself and less likely to be the entertainer at get-togethers, but I do love people and draw energy from talking to others. (The introversion does come along frequently, though, as I also need lots of time at home with my partner, my cat, and my delicious library in order to rejuvenate.)

Point is: I am a people-person, and I love talking with people. I am not shy in the least, and it’s fun to work at a business where most people want to talk about a handful of my very favorite things in the world: books, reading, and Athens, Georgia.

A shell of myself

All that changes when I am suffering from a serious migraine at work. Gone is the witty banter, gone is my ability to remember customers’ grandkids’ names so I can ask how they enjoyed their last book purchases from Avid. Gone is my very basic ability for looking people in the eye; gone is my talent for listening.

It’s not as if I’m distracted by pain of the migraine. It’s more like there’s another Janet who has left my body all together. The Janet with the excellent memory for names and interest in chatting up total strangers has seemingly left the building. I feel like a shell of myself, trying to act the way Real Janet would act. Trying to think of things Migraine-Free Janet would say.

Inability to be present

Many months ago, I remember staring into a customer’s face and willing myself to understand what in the world he was talking about. Something about a book he’d just read and the friend he’d recommended it to.  Something very basic that a so-called regular person even halfway paying attention could have followed. But I just couldn’t do it. My brain wasn’t there. The next time I saw my customer-friend, I told him, “I’m so sorry—I was in the midst of a terrible migraine last time I saw you, so I wasn’t really present. I apologize.”  He appreciated being told and, in fact, ended up apologizing to me for talking so much about his book (which was utterly unnecessary, as I opened a bookstore in order to talk about books).

What do you do when you feel your healthy brain slipping away? How do you function—or do you function at all—when you can’t think straight and can’t speak with people as your “regular” self can?

I’d love to hear what you have to say.  I promise to read your responses when I’m migraine-free and able to understand them.  😉

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • NanaC
    4 days ago

    I’m sitting here with tears running down my face while reading this article and all these comments. I have had so many of these same symptoms and many more. On my good days I can function as a nearly normal person. On my off or bad days I can’t hardly carry on a conversation, walk through my house, pour a glass of milk or hold objects in my hand. Some if my symptoms will last for days before the pain actually starts. Preventative meds, pain meds dont take away those other crazy things people dont associate with migraine. For me, the debilitating part is the off balance, visual disturbances muscle weakness, speech disturbances and faint feeling. These symptoms have landed me in the ER as well as hospital for a week. I have had so much difficulty explaining to healthcare professionals, neurologists, etc. that I started to think I was imagining all this. Just to know that there are others that experience the same thing as I let’s me know I’m really not insane. Even though I don’t know you, I love you all for your courage to open up and share something so private. Thank you. You have helped me today.

  • Proud2BHis
    7 days ago

    Another thing that preceded my migraines are odd smells. Electrical burning smells, burning in general, things that are not normal. If I smell these I know a headache is on it’s way. My “normal “ migraines cause nausea, blurred vision, balance problems, sensitivity to light and sound to an extreme.

  • Proud2BHis
    7 days ago

    I have a tendency to slur my words with really severe migraines. I forget common words and even how to spell them. Those are the days that are best spent at home, in bed, in total darkness. The following day I have the migraine hangover! It’s miserable

  • demunck76
    3 weeks ago

    I am an oncology nurse and trying to sound intelligent during these periods or trying to string words of any kind can be very frustrating. Often with the inability to string word and thought I am dizzy can’t walk straight etc.. such a bad combo at that point I can’t practice safely and need to go home. It is good to see others with my “brain fog” and symptoms. I just with they could come up with preventive meds to where we do not experience these symptoms. Maybe soon

  • Ponder62
    3 weeks ago

    This is soooo me!! I get lost in the middle of a sentence, have trouble finding words and can’t can’t even follow the news, a conversation and even movies/ I feel like crawling into a shell!

  • Kristensshaf
    1 month ago

    I often have trouble thinking and putting my thoughts together when I am getting, have or am getting over a migraine. Years ago my son got concerned because I was mixing up my words. He had thought that I was having a stroke. I ended up with a horrendous migraine that day. Now when I mix my words up I know a migraine is coming on. My son will say you must be getting a migraine. I tell people that my brain is on vacation and I didn’t tell me where it went.(people that are not in my immediate family). I just try to laugh it off. I am not around a lot of people anymore as I don’t work, am on disability so that is a relief that I don’t have to be around people and explain my problems. I also tell people that I am not “very sparkly” today when I am “off”. I don’t want to socialize when I am ” head aching “. Normally I am very out going.

  • Savta45
    1 month ago

    Well, with me, cognitive function, migraine pain, nausea, imbalance & a bunch of other migraine symptoms all seem very closely related. So, if I’m not thinking very clearly, but I’m not having much, if any, pain or other symptoms at the moment, I can be sure that other symptoms will be present VERY SHORTLY.
    As for what I do, I try to get through whatever I’m involved in at the time as best I can, with a minimum of mistakes, & a minimum of frustration at my ineptitude if I do make mistakes, which are often pretty much inevitable. I try to get through. And get OUT of the situation, before something bad happens.
    It’s a bit frightening, because I have about the patience of a flea then. I get very frustrated very quickly, which, of course, only makes the situation worse. So, I don’t drive. I get very poor judgement. I’m not even “allowed” up on ladders, taller areas, etc., to garden, without supervision, because I get so clumsy so easily.
    So, I suppose it’s more a question of what I don’t do, rather than what I do. And, that’s what can depress me a lot. The list of what I don’t do is getting longer & longer, unfortunately.

  • SarahBDesigns
    1 month ago

    I still have this even when I don’t have migraine attacks. It is usually part of my operating under brain fog conditions. We’ve started calling it “Sarah’s Crossword Puzzle Clues,” because I can describe everything about the word, but I can’t quite get the word out. For example: “the tall thing with stuff in it” is the bookshelf (pointing usually helps)…or “the juice of lemons” is lemonade. Thankfully, my husband is pretty good at understanding my clues and can translate decently. It is harder at work, but my co-workers are all pretty wonderful, understanding and patient. So it isn’t as bad as it has been in the past.

  • carafair
    1 month ago

    Is it wrong to say that I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that this happens to? Actually, this whole site has become that for me. So many times of thinking “That’s part of my migrain too?!!”

  • Theresa
    1 month ago

    My mother, a happy soul, would speak to me every morning. I have a daily morning headache. Every day she would speak and drive a sharp pain into my soul through my head. I could only barely answer with uh huh. She would be hurt and angry.
    I begged her, please don’t speak to me. She was a nurse. She just never understood. She had one headache her whole life.
    I never could get it across to her. I couldn’t understand what she said nor could I respond. Ahh the migraine life.

  • Peggy Artman moderator
    1 month ago

    Theresa, you are right – some people “just don’t get it.” Sensitivity to sound is a common symptom of migraine and can worsen the pain. I hope you are around quieter people now.

  • UncomfortablyNumb
    2 months ago

    I celebrated the 4th of July in an armchair, listening to my husband watch television while I drifted, eyes covered by my hair (shoutout to long haired gals – it’s multipurpose)

    He asked me a question, and the only thing I could think to say was “words”.

    Good thing he can translate my aphasia into “I have lost my words, therefore, no I don’t care to comment on MasterChef at the moment.”

  • CurtieCarol
    2 months ago

    Don’t be afraid to tell your customer that you have a migraine while it is occurring and that it causes you difficulty in following a conversation. Your customer will actually appreciate the immediate feedback more than feedback delivered after the fact.

  • janiekoher
    2 months ago

    I was a critical care nurse for 40 years, so multitasking and handling complex critical thinking was a given. I powered through episodic migraine my whole life, but when I became intractable, it has stripped away all that I was. I’m in some stage of a migraine all the time, which means I am muddle brained, more than clear headed.by the way, shout out from Bethlehem Ga.

  • Peggy Artman moderator
    2 months ago

    Janiekoher, I can certainly relate to how you are feeling. I had to stop working for the same reasons. I had to deal with chronic pain while my identity was changing since because of not working.

    Do you have a healthcare provider for your intractable migraines? There are some new treatments that you may decide to consider.
    ~ Peggy

  • TheGoonies75
    2 months ago

    Thank you for writing this even if it was quite awhile ago. I commiserate with those commenting recently. When my migraines were at their worst (having 20+ migraine days a month) I felt like I was speaking a foreign language that no one else knew. I knew my words weren’t correct and most people would just stare and/or try not to laugh. I’ve had people think I was having a stroke like other commentators. I go blind in my left eye and lose partial vision in the right eye. I get nauseous, dizzy, etc. I’ve learned to cope with those things. However, the loss of competent communication is the most difficult aspect of migraines I face. I usually just stop trying because it’s so frustrating to not be able to “use your words” as they often teach students. I don’t mind those that tease or laugh at my predicament. It’s the absolute frustration of not being able to form an acceptable sentence to articulate that breaks me. My heart goes out to those still dealing with long duration migraines, too.

  • Donna Marie
    2 months ago

    I don’t even recognize myself when I have a migraine. The last 2 days my pain has been a 10 plus.

  • GrammyB
    2 months ago

    I cannot interact with anyone..just the effort to speak brings me more pain. Even breathing when it extremely bad is an effort. When I worked I would have to call in sick or leave early because I just couldn’t function.Had to put ice packs on my head and go to sleep. It’s funny u think going to sleep will stop it but the pain is sooo bad it takes a while to fall asleep and escape the pain

  • Birdzkitty
    2 months ago

    I call it “migraine brain” however this frustrates my husband. I just tell him if he think the moniker frustrates him try having the problem. I am like this while I’m having the migraine and several days after. It’s like early onset dementia has set on and nobody told me. I look at my husband when we are at restaurants and he has to order for me just so we can get through a meal. It humiliating. Makes me want to cry and crawl under the table.

  • CurtieCarol
    2 months ago

    I forget how to shift gears when I am driving with a migraine.

  • Falcon6
    2 months ago

    I can so relate! I stop talking and keep to myself as much as possible to avoid looking and sounding like an idiot. I get so confused so easily and sometimes it seems as though people are speaking gibberish. I just don’t understand. Of course it is just me and my jumbled brain.

  • dpasek
    2 months ago

    I explain as best I can that my brain just does not work right when I have a migraine and there is nothing I can do but wait it out. It usually takes up to two hours for my meds (triptans) to work, and I mention that too. People who know me well enough understand and can even recognize the subtle symptoms, but most people do not have a clue.

  • dpasek
    2 months ago

    Oh, my last comment was a reply to satva45. It seems that replies are not posted inline, and cannot be edited. 🙁

  • dpasek
    2 months ago

    Then again, maybe I’m just confused. There really needs to be an edit/delete function. If it exists, I can’t find it.

  • Kathy
    2 months ago

    I simply cannot function, logically, or in a happy way, when I’m in the middle of a Migraine. I’m on disability, but yet I still have to function on a daily basis, as I’m my 90 yo mother’s source of transportation. We simply cannot nor do we feel comfortable, with her running errands, all around town by herself. I feel so guilty when she says she’ll be fine, and she heads outthe door. Her vision has recently gotten worse, so while it was safe for her to drive 6 months ago, I can’t rest properly if she’s out and about. I get SO FRUSTRATED, with myself, when I can’t carry on anormal conversation with people as well!

  • Tracy_O
    3 months ago

    Between the chronic migraines and fibromyalgia guilt has become second nature with me. The house is always a mess, I buy food that is easy to cook and thankfully I can afford a maid once a month to clean the floors!
    The more pain I have the worse my ability to communicate is, the wrong words come out! I stutter, forget what I’m saying and people think I’m stoned! I am the one who refuses to take pills unless it’s really bad…
    I used to be a very logical computer programmer before I had to go out on disability, I really hate not being this same person anymore. We are all in the same general boat!

  • Heather Benton
    2 months ago

    Sounds familiar! I too am on LTD at the time I went off we had 3 kids home the youngest only 5(sadly he has only had the sick mom part of me)
    I say crazy things, loose my words and thought mid conversation, all you mentioned! I was very out going, people person, I could talk to any about anything but now not so much
    One way I deal with this is to laughing at myself! My youngest always cracks up with something of the things I say…,as frustrating as it is it’s just part of my life

  • Ayl88joanie
    2 months ago

    I totally understand. I feel like there are 2 people.
    The healthy person who can work and do anything she wants appears very seldom. This other sick person misses family and friends get together, avoids loud noises, bright lights, chocolate, and hides a lot.

  • Savta45
    3 months ago

    Hi Migraine Girl.
    A very interesting & excellent description of Migraine “Fog”, as I think I’ve heard it called. I know exactly what you are talking about, but in addition, when that is happening to me, when I finally do respond, it’s blatantly obvious that something is seriously wrong with me, as I’m slurring my words & am very unsteady on my feet. Once, when I was still working, I was getting ready to go home early, (sick due to the migraine), & the manager who came to talk to me was just about to call 911, as he thought for all the world that I was having a stroke! Didn’t blame him a bit, but was fortunately able to talk him out of it, with the help of some co-workers who knew me, & knew that was how I get with the migraines! My husband picked me up, & all was well.
    I really cannot think well when i have a migraine & for that reason have not driven in many years. Don’t trust myself to make correct decisions if I have a migraine, which is a LOT of the time, & they can go from 0 to 7/10 or more in a very short time.
    You are NOT alone.

  • dpasek
    2 months ago

    Right on. For me, the cognitive impairment aspect of the migraines is worse and more frustrating and disabling than the pain, which in itself is bad enough. I think it is the cognitive impairment that most people really do not understand. The cognitive impairment seems to me also to be a lot like a temporary mini-stroke and can include aphasia, peripheral numbness, blind spots (the ones that look like piles of glowing broken yellow glass shards if I close my eyes) inability to read even when I don’t have the blind spots, etc,etc,etc… It’s so frustrating sometimes that I want to scream.

  • lisa c santa cruz
    3 months ago

    omg can i relate to this post!!!
    i own a retail business and there are migraine moments where i remember nothing as if i blacked out from previous conversations with the same customer.its very embarrassing and i now explain to almost every customer that i am enduring” brain fog ” due to a migraine day. the pushing through it is becoming more and more stressful. it is amazing how little control i have over these symptoms.

  • Lynda Hillebrenner
    3 months ago

    Wow! I just read through more than half of the comments, and it makes me want to cry and jump up and down with joy! Others are having the same issues with cognition & communication as I have had for so many years. I want to forward this to my husband (who is great, but understandable grows frustrated from time to time with my migraines) & my grown daughters. One of them is a doctor & she gets it, the other never wanted to accept that there was something wrong with my brain when I have a bad migraine. She wants me to be the Mom I was when she was growing up & I only had episodic migraines (and could bluff my way through my migraines). Heck, I want to be that person again. Once upon a time, in a world very different from the one I now live in, I was a university professor teaching healthcare, actively involved in my professional organizations & totally involved with my husband & friends & a pretty good Mom. I remember her well! I was happy, proud of what I was doing & feeling like I was making a difference, as well as showing my daughters they could do anything they wanted when they grew up & supporting their dreams of success. Then along comes Chronic Migraines, that mind robbing, incapacitating, monster DISEASE! They robbed me of my life as I knew it. My students were understanding at first (as I was preparing them to be interactive, competent, professionals). I tried to make my loss of words a game, where they had to come up with the technical, medical terminology I couldn’t get to come out of my mouth correctly. That only worked for a little while, and then the pain became more than I could handle. I was unpredictable and then undependable. So, the only choice I had was to except medical disability retirement. I wasn’t about to let my students suffer because my migraines were so frequent and so disabling. At times I couldn’t remember their names. I have tried over 20 different preventative’s and they either caused serious side effects or only worked for a couple of months and then they didn’t! It was heartbreaking! Where was that woman that could juggle so many different balls in the air and make them fall into a perfect pattern? I couldn’t find her and sometimes I still can’t find her. Recently I went to help my daughter when she delivered her second child during a particularly bad run of migraines. I crawled out of bed, and would run around her house like a crazy woman trying to do all the housework, take care of my two year old granddaughter, and when I said things to her they came out as inappropriate garble, and she called me out on it. I had always strived to be there for my family when needed. Well, this time I didn’t achieve my goal. I was so depressed. Even my husband said it was one of the worst he had seen me go through. I felt I let my daughter down, I let my husband down and I just wanted to find a hole and crawl Into it. Previously my husband and I had worked out a signal, so that when I started to not make very much sense during the migraine, he would tell me I was beautiful and I would know I need to shut up. I guess I never made that agreement with my daughters, or I wouldn’t feel the way I did with the daughter who thought I was SuperMom and didn’t want me to have become inappropriate. My husband and I came back home, and I thought I could pull it all together again as I had done in the past. My daughter and I have discussed my inappropriate comments, I have apologized, and she has tried very hard to be OK with who I can be now when bad, long bouts of migraines strikes. I live in the Midwest and this spring has been horrible. We have had so many thunderstorms and I live along the Mississippi river and it’s predicted to flood as it did back in 1993. I am very susceptible to migraines when there is any change in the weather and when there is lightning. So I have had many many more bad days than good days. I know that this too will pass, and I will regain some of my cognitive abilities as well as some of my communication skills. But boy is it hell going through this. I know I am not alone and as I said at the beginning It was so heartwarming to realize through this article and the comments that I am not the only one who goes crazy & becomes stupid when I have a migraine. I thought I had this back under control bc I was taking the new wonder medication- Emgality & my migraines were cut in half. But alas NO, it stopped working a little over two months ago & before I went to “help” my daughter. But I refuse to give up hope because now I know that there is so much research going on a new drugs and new approaches to migraine! And I believe they will come up with something that will help. I’m a fighter I always have been and my beautiful grandchildren will know and remember their loving, smart grandmother! I didn’t mean for this to become my biography, but once I started, it just kept going. So I will close now and hope my comments mean something to someone else as all of yours did for me.

  • Hottiepants33
    3 months ago

    Well, as far as being present… I feel like I never am. The future is scary because I’m trying to avoid triggers and right now I’m thinking about all of the things I should be doing. The second my eyes open or I leave my bedroom/safe place/prison I see the ghosts of migraines past. Projects that are not finished or started. Cleaning that needs to be done. Things that my husband said he’d do but never did because he was too busy caring for our child, pets, me and oh yeah himself.
    I don’t relax because I feel guilty because I am frustrated by the mountain of things to do that I don’t know how to start. I avoid people/places/events because I have to weigh the amount of enjoyment vs the very real possibility that I will be in the black out curtain safety of our room for days.
    I have a friend with chronic pain and migraines who goes to the gym and social functions and swings by to see me every now and then and when I tell her I can’t because my brain is on fire there’s understanding. When I talk about not doing something because I’m afraid a different look comes across her face. I’m jealous of how much she does/is able to do. I judge myself and assume others do.
    I avoid people because I don’t want to flake. I want to be reliable. I don’t want another two month long migraine either. That’s why I’m so overwhelmed. For two months I couldn’t get out of bed. My husband doesn’t see a problem with a dirty kitchen and I hate fighting but I get so enraged and so I turn into a shell of myself. When I am with people I’m constantly trying to find a place to sit where the light isn’t hitting me wrong or wondering if I’m doing something weird… I feel so amazing when I have spent time with a friend that didn’t end with an aura and I can’t be around my father hardly at all refuses to get it.
    I guess this is longer than I meant it to be. I understand not feeling present. I’m not really focused now because I’m trying to sound like someone who has it together but I don’t know if I’m making sense because I can’t verbalize it. I’ve never left a comment on anything because I don’t know if It’s right.

  • NellyBly
    3 months ago

    I was a newspaper reporter, when I first began to have severe and frequent migraines. As I’m sure everyone here knows, working with migraine is a job in itself. My job involved talking to people in a lot of different kinds of situations, which was especially challenging. One of the photographers I worked with tended to be very vocal during interviews, interjecting his own questions etc. Some reporters found this annoying, but when I was having a migraine, it was a godsend. I would simply let him do a lot of the talking. He was curious and intelligent, so I could generally get most of what I needed from his questions. So basically I could just stand there and take notes and not have to talk very much. To this day I don’t think he knows how helpful he was to me.

  • Douglas
    3 months ago

    The shift in demeanor is one of the ways my wife can tell that I am starting a migraine, sometimes before I realize it.

  • Ayl88joanie
    2 months ago

    My husband calls it crabby face and brings me a hot wash cloth to put on my face. He can always tell when the pain gets really bad.

  • Hottiepants33
    3 months ago

    I almost always get really irritated. I never understood why until I read about other people but when the words “do you always chew like that?” Come out, it’s time for cool pack and quiet. That, and smelling onions. Yeah I may be alone on that one but I smell like onions to me.

  • hhornsby
    3 months ago

    For myself and my dad this starts to happen prior to a migraine. Our mood, countenance, speech and basically everything starts to change when we are about to get a migraine. I even have had to ask friends or family to preform basic tasks (send an email about missing class, call out of work, change appointments etc) if they require coherent thought.

  • Hottiepants33
    3 months ago

    Husband has to handle any phone business or school emails for our son.

  • migraineman
    3 months ago

    Great article. I totally relate to this. I actually don’t answer the phone much of the time. Even if I really would like to talk with the person who is calling, I know that I can’t hold a conversation (because I am not there). So, I often text them back, and let them know what is going on, and that I will get back to them as soon as I am feeling like I have a brain Thanks so much for posting this article. It is nice to know that others are going through the same sort of things.

  • JAR
    3 months ago

    I completely empathize with your experience and have experienced this myself…almost daily. People say they understand but it doesn’t feel that way.

  • Missy75
    3 months ago

    I have the same issue as the people who say they try not to run into neighbors or the mail lady or whomever, just so I don’t have to talk to them. Some days I’m full of delightful conversation, but days leading up to a migraine, or after one, I just want to hide!

  • ezlivin1
    3 months ago

    Yes I definitely have the same thing going on. My wife says she is tired of repeating herself and that I don’t communicate properly. It is effecting our thirty five year marriage. I always have to explain myself because she doesn’t seem to understand or I don’t quite understand what she is saying she says. It’s a real drag.

  • Ayl88joanie
    2 months ago

    My husband did the same until I showed him these comments. It’s really hard for others to understand the before and after symptoms we experience. It also took me a while to understand them and not feel guilty that I couldn’t do what I had planned to do.

  • Joleen1966
    3 months ago

    This does frequently happen to me. A very rough thing since I’m a 9-1-1 calltaker and fire, police,rescue dispatcher. I feel like I have marbles in my mouth and have to pause a few seconds just to make sense of everything before I try to talk. People I work with seem to know me well enough to understand when these little events happen. I do feel dumb when it happens for sure!

  • glassmind
    3 months ago

    With friends and family, familiar with my attacks I say “migraine”, they shift thier speach patters and I mummur or soft grunt in response. It’s funny in retrospect. And I love them for thier tolerance and support.

  • glassmind
    3 months ago

    Typically, I remove myself from socio-cognitive demading situations. Otherwise, I say “I am having a migraine. Lease speak slowly, lowly and with short sentences. Please understand it is difficult for me to think amd speak right now.” … When I have enough cognition to say that!

  • Hottiepants33
    3 months ago

    That’s an amazing idea! Just like a PSA or something. Thank you so much for this!

  • cjameson
    3 months ago

    I have a similar symptom where I lose the ability to smile. It’s like I’m trying to reduce any head tension and my face is just totally slack.

  • Nannygoat
    3 months ago

    I think one of the biggest effects that migraines had on my life was during my divorce. I was so emotional and stressed and had chronic migraines. I literally had maybe 3-4 days a month where i was migraine free.

    Trying to talk to lawyers, my soon to be ex and the judge was impossible because I couldn’t find my words. They were lost somewhere in my head. I could think perfectly fine and form the sentences in my head fine, but it was like someone sprayed silly string in my head and getting those words and sentences out were next to impossible without sounding like I was drunk or on drugs. I would have to stop and think and still couldn’t come up with the words. I couldn’t pay attention and often had to ask them to repeat their questions. They would just stare at me. I of course let my lawyer know what was going on, but back then migraines and the amount of information and people speaking out on what symptoms, other than pain, wasn’t happening yet. So no one really understood what was happening.

    My soon to be ex used my migraine symptoms as a stepping stone to fight for custody. Saying I was mentally ill, having trouble coping and was, by all appearances, using alcohol/drugs to cope.

    On any good day that I had I used that to journal. I wrote as much as I could to put into words what was happening, my feelings about the migraines and how they were affecting my “words” and did a lot of research. I finally found a great psychologist that understood it all and was able to help me understand what was happening, but best of all….help the courts understand what was happening.

  • heatherbarr
    4 months ago

    This pretty much sums up how i feel. Usually i am cheerful, kind and optimistic. Migraine makes me feel sad, gloomy and sure that the world would be a better place minus me.

  • pleasemakeitstop
    3 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your mood change with migraine. I realize that my episodic depression also correlates with a bad patch of migraines. If I can hold that thought, maybe I will weather the down periods better. Hopefully you too know that it is the migraine talking and not the real you.

  • Shalamar
    4 months ago

    I can relate! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Jo89
    4 months ago

    I start stuttering a little. My tongue will feel thick and clumsy like I’m drunk and my words come out slurred. I have trouble thinking of the simplest words or ways to get my point across. Sometimes I lose track of the point all together. If someone is talking to me I have trouble focusing on what they’re saying. I mainly just stumble through the day the best I can.

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    4 months ago

    Jo89, I hear how frustrating it feels when your language and communication skill become compromised due to migraine. It is not the version of yourself you want to be presenting. Please know that you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your experience. Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

  • Smeekered
    4 months ago

    When my brain is slipping away (which is like, all the time) I end up interupting my own sentences or stopping mid sentence without really realizing. And when I do notice, I feel soooo stupid. Even if I’m not in a lot of pain, I still get this symptom and it’s hard to escape. I quit my dental assistant job because of how I talked to people and how I couldn’t remember a thing anymore. It was so sad because I liked my job and when you cant do it properly, especially in the medical field, it’s very stressing. You cant mess up in those situations.
    Now, if I’m having a bad day, I just try really hard not to engage so much in conversation.

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    4 months ago

    Smeekered, I hear how devastating it felt to give up a career you loved. Aphasia symptoms can be so difficult to manage and work around. You are not alone struggling with language and communication in the midst of migraine. I thought this article might be of interest to you, if you hadn’t seen it before: https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-symptoms-transient-aphasia/ Thank you for joining the conversation. Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

  • AmberBelle
    4 months ago

    So many people going through the same as me sounding like I am unintelligent and stuttering pausing name blanks and date blanks. I hate that this happens but I am not stupid or loosing my mind It’s all my migraines ruining my life. I was severely injured at work and now have up to 28 days a month on and off or weeks at a time of the most awful migraines sometimes cluster. I live in hell closed off life no plans dark curtains, lost the love of my life and how can I enjoy anything when I don’t know if the next one is in an hour or not. I loved the old me so loving caring volunteered worked hard played hard. I am a shell of myself that noone wants to be around, I’m very lonely and quite sad, i can’t even dream of a good future it’s impossible

  • pleasemakeitstop
    3 months ago

    I was a teacher and my students would get so frustrated! “Just finish your sentence”

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi there @pleasemakeitstop, I say it ALL the time that being a teacher must be one of the most difficult occupations when living with migraine! I cannot begin to imagine how challenging that must have been. How have you been managing since you since stopped teaching? Appreciate you joining in on this topic!

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    4 months ago

    AmberBelle, I hear your anguish in how severely migraine affects your life. It is miserable feeling like a shell of your former self, being unable to engage the world in the way you would like. I hope this community helps you feel less alone as you journey this path of migraine. Please know you are among those who understand the unique challenges living with migraine presents. Thank you for sharing so honestly with the community. Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

  • Clro
    4 months ago

    I feel the exact same way! Thank you for sharing. I left my work because I could not comprehend the task. It was such a humbling experience. Stressors would increase the pain.

  • hanginon
    4 months ago

    This sounds like what they termed “complex migraine” which has the same symptoms as stroke , but is not a stroke. Numbness, tingling, speech difficulties, dizziness.

  • Tampeter
    5 months ago

    This is so familiar. I’m a high school teacher. A few weeks ago, I was working with some students and a migraine came on. As I was speaking I would draw a blank every 5-10 words and have to force myself to say something that was hopefully close to what I wanted. With all the pauses and forced words, I’m sure I sounded like I stuttered. Also, I announce the girls basketball games. One night as I’m doing the intro, my migraine brain calls our girls by the name of our local professional NBA team. Everyone laughed. I have no idea where that word came from — the other me just took over.

  • lucylou
    5 months ago

    This is so very true, I am no longer working, but I shut all curtains/shades and hope no one comes to the door, not “just” because I look horrible during a migraine, but I cannot carry on a conversation. and it isn’t just the pain, my personality is flat and I get very depressed………..I pray I don’t see a neighbor as I take out the trash etc.. as soon as the migraine passes I am a completely different person, thank god!!!

  • Hottiepants33
    3 months ago

    Same

  • JayneK
    5 months ago

    Yea, so I’ve had a headache/migraine since Christmas, and no matter what my Dr and I have tried, we can’t break the cycle. It varies in intensity, but is always at the very least a nagging headache. Makes me anxious because I think ‘ok when is it going to become a full blown attack…’
    That being said, I’m a nurse, and I’ve been getting patient complaints that I don’t seem like I ‘care enough’. I honestly have not been myself no matter how hard I try. It’s getting very frustrating to say the least.
    To make it worse, my boss and co workers think it’s just a headache, when I’m fact they don’t know that my neurologist is suspicious of MS, as I have other symptoms. I don’t believe it’s anyone’s business at work what is going on. This too shall pass. Hopefully.

  • dweigel8309
    5 months ago

    So my Aunt Donna Jones asked me to read your article and give some feedback because I too suffer migraines. I had only had a couple before my daughter was born but her birth put some kind of voodoo on my body and they started coming regularly weekly. Not a great thing to be subjected to with kiddos! I tried every medication they would prescribe and nothing would help. Then the Botox shots came so I thought i’d try those. They worked the first 6 months but when it was time for my shot again oh my goodness I couldn’t get to the doctor quick enough. I’ve gone through CAT scans and MRI’s nothing helped. After thousands of dollars and sooo many doc appointments and specialist appointments, I ventured into the internet and the App Store on my iPhone. I found 2 apps that I swear by them. Migraine Relief helps rid me of my pesky intruder and Migraine Buddy helps me track them so I can document WWIII in my head as soon as the aura and flashes of light start. All you need is a quiet place for about 15 minutes to listen to the app and to help out peppermint essential oil diluted on my wrist while listening. Hope this helps!

    Deana Jones-Weigel

  • madihwa
    5 months ago

    Hi! I’ve been on Topomax for several years. I don’t get migraines as often & they don’t last as long. It doesn’t give me brain fog. It could be the dosage also. Some people just do what the doctor tells them. My doctor at first had me on 4 pills a day. I don’t really like medicine, so I started gradually cutting it down. I got it down to one–and then the migraines came back. So that’s how I knew it was working. So now I just take 2 a day. My brain functions as well as ever–and I’m 75 years old. I guess it affects different people differently. I learned not to depend on what doctors say the first year my daughter was in medical school. The horrible stories she brought home to me! Now I research everything before it goes into me.

  • AuntieHeather
    5 months ago

    I usually just tell the people I am working with. I find if I am straight forward with them they are understanding. If I am not making sense they just ask me to repeat what I said and usually I can make what I wanted done more clear.

  • Peacock27
    5 months ago

    When I have a migraine several things like this occur to me as well.
    Often my words are jumbled or slurredb or I simply cannot make meaningful sentences. There have been times when my words made no sense even though I had a clear thought or the opposite… I thought I wasn’t making sense, but when I apologized people had no idea why I was apologizing. One time I was at a school function for my daughter and I remembered calling the friends (ones I know very well) by the wrong names. When I apologized, they didn’t recall me doing this (or they were being nice and didn’t want to say).
    Another thing they happens is that I get so frustrated that I’m unable to focus, that it causes extreme anxiety. This has a cyclical effect and thus the migraine gets worse with the anxiety etc… I become not only sending l sensitive to the classic: sounds, lights and scents (I’m more sensitive to scents than most migraineurs) but I become extremely sensitive to disorder. If things aren’t ‘in their place’ I become anxious and start to clean and organize. I have only recently (I was diagnosed at 2.5 years old) been able to identify this affect during the migraine and see times I’m able to stop myself. However, I am not able to do that every time and this too creates a lot of anxiety for me and those around me.
    In addition, I too becomeb forgetful and my lack of focus causes extreme frustration and anxiety. Any amount of ‘multi-tasking’ is virtually impossible and if I don’t step away quickly this can escalate my migraine at a more rapid pace which is not evident until I actually do step away. As a teenager, I would often bang my head into the wall or floor repeatedly. I’m not sure if this distracted from the pain or if it was more related to the vascular changes when doing so, but the momentary relief would give me enough satisfaction that I would do it repeatedly. Another thing I want to mention is that when preparing/planning for an event, I typically don’t get the migraine until all the preparations are done and the event is underway. I call it the ‘comedown migraine’. The scale of the project or event is equally related to the scale of the migraine, as well. In other words; the more significant or important the event=the more intense and longer duration of the migraine. And lastly, in the past if I thought about migraine or talked about it, I could actually bring one on. I also could smell a trigger food and get one. I have long since been able to control these last two things, but as a child I was unable to.

  • Tom Picerno moderator
    5 months ago

    Peacock27 Thanks for your comment! I too suffer in many of the same ways you do with migraine. The good news is that you are aware of the symptoms and have already begun to formulate your coping strategies. One of the most difficult things with migraine is recognizing the symptom triggers. It’s not always about the migraine pain although that is a huge one! If you can pick off triggers in the predrome part of an attack that can ease the severity or length of the attack in my experience.

  • Peacock27
    5 months ago

    Sorry for the multiple typos above.

  • TPW7
    5 months ago

    Yes! I get it and it’s terrible! It changes the normal me and I become more introverted and sometimes I avoid people because I can’t think of their name or what we discussed last. It changes the brain chemistry in ways you can’t explain to someone who doesn’t get them. Yes, pain is bad, but the mental piece is just as awful.

  • Tom Picerno moderator
    5 months ago

    I get what you are feeling TPW7 and it’s a terrible side to migraine. You don’t feel like yourself at all and communicating is laborious and painful because it’s just not coming out like you want it too. I’m glad you found the migraine.com community! It is a great place to connect with others who have similar symptoms and issues due to migraine.

  • LMarguerite
    6 months ago

    During a severe migraine I get what I call a brain fog. I too have problems focusing on the task at hand. I had a large family gathering one time and kept trying to count how many would be eating, so I would know how many places to set. After three trys, I asked my son for help. He has migraines too, so he understood.
    Thankfully I am retired and no longer have to endure work situations with a migraine. Whenever I can, I explain to people what is going on with me.
    I take Topamax too and it causes me to sometimes be at a loss for the words I want to say.

  • madihwa
    5 months ago

    Topomax has never caused me problems but truthfully when one has a migraine, concentrating on anything is a problem. With all the meds these doctors say is going to be ‘the one’ I still find Fiorinel (aspirin with codeine) to be the only thing that drives the pain away–and I’ve been at this a long time–since I was 13 and I’m now 75.

  • RobinfromCA
    5 months ago

    I experienced much worse brain fog when I was on Topamax. We called it Dope-a-max. I still have brain fog but it’s not as frequent or as severe off the Topamax. I also remember things better. I don’t know if it would be the same for you but it’s worth thinking about.

  • Tom Picerno moderator
    5 months ago

    Thanks for sharing LMarguerite. I experience brain fog far too often with my migraine. It is definitely helpful to have a good support system in place to help you over that hump. I think you trying to educate those around you is excellent! It’s a great way to foster in compassion for the effects of migraine disease. I’ve been on Topamax as well and had to stop taking it due to the side effects like kidney stones and generally feeling like a zombie.

  • Horne
    4 months ago

    Interesting about the kidney stones. Topamax destroyed my teeth.

  • ucchrismarie
    6 months ago

    I have had intractable migraine for almost 5 years. My ability to listen, comprehend, and respond was severely impacted by my migraines. I got an implant in May if last year and that has reduced my pain, but does not take away the other symptoms. I have never been great with names, but recognize faces and love talking to people. Now, however, I get so frustrated when I’m trying to have a conversation and can’t remember common words such as fork or salt shaker. I have drastically reduced my social outings and all my energy goes into being present for my family-or at least to the best of my ability. For anyone who doesn’t understand the complexity of migraine, this probably seems unbelievable, but it MY EVERYDAY LIFE! It has taken away my ability to work, be involved in church, or volunteer in other ways. I prefer text because if I can’t remember a word I can wait until I do instead of being in a conversation and feeling incompetent. So I guess after all that, I don’t function at all when I lose my ability to follow a conversation or forget words:(.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • RobinfromCA
    5 months ago

    ucchrismarie, I cannot imagine having intractable migraine for five years! I had one lasting 32 days and I was miserable. I am so sorry you have this. I hope you have a good support network.

  • Horne
    4 months ago

    I went through a period where I was really struggling with aphasia. MRI didn’t show anything else, which was good, but it got scary. I’m on Aimovig now and it has changed my life.

  • amyjay67
    6 months ago

    I have experienced migraines for 50 years but the last few years they have gotten much worst (maybe because I have taken a couple of falls and hit my head again). Over the last year I have noticed that I loose words. I will be in the middle of conversations and cannot think of a word I want to say or forget everything I was talking about. During a migraine I don’t try having extensive conversations and doing difficult tasks. Most of the time during a migraine I find it is best to just go back to bed.

  • Tampeter
    5 months ago

    I have this experience, too.

  • ucchrismarie
    6 months ago

    Yes! Amyjay67! This exactly!

  • jilliemarie13
    6 months ago

    OMG, thank you for writing about this. I experience this all the time during my migraines and have been treated unkindly by medical professionals who thought I was overeducated or God knows what. I take Topomax as a preventative and this adds to my inability to recall words correctly or quickly unfortunately. So when both these happen simultaneously, I present as if I have severe deficits in both my processing skills and expressive language. I am a Master’s level educated clinician, retired professional flutist, and artist. So having to deal with this ” condition” is overwhelming, to say the least. Then add the people around you, some of who are the medical professionals who are supposed to understand and they don’t get this particular symptom that we suffer with and through, it can feel quite hopeless at times. Again, thank you for speaking up about this and for all who have shared that they experience similar symptoms. Having others who understand exactly where you are coming from can at least help you to feel less crazy.

  • madihwa
    5 months ago

    Actually I think having a migraine in general will interfere with ability to think, remember, etc. Doctors (except for those who have a family member who has migraines & then it might be just female doctors, I’m not sure) often don’t really want to believe migraines exist. If you’re a man, they’re more likely to treat you seriously. And then there’s the government which is cracking down even harder on pain meds. Even if you’re old or dying, they’re afraid of you getting addicted. And this is the main reason it’s hard to get pain meds from doctors. My daughter’s a doctor which is why I mentioned doctors who believe in migraines. Kind of hard not to believe when you’ve grown up with a mom who has them. Generally speaking, women doctors are more sympathetic.

  • Tom Picerno moderator
    6 months ago

    I have exactly the same issue during a migraine attack. I’m a shell of the normal me! Thanks for making me feel not so alone.

  • onehsancare
    1 year ago

    I was in a trial a few weeks ago. The migraine started around ten, so my morning witnesses said what I wanted them to say. But by two, I could hardly finish a sentence–and that’s when I had the opposing witness who’s spent a year telling me that he can’t remember anything or doesn’t know. My plan to use his accounting records to prove his dishonesty completely fell apart–I COULD.NOT. form a question that made any sense. It was so frustrating. The amazing thing was when we were trying to figure out if we could finish (just the arguments at the end) in a half hour, opposing counsel said, “Your Honor, we could hear that Ms. Wade was struggling–why don’t we put it off to another day?” Maybe that was supposed to be a snide slam, but it felt like a lifering. I certainly couldn’t have formulated an argument.

  • msruff
    5 years ago

    I am a totally different person when I am in pain. I am self-absorbed, I don’t want to talk to anybody, I’m ashamed to talk to anybody because I might get angry or weepy, and I’m much more likely to lash out at whatever or whomever is in front of me, even if they haven’t done anything to warrant it. I retreat to a quiet, dark spot (I work from a home office, so that makes it easier), I let myself cry or try to sleep (pain meds help), and I avoid talking with anybody, unless it’s absolutely essential. There’s no reason others should have to deal with the fallout from my pain, so I try to make myself as absent as possible – I can always explain myself to them when I’m feeling better.

  • Ayl88joanie
    2 months ago

    I always get weepy too, thanks for mentioning it. It’s one of the reasons that I avoid social situations.

  • Deannaj27
    5 years ago

    Fortunately for me, the slurring of words has only happened to me once. I was at work taking a customers order over the phone. In my head I knew what I was saying but my words just wouldn’t come out right. I managed to mumble through the rest of the conversation. It’s almost like trying to talk while your falling asleep from anesthesia. I was very confused as to why I was slurring until I realized it was because of my migraine.

  • cindyd
    5 years ago

    I totally get it. . . My husband is very patient but even he sometimes gets impatient when my mind wanders and I cannot process what is being said to me. I also work for a prison in a very busy department where over 1000 staff have to be dealt with and I am the only office person. Sometimes I have days I just cannot understand what my boss wants from me and I he understands that I have trouble comprehending certain things with a migraine and I am grateful for that but I feel so stupid. I had a headache all weekend and then had a terribly rough Monday today, too, after feeling so bad all weekend and being stressed out. I felt like crying a couple of times. . . I like my job, I like the people but sometimes when I have a migraine it is almost more than I can handle or take. Today was a day I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and just lock the door and be left alone. Thank you for your article. It is nice to know that I am not alone.

  • migrainestl
    5 years ago

    Since I turned chronic this is my daily struggle. Although I’m not always having severe pain, I’m such a low functioning person compared to my pre-migraine person. I’m naturally a type-A, social, outgoing, fast-thinking individual. Now I minimize social engagements (esp if not one-on-one) & feel like I’m trudging through mud just doing simple tasks. I frequently feel lost for words, forget what I’m doing or why I’m doing it, etc. recently my 89 year old grandma was complaining about her memory & word loss & I could totally sympathize even tho I’m 54 years younger!!! Sometimes I worry I’m permanently damaged but thankfully I have the occasional very low pain days that bring back the old me!!

  • TinaFo
    5 years ago

    To read this is amazing as I always feel that I’m the only one who feels this way. It’s like I cannot process thoughts completely and then the words just cannot find their way out. I feel foggy and s l o w in the head. It’s like my brain is slipping in quicksand. My husband can now tell when I have a migraine because of how I’m speaking, even if I don’t tell him I have one at first.

  • Jules2dl
    5 years ago

    Ohmigosh I lose words all the time. I say things like “I can’t think of the word but I know it starts with a k…” and I can feel my eyes growing distant and spacey. Then either the person I’m talking to says “oh that’s okay, don’t worry about it” or actually says the word I’m hunting for, Or I apologize and say I have a very bad migraine and just can’t think straight.
    The truth is, I’m afraid I’m turning into my mother….

  • Paula
    5 years ago

    The loss of words is demoralizing. An avid reader, English major in college, and high-functioning individual, my being reduced to not being able to retrieve basic words was worrying and embarrassing when I taught. My husband and son know how to fill in my missing words and are so supportive. My migraines didn’t become chronic until 5 years ago. I, and my wonderful guys, have been learning to cope with them. I’m finally on a medication that has given me a bit of my life back, but I still need to balance my life so carefully to avoid an attack. My two biggest triggers are beyond my control, so I thankful my doctor found a med that works for me, no perfect, but an improvement. It is good to know I’m not weak or crazy, that there are others that experience what I do. Sometimes, it is really challenging to get people to understand the migraine issues I experience. The throbbing headache they understand, it is the other symptoms that baffle them or they don’t regard as a physical manifestation, but view me as a difficult or mentally weak person. I have left teaching and am now working for my family. So, when I can’t converse well, my family understands why.

  • CoffeeCat
    5 years ago

    You don’t know how much this article and these comments mean to me. For years, I sincerely worried about my sanity. In college, I’d have day to day changes from top of my class to forgetting my homework and not being able to remember even the basics. I would also come home and realize that I’d left all the lights on and forgot to lock my door. Luckily, I lived in a pretty safe neighborhood, but it still freaked me out. Learning about the cognitive effects of migraines and that others are going through the same thing has empowered me so much. I know that it isn’t me, it’s the migraine. Thank you. 🙂

  • oliviaruth
    5 years ago

    I just say I have a migraine and tune out, putting my head down or something. Since I’m a student I need to stop studying sometimes because the migraines REALLY affect everything. Lately with Topamax, I can’t say anything right. I trail off a lot and forget what I’m saying. I feel really stupid and end up apologizing, getting upset and wanting to leave the room.

  • Jaclyn McE
    5 years ago

    I lose words. Normally I have an excellent vocabulary, but when a migraine hits I sound like an idiot. Just today, I couldn’t remember the word “speaker” when asking my husband if he had everything he needed for his graveyard shift. I believe what I managed to spit out was “Do you have your…thing…plugs into the music thing…so you can hear…not headphones…the thing…SPEAKER!”
    I also have a business card in my wallet with my medical card. On it I have my medical conditions and all the medications (names/doses) I take, plus my medication allergy. When I end up in the ER and have no words, this comes in VERY handy.

  • LisaMauria
    5 years ago

    As I read through everyone’s responses I can so relate with the feelings of frustration at the cognitive difficulties that each of us face and at the general lack of understanding we receive from others. I have a very high IQ, please don’t be turned off, I have never had an inflated view of myself for that reason or for any other, the reason I mention that is because, oddly enough, I still have the same IQ, however, I feel like a shell of my former self. The organized, knows when every appointment is, always prepared with more than what I need for the given situation, is now…a flustered, forgetful, frantic, unorganized, anxious mess of a mere glimpse of my former self. I can’t find the simplest words sometimes and I also substitute wrong words in a sentence that make no sense and sometimes don’t realize it until later. It really is very frustrating when you can’t even communicate basic things, I am very lucky however and I have a wonderful husband who is very understandng and can usually figure out what I’m trying to say. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Migraine without aura, with intractable migraine, with status migrainosus and with chronic intractable cluster headache syndrome and migraine aura without headache (migraine equivalents) and also BPPV and cognitive impairment. I also have other health problems which of course attributed to me eventually adding these to my ever growing roster. I go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester so much, it’s like my second home now. My advice is that when you are feeling the impairment, just tell the person you’re talking to right away that you are having electrical misfirings in your brain…because that is what you are experiencing. Besides, people can tell that something isn’t quite right with you and they may just think that you have no interest in what they have to say…funny, but they may think you are being rude. If they have more information about what you’re actually going through people are generally more understanding and empathetic. Obviously not everyone is going to be understanding because everyone is different. You can’t do anything about those people, try to limit your contact with them, they will only cause you stress, which in turn will cause you more difficult days. It’s time to start thinking about what is best for you and how to have the best quality of life that you possibly can. My thoughts are with you all….

  • Msmmain
    5 years ago

    I have this problem too! It especially bothers me when i start slurring because before I can explain that it is a symptom of a migraine, not a side effect of pain killers (NO! I am NOT too high/stoned to talk… I can’t form words because of the migraine I’m having!) I was laid off last year because of how often I was having migraines and how scattered my brain function had become (The sad part is that I wish I only had that few now! I’d be thrilled!). I have since applied for dissability because of my chronic migraines & the US Government’s response to my application was that A) I hadn’t been in the ER/urgent care facilities often enough to prove chronic migraines and B) Migraines aren’t really “disability”. Has anyone had success getting the disability office to understand this aspect of migraines? I’ll be posting a separate “my story” post soon since I just joined but this really hit home. thank you for sharing this because it REALLY helps to hear that I’m not the only one.

  • Shirleyanne
    5 years ago

    When I have difficulty finding words or come to a dead stop in the middle of a conversation, and I do not have a migraine, then that is a bad omen. When I have a migraine, I slur words, I do not want to communicate at all, and I have to take a breath between each word as the effort to speak is almost too much. I understand that there are varying degrees of pain levels of migraine and that some people seem to be able to work through them, but mine come with a destruct and explode button and I have to get home, or be taken home as soon as possible.

  • knitchick
    5 years ago

    Than you for this article. I get very quiet and hole up in my office when a headache hits. I get the “stupids” and people just don’t understand what exactly that is. My boss, as good as he is, can get very condescending when I make mistakes so when it’s headache time I start freaking out because the stupids hit and I can’t speak, type, comprehend – nothing. Then I hear the “I can’t believe there isn’t anything you can take”. This morning I got the, “Yah, you haven’t looked good all week”. Love that one. I can’t help it and I am so frustrated because there isn’t a damn thing that’s helping and I’m tired, so freaking tired, of fighting it. I get through a day and instead of being cool with just making it, I’m sad because there’s always tomorrow and I have to go through it all over again. And I feel as though the “stupids” is just something people see as an excuse for being lazy or careless but it isn’t. And I swear, if someone tells me that I don’t look good or haven’t looked good, I’m going to seriously go off. The one girl that said that to me this morning, I have to keep in mind that she’s not from this country so there’s a language barrier thing and she doesn’t know how to choose words sometimes. But oh my lord it can piss me off. Sorry for the vent…

  • Paula
    5 years ago

    You don’t have to apologize to me. I giggled and read your post to my husband. I giggled because you brought up comments I have heard, as well. And, you know what, I get pissed, as well. If I could take something, that eradicated these bastards from my brain, I would. I think people don’t know how to cope with migraine sufferers because it is the brain that is misbehaving. Like mental illness, migraines and migraine symptoms are intangible in nature. The brain is still a new frontier and people are usually uncomfortable with the unknown.

  • TracyM09
    5 years ago

    I have what I call blank spots. I’m pretty interested in sports so I can carry on conversations pretty easily, however, when I’ve got a Migraine I cannot recall names of seriously famous athletes! One day I couldn’t recall the name Michael Jordan…yikes! It happens in other areas also, just suddenly a blank spot where a thought or word used to be!! Unfortunately I have chronic Migraines so I have plenty of times for blank spots! Thank goodness for my iPad, if I have to remember something I write it down immediately!! It is a very discouraging symptom for someone who use to have a Roladex memory! This symptom has made me more introverted (if I didn’t know the person) than I was before because it’s quite embarrassing.

  • SED
    5 years ago

    Wow- another post describing pretty much exactly what I have been feeling… this has been an eye opening day for sure. Now I have to figure out what I can do about it.

  • lacheln1
    6 years ago

    What do you do when it’s too much? When your pain days are weeks and you can no longer remember what you were trying to do five minutes ago? I’m struggling with this now. I don’t want to stop working but it’s not fair to work if my pain shuts my brain off 15 minutes in. Or if I have to take an FMLA day or week…what do you do?

  • Angela Meeks
    6 years ago

    I actually cried when I saw this! I feel myself slipping away all the time. I have migraines so often and the recovery takes days that I like other posted here can be in mid sentence and get stuck unable to get out the words I know so well, unable to have a conversation without looking like I have a completely different disorder all together. I live in a house where my step kids are oober smart scoring 34 out of 36 on A.C.T’s and my daughter who is smarter than I was at her age and those step kids didn’t fall far from the tree and their dad is just as smart. I feel stupid sometimes well all the time and I get so tired of explaining my memory loss to “I have a migraine and cannot think straight” or “I am getting over a migraine and having trouble thinking straight” Or like today I went to back out of my garage and forgot to wait for the door to be completely open and yup I broke the door. I feel so often as if I need a babysitter or like I shouldn’t try to function in society without training wheels because even when I am not in pain but recovering from a migraine I cannot always tell when I am disoriented until I have made some drastically damaging move like today. Holding a job is not something I have been able to do well. Things I know like the back of my hand I second guess myself on because all of a sudden I cannot remember what I am supposed to do. I always knew that my memory issues were migraine related but to actually see that others are having the same problem and I didn’t just make it up as an excuse for my lack of knowledge or worse Alzheimer’s makes me feel better in the sense that I didn’t imagine it. I feel so lost sometimes in a world where no one understands and they get so tired of hearing the “excuses” that finding this blog lifted my spirits. Thank you!

  • Sherri
    5 years ago

    The best thing, Angela is that I understand. So does everyone who post on this site, However, not many members of my family have a clue what i go through. We all have a disease and are looking for ways to cope. Are you on RX? I have 3 types of migraines including abdominal migraines that are actually rare in adults. I have visual issues that causes my vision to be blurred, I often can’t follow tv, I can’t be around loud noises, or watch any cops shows where there are flashing lights like fireworks, concerts, lasers restaurants with live bands play. It is terrible. I am recovering from one that started Saturday morning and I still don’t feel really good today. My migraines usually cause me to have a headache that mimics sinus pain behind my nose, or along my skull in the back of my neck, lots of nausea for days, heaviness behind my eyes, swelling of only one eye, cognitive difficulties, I.e. putting words together, dark circles under my eyes, and extreme agitation. I have many more symptoms including extreme vomiting if I have eaten something that my body deems a Nuro-toxin. My blood pressure RX does a good job at helping me control this symptom. Find a good neurologist or headache clinic and most importantly reminder there are many ways to help you to control the little monster inside. I hope things get better. Educate yourself and take care of yourself.

  • Tiffany
    6 years ago

    I also just found the website and am so thankful for it, the articles and to know that this specifically happens to other “normal” people. I have a complex partial seizure disorder as well as being cursed with migraines and had always wondered if my speech was a side effect of the seizure disorder. Like so many others have commented, it’s tolerable in my personal life but at work it’s more difficult to hide when you’d rather not speak or be spoken to. Thank you for this blog!

  • helpme
    6 years ago

    With the last 6 months of migraine episodes I found myself not being able to hold a conversation with people because I couldn’t remember words I knew the subject and in the middle of a sentence I would get stuck on trying to say a word but was not be able to remember how to say the words and I felt like I was going crazy wondering if I was getting a the big A. My doctor says that forgetfulness is a common side affect of migraine’s I would sometimes forget the way home from the store or the way to the store so I started to stay home more and more afraid of getting out there and not knowing where to go.

  • Pete
    6 years ago

    I found that if I tried to ‘force’ a word, I would ‘lock up’. Try just putting in a pause; many people will think you’re being contemplative! I also find that if I can’t get the thought out directly, by pausing (it’s hard at first, but you can learn to do it), you’ll find an alternative, the old “six of one kind, half a dozen of the other” concept.
    In public, my poor wife finishes many of my sentences- we’ve been married that long; I am a VERY lucky man, and I cannot conceive of how she can stay!

  • Mandy Swain
    6 years ago

    You’ve no idea how amazing it is to finally have someone understand and hear of others who feel the same. I know when it’s coming. Words come out nothing like I intend them to. I forget the simplest of details which I know I know. It used to frighten me but now after 30 years I go with it and find relaxing into it makes it a lot easier. My kids know the signs now too and will acknowledge it which is awesome. It means I don’t need to. It’s much more difficult at work and even my partner doesn’t get it. I think of it like a computer and I need to reboot. Once back in the land of the living I usually feel extremely drained but usually OK.

  • Michael Jensen
    6 years ago

    Yea Migraine girl, sounds very familiar these days. Where do we go…when we have a migraine…its like losing our best friend…our-self.
    I only recently have begun to get treatment for migraines, after many, many, many years thinking they were something else…doctors kept on insinuating that I was a hypochondriac for complaining about my head pain and other symptoms, suggesting that I see a psychologist. Psychologists kept on saying, after my complaining of head pain, “have you seen a doctor? ”
    Even my well-meaning wife would say you don’t have a migraine, people that have migraines, have it really bad.”
    How bad is bad?

    Why is it so hard to diagnose, when its so obvious?
    Michael

  • Pete
    6 years ago

    Believe in your knowledge of your own body; after battling these headaches for 27 years, I can easily tell you that I know more about the subject than most doctors that I have seen. There is a wealth of information on line, and several great migraine groups. For medical info, I have relied on the BBC and The Lancet for reporting, even for activity in the states, as they usually have it first!Remember, there are multiple forms of migraine,and clusters, too. The first time that I totally lost my speech, I thought that I was having a stroke.
    Check your groups, and find a specialist- keep searching until you find one that you can relate to- it is difficult and time-consuming, but more than worth it. DO NOT WAIT until you get ‘worse’- I have found that once you fall into the “chronic” abyss, you are toast. I have a constant (status) migraine (14 years), and 8 waves of multiples (up to 5 distinct headaches at a time), and I started out with 4 in the first YEAR. Don’t rule anything out, including non-traditional (e.g.- acupuncture), herbal, experimental; the only way I get to sleep most nights is with self-hypnosis. Good luck, and remember to try to prevent the beast from being unleashed- it’s much easier than trying to put it back in it’s cage. Also, find a friend who suffers these (I guarantee you have several, even if you don’t know it) and be each other’s support. It helps a LOT to ‘talk’ to someone who understands, and, I find it odd but true that when I hear of my compatriot being “lit up” (we both react to weather)that it is somehow reassuring- it’s not just me, and I’m not crazy (at least not due to headaches!). GOOD LUCK!
    Pete

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    Hi Pete,

    You have said something really valuable here – don’t wait until you get worse. Migraine is a progressive disease. However, it’s vital that patients understand that once you are chronic, you can still revert to an episodic pattern again. In fact, most chronic patients will eventually revert back to an episodic pattern. Here’s more information: Will My Chronic Migraine Ever Become Episodic Again? http://migraine.com/blog/will-my-chronic-migraine-ever-become-episodic-again/ It’s not always easy though – that’s for sure. I’ve been chronic since the mid 1990’s and lost most everything but my family that has made me “me”. And, we’re not alone. I’m still trying though. There are amazing things coming down the pike that are showing incredible promise. Would you believe a whole NEW class of medications with several within that class in the works? That’s just mentioning ONE thing. There are also some interesting devices showing lots of possibilities and very close to approval. It’s actually a very exciting time right now waiting to see how many of these are going to pass muster.

    Hang in there, and thanks for sharing with the community 🙂

    ~Ellen

  • A K
    6 years ago

    I had a call scheduled with a prospective client yesterday afternoon. Earlier in the day I had a headache that developed into a full blown migraine. I didn’t think to reschedule the call but decided to go through with it. Throughout the morning, my comments to passing friends and acquaintances were at most, maybe, 5 words and did not require much thinking.

    When the time came for the scheduled call, I knew as soon as I opened my mouth and tried to form sentences, it wasn’t going to be easy. The conversation was effortful and I felt like I had a mouthful of peanut butter as I was trying to create coherent sentences. I couldn’t get the right words out and I sounded and felt so “stupid”. It was truly horrible.

  • Carmela H.
    6 years ago

    I can relate I work as a receptions t in a very busy vet officeand I cannot aafford to take off when I have a migraine it is Incredbally hard to function I am expeccted to greet answer phones e t all with a smile sick or not and boy do people get grumpy when you are not jolly jolly.

  • Still Smiling
    6 years ago

    I too would describe myself as a people-person who is highly extroverted, but when I have a migraine it’s as though I’m me from a parallel universe; someone who has no idea what small-talk is or even how to have a conversation with not only strangers but also those people I’ve known for years! I can’t tolerate the smallest sounds – not even that of my own voice! and every movement of my head makes me nauseous — so pretty much taking part in conversation is out.

    I also get really ‘stupid’ as part of the aura phase. I notice that I have severe difficulty following the simplest of conversations, and if anyone speaks directly to me, it takes an age to register their question and then to formulate a response – and then I generally start to slur my words: I’ve actually been asked if I was drunk before – at 3pm in the middle of a work day! :O — Last week, and this was a first for me, I even completely forgot a colleague’s name, both he and I looked a little confused when I didn’t remember…

    At least I know now that a migraine is imminent if I struggle to concentrate or follow conversations – even my colleagues are starting to notice the signs – they tell me that I’ve gone ‘Vague’ – :)…

  • Sandra Stevic
    6 years ago

    I don’t necessarily become “stupid” or unable to think clearly as most people have mentioned below. I am, in fact, able to think during a migraine attack. However, there are other things I cannot due such as standing up straight for example. If I don’t take preventative measures in a timely manner, the pain gradually becomes worse and I get extremely nauseous – so nauseous to the point where I cannot stand up straight if I were to get up to walk to the bathroom, for example. If it gets bad enough, I will become so ill, hot, and nauseous that I will end up vomiting eventually. I also have to get into bed and position myself in the most “comfortable” position possible, and once I find that position I have to lay completely still with as little movement as possible. If I lay still enough, the pain will lessen but it will return as soon as I make a movement. Additionally, I hear VERY WELL when I have a migraine. During a typical day when I am migraine-free, I don’t feel that I have the best hearing but when I am having a migraine attack, I hear everything as if it was right next to my ear.

    Needless to say, my migraines are very debilitating. Since I have never had a migraine without getting nauseous, I have no idea if I could function or not during one. If I try to ignore the pain and do not lay down or take my medication on time, I will just end up becoming so nauseous so the point of vomiting. It is a feeling that I cannot describe to anyone who does not have migraines or to someone who has never felt like this. The pain and the nausea “take me down” and overpower me, so to speak.

    Although I do not wish this on anyone, and feel sorry that so many other people experience migraines like I do, I do find a small comfort in knowing that there are people out there who understand me. During my teenage years I didn’t know of one other person who had migraines, and I felt like I was the only one in the world experiencing such headaches.

  • Pete
    6 years ago

    FYI- there is a new drug that the Brits are working on- it doesn’t help much with the pain, but eliminates the nausea, and the sound and light sensitivity. The Europeans are just about a decade ahead of us due to [comment edited by moderator]; many U.S. companies opened subsidiaries to try and remain competitive.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    painsucks,

    I am wondering which medicine you’re referring to? I attended the International Headache Congress in June, and cannot think what you might be talking about.

    You are right, that Europeans are working much harder than the US on headache disorders. I go to Headache on the Hill and speak with legislators in Washington every year because of our struggle for better management and treatment. This imbalance isn’t due to a president, but a system and the incredible stigma that makes the general public consider Migraine and headache disorders as something to joke about in the US, not something that can be fatal, expensive and life-changing. Migraine is the 7th most disabling disease globally. However, the powers that be (not presidential) have actually refused to make funding reflect disease burden on our society.

    At Migraine.com we do insist on staying respectful, so please try to keep incindiary comments said in a more respectful manner. Your reply has been edited to reflect this. This is a safe haven for patients. All patients. Thanks 🙂

    ~Ellen

  • RochelleRochelle
    6 years ago

    Wow, just found this site after a very trying day at home with a bad migraine, then sleeping off the side effects of Maxalt. (Triptans and I don’t seem to gel, but that’s another story).
    Regarding difficulty conversing, I’m a teacher, so when a migraine comes on, I have two problems. First, I can’t exactly leave a class of thirty 12 year-olds unsupervised, so unless I can get a message to the main office, and have them hunt down a supply teacher on short notice, I’m pretty much stuck there with the kids no matter how much pain or nausea I’m suffering. I don’t think people realize that about teachers. We can’t just leave the room.
    The second problem is I get “stupid.” I can’t get my sentences out, and I have trouble breaking down what the kids are saying. It’s like I have to translate word by word from another language to make sense of everything they say. Then I can’t respond coherently. So frustrating! I’ve made up some quick “busy work” activities, (that relate to curriculum), to hand out when these severe days hit, (and the kids become surprisingly co-operative at working quietly), but sometimes, my brain is so non-functional that I forget I have them, and try to suffer through the day with my regular day plans. (I kick myself the next day for forgetting about them!) I do the same thing sometimes in “forgetting” to take medicine. I’ll suffer for hours, then wonder why I didn’t take my meds! How stupid is that!? Does that happen to anyone else, or is it just me?

  • Pete
    6 years ago

    Many counselors have told me to warn those around me that I am having what they call a “flare” day- with 12 year olds, that could really be dicey, but in the end, I think they can handle it. My wife has been an educator for over 35 years, and I coached kid’s soccer (mostly middle school) for 25 years- in fact, I had to quit due to the headaches, and never knowing if I could show up for practice. Just a thought- I’d bet there are several kids who suffer from them, as well as parents- perhaps a ‘learning experience’ to teach them about migraines for themselves and their relatives? Good luck- FYI I was a trial lawyer- try handling trials and depositions with ‘this’! On doctor’s orders, I had to “retire” at 47; this for a guy who had loudly proclaimed that he’d never retire. Another thought- if your schedule has any flexibility at all (given your class size, I doubt it) perhaps you could ‘flip’ subjects to one that isn’t as trying verbally when you are being ‘hit’.

  • abbijustme
    6 years ago

    This is exactly what happens to me.. It happens at school a lot, where it is the most inconvenient to be not able to think clearly. I usually “wilt”. I just stop. I can’t understand anything. Most often I try and sleep…so I dot have to try to think, then get so frustrated because I’m so befuddled.

  • Sojgrensplusmigraines Sue
    6 years ago

    I can so relate to this blog. When a migraine hits my thought process to make speech seems to misfire and any loud noise hurts my head and my brain. I also find conversing requires me to think clearly and I cannot do so. When I am with family or friends, I try to calmly ask them to lower their voice and inform them I have a migraine. I try to do that now, since in the past I would try to silently battle the headache and then snap at them when they tried to keep me engaged in a conversation. I have had migraines for over 20 years and after a brief respite when I entered full menopause, they seem to be back. Bright lights, bright sun, noise, fragrances, alcoholic drinks, and stress all triggers. I am learning to get adequate sleep regularly, continue with stress reduction like yoga and meditation, and quickly grab that Maxalt as soon as I feel that pulsing headache or noise/light sensitivity. The brain is a mysterious things and we migrainers all know that.

  • Diane
    6 years ago

    Sojgrensplusmigraines Sue: I initially had classic migraines from age 6-45. The one sided HA, nausea noise, vomiting. My Mother had the same. However over the past year, I began having speech aphasia, Numbness on one side of face or arm, occasional blurring of vision and sharp intense pain that vaired in area. I also found that I was completely fine, then would suddenly not know how to drive a simple route to my home or work. I thought I was having a stroke, with the numbness, saw an opthamologist for the vision, saw a cardiologist for the numbness my primary sent me to a nerologist after r/o diabetes and thyroid.The finding myself lost behind the wheel had me thinking of early alzheimers as did the decline in concentration and clearity. It was the resulsts of normal thruout. However the neuologist after several tesrs recognized that as we mature migraines can vary in type and symptoms to being sensory. I could not complete a simple math oral problem of subtraction and had to really concentrate to maintain the inital interview with him. I was having 5 months of daily light headaches or sensory issues. Since I had insomnia as well,as dreaming I had a headache only to awaken to one.
    he ordered a prescription to increase my sleep pattern. I also avoid gluten. Remarkablly having him confirm it was migraine, not something of brain degeneration was a relief. Knowing my heart was terrific, helped. Yet the migraines do reoccure faithfully if I cheat and eat gluten to avoid imposing on others who cooked. I have learned to say to mu husband “Can we discuss this later I just am not obsorbing it all?”. To my grown children when the words dont flow or thoughts dont process, I just explain I am having a h?A and cant concentrate. I am a nurse and have chosen to cut hour to very part time. I was concerned if I could not formulate thought articulately thooooooough I knew what was going on and just was trapped inside, it best to cut back rather then others not understanding and thinking speech clouded by drugs or alchol both of which I do not use. Bright lights, noise didnt trigger mine, even post menopause, but 10 years later they will agravate it once it has begun. Even cell phone lights and computer screens can push one over the tolerable edge.

  • Sand
    6 years ago

    I find that I become “stupid” when I have a migraine. Things said to me often don’t make sense. I have to pay very close attention, and still, at times, I am at a loss. This is not just with stuff I know nothing about. This is with just ordinary every day stuff. And, the other thing that happens with me is that I become very irritable and anger easily.

  • Pete
    6 years ago

    If I am able to remain vertical, I call it “walking stupid”, warn my wife, and don’t trust anything that I have done, from in-depth research to simply cooking a meal- one other point; it now takes my nearly 2x as long to get anything done, as I don’t trust myself to ‘get it right’ the first time.

  • Diane
    6 years ago

    Sand : see above. I too had eposodic times of memory lapses or feeling observing what was being said and trying to respond, but delayed response. Also other times just couldnt follow a simple conversation, recipe, book ot tv program. I found 3 times driving without any indication of feeling ill not knowing which street to take to work or home, yet knowing that I wasnt sure and what my options would be. I literally pulled over and called my daughter to ask how to arrive at my own home and also on occassion had wherewithall to plug GPS in and program it to find path. I found at times to be expressive aphasic and embarrassed. Once at a meeting I was to do a short presantation and some lady said “Oh she’s forgot what she was going to say”. I had not I just couldnt begin though the words were there. After fearing neuro degeneration, cardiac numbess and aching arm, visual disurbance, I was able to thru many tests r/o all of those and a nerologist explained the there are varing types of migraines. That though I had suffered from age 6-45 with occasional classic migraines they had changed in manifesting and saide my brain was healthy except backfireing during the newer type of migraine. I do get short or irritable if I’m not able to be as high type A as previous. but thankfully it is not permanant and manageable if I dont push my triggers of sleep deprivation, hunger and gluten. Good luck with comeing out of the fog.

  • abbijustme
    6 years ago

    I feel ya here. The same happens to me. It’s depressing to think about. I forget things, and words I SHOULD know.

  • tinallee
    6 years ago

    Strangely enough I rattle on like I have just found my voice when i have a migraine. that doesn’t mean I make a lot of sense or use common sense because I may reveal things I shouldn’t and I don’t always understand what others say to me but I run on like a river in the spring.

  • Toni Chavez
    6 years ago

    Just found this site and think it is great! It is helping my family to better understand what I go through. I have had migraines since I was about 8, though they were bad I typically only had one or two a month. Through the years they became worse and then would recede to where they were bad, but only occasional. Over the past few years they have become chronic (at least 4 a week)and horrid! Along with other health problems that the Drs are trying to diagnose. I spend most my days sleeping now while my husband (who’s in the Army) and two older daughters shoulder everything. This has been the worst point in my 39 years as I have always been active, independent and just able to handle whatever has been thrown at us. I recently (majorly) underestimated exactly how far the migraine was and made the mistake of driving. I had to get my daughter who is in high school and only has half days. The school was making a huge issue about her leaving campus immediately. Felling so useless because of the migraines and all the health problems I volunteered to pick her up knowing my husbands day was a really busy one. I just wanted to help. I really thought I had more time before vision, light, my peripheral vision, nausea, etc. were going to hit. Man was I wrong! I actually skidded along a parked car and didn’t realize it! Somewhere my brain processed that I may have because I kept thinking to myself “what if I did hit that car”. When I pulled over at the next safest area and checked, I seen what I had done. I don’t think I have ever felt so stupid before in my life! We are a military family and live on an AF base, so when I came back on base the owners of the vehicle I hit called the MPs and I was arrested for a hit and run. Most of it is a blur though I remember trying to write out my statement and just couldn’t write (like now, lol), and that is one of my greatest (only, lol) talent, yet forming a sentence is nearly impossible when the migraine comes. Tonight’s migraine is just starting and I am on my way to my cold dark room, but wanted to put this out there where there are others who hopefully understand, as nobody else does.They all looked at me like “yeah right how could you not realize you hit a car”. The biggest thing is there wasn’t any damage to the parked jeep (I didn’t even know what type of vehicle till I was told) I didn’t hit it, I basically skidded along the bumper. Though they are still filling a insurance claim…on what damage I don’t know?! There is paint damage to my car, but no dents or major damage, but still got looked at like I was a complete moron and lier. I will be headed to court soon. I can only hope I get a judge who is familiar with migraines. One of the officers was and was very understanding she actually thought the whole thing was ridiculous as there wasn’t any damage to their vehicle, but the rest were just condescending and mean. I’m not looking for sympathy, like I said I just wanted to put out one of my worst experiences to those who live in this kind of pain and maybe connect with those who understand this beast we live with. I hope everyone finds relief in someway and soon. My thoughts are with all of you!

  • sarals
    6 years ago

    Wow, I didn’t realize how normal this is with migraines. I’ve had migraines since I was about 14 and I’m 37 now. I never had speech problems with migraines until about 2 years ago. I had a migraine coming on and they had changed. I no longer got the visual aura but my face started going numb like and I would find it difficult to talk normally. Like my lips and tongue were really fat or something. One day I was dropping my daughter off at a friends house as one was coming on and her mom/ a friend of mine said my left side of my mouth was drooping too. I was worried I was having a stroke. I was checked out and it was just the migraine. But I’ve had several symptoms that have freaked me out thinking i’m having a stroke and going to die and it’s just a really nasty migraine. I so wish there was a cure for these things.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    sarals = Migraines can be so confusing and scary. I’m wondering if you are seeing a Migraine and headache specialist who can give you a more specific diagnosis and treatment, and perhaps talk about your symptoms with you. Those of us with stroke like symptoms need to get good at recogniziing the differences between the two conditions. Here is a great link that can help you find a specialist to help you: http://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

    ~Ellen

  • Susan Walton
    6 years ago

    I have been suffering from migraine for the past 24 years. I have evolved from once per week to almost every day, I finally visit a neurologist and was diagnosed as having ‘complex or complicated migraine”, I was put on preventative medication but I hate the side effects. My left side is damaged, i get chest pains, etc. I am sadden when people refer to me as “oh you have a headache” I have learn to tough it, as I write now I am having an attack. Only we know what we endure. I am at a loss, I am now relying on vitamins and walking.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Susan,

    It’s nice to hear from you Susan. As you know, migraine is so much more than a headache and even some doctors have the wrong idea about them. There isn’t a diagnosis ” of “complex or complicated” which doesn’t help with the confusion between migraine and headache. This link has information on ‘complicated and complex’ migraine that may be helpful for you; http://migraine.com/blog/complex-complicated-migraine/

    Nancy

  • ericalynnjacobs
    6 years ago

    When I get migraines, which seems to be too often these days, especially ate the age of 19 and in the middle of a semester at college, I just can’t think. I get so confused so easily over the most simple things…especially math or any sort of recollection. At times that’s how I know a migraine is coming…by how confused and air-headed I become which just makes me feel worthless and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that feels the same way.

  • samanthajay
    6 years ago

    Hi Erica,

    I know exactly how you feel, I’ve just started my law degree and feel at a massive disadvantage tot he rest of the people in my class, because I’m usually out of action at least 1 day a week with a migraine, then take another day in lalaland when recovering. I’m not sure what your college is like, but I went at spoke to the student help centre where I go and they’ve been so helpful. Not enough people relaise that suffering from migraines is an actual disability and there is help out there. I never asked for it during my first degree because I thought people would just roll their eyes and think ‘they’re just headaches, you should suck them up’ – but the more I talk to people about them, the more I realise this is a wide spread phenomenon these days and a lot of people do understand. Now I get lee-way for missing classes due to an attack and get extensions when I need them for assignments. it actually takes a lot of the pressure of which in turn means less stress as a potential trigger.

  • R. Traylor
    6 years ago

    Most people do not understand if I say my head hurts then it is to the point where I truly believe most people that have never experienced migraines could not take the pain. I have had a headache almost every day of my life since the second grade and I am in my fifties. Before migraines I had cluster headaches. I can tell you exactly when and where I was when the last cluster headache came on and that was forty-two years ago. The migraines came next. Difficulty conversing, thinking, just putting on foot in front of the other before uncontrollable vomiting starts all have at times taken every ounce of strength I could muster. I have a friend that a migraine came on at work and when she got to her car she could not do anything but vomit and lay in front seat of her car in the parking lot where she worked. The police came and rather than assume she needed help and was sick accused and treated her as if she were drunk.How humiliating and where she worked too. If people that are suppose to be trained to help do not understand severity and symptoms and you are trying your best to explain and cannot . . .the possibility of being in this situation scares me to death.

  • MajorPain
    6 years ago

    I experience a lot of speech difficulties with my migraines, sometimes before they even star. I have difficulty finding words, concentrating on what other people are saying, remembering, and so for. As for vomiting, Thank’s God, I usually only get a lot of nausea, half the migraines give me the runs, which can be pretty inconvenient to say the least, but only occasionally I get to vomit. Most embarrassing story than happen to me is when I was working ( I am on disability now)I was taking the bus to work, was summer time and that particular morning I was particularly sensitive to smells. It seems that several fellow travelers decided to skip personal hygiene rituals (seems to me for several weeks)and the BO scents of the bus ride got to me big time. I don’t know how I manage to make it to my bus stop, but as soon as I got out of the bus I barf big time for all the passengers and several coworkers to see. Needless to say the rumor mill star going and during next month I was ask several times when I was due!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Traylor,

    Hopefully with more education we will be able to reduce migraine stigma. We can all help with this by passing along the correct information about what a migraine is and isn’t!

    Let’s hope we never have to experience what your poor friend did.

    Nancy

  • julialampros
    6 years ago

    Oh boy, do I identify with this. Migraines not only hurt, I always say that they make my head numb – so much so that I can’t really tell if it hurts. The good ‘ol number scale is useless. I know that if I am driving or at work (ER nurse), my eyes cannot focus and my brain is reacting slower, if at all. I constantly have to ask for people to repeat things right after they say them as I am not comprehending that quickly. I also forget easilyduring this time. When attempting to do something such as grocery shopping with the big M, I cannot read the labels that well.

    Approximately one year ago, the neurologist who treats me stated that the only option left was to attempt Botox of which I was not a fan. I had started taking Butterbur earlier and wanted to see how I did with this. It seemed to have helped with the frequency and intensity of the migraines. I am not migraine free, but I cannot tell you how my life has changed since taking Butterbur. My sister (who is a physician) reccomended this after reading several articles. I certainly take rescue medications less frequently and have a better quality of life.

    When I had bilateral hip replacements this past year, I had to stop the Butterbur prior to both surgeries. I noticed that after awhile the migraines came back worse than they had been. Right now, I am sticking with the Butterbur.

  • acansler
    6 years ago

    Difficulty speaking and writing are two of the main things that let me know I’m in for a “need to be in the dark vomiting” migraine. The last one like that was a couple of weeks ago on my way to church. I couldn’t speak at breakfast. I was slurring like I was drunk. It was hard to understand what others were saying also. I could hear them, I just couldn’t process anything. By the time we went in to service, I was trying to take notes and it was chicken scratch. At best, it looked like a toddler trying to write. I had to excuse myself, lie down, and then suffer for five days at home. People who are close to me understand my short, one word sentences when I need help, but it doesn’t make me feel any better that I’m reduced to a non-functional ball of pain when they hit.

  • Poppy Potts
    6 years ago

    I had migraines for many years, they usually lasted between 2 and 5 days and I always had to leave work because I was vomitting . I had to go home and go to bed and take codeine to be able to stand it. I am not familliar with what they are calling migraines these days. There is no way anyone could be up and going to work with what was a migraine to me. You are down and its impossible to talk to anyone, you are too goofy. they are on one side of your head and you can feel them coming on but not days ahead of time, its usually minutes. When I went thru menopause, the headaches were gone. like magic. I think they are calling some other maladies migraines these days because the symptoms are foreign to me that people are having.

  • txrungirl
    6 years ago

    Migraine Girl – thanks for your openness. I’ve been struggling with this issue for over 10 years. It first hit when I was trying to read a letter aloud to my brother and I couldn’t read a simple word. It progressed to not understanding speech, doing simple math (I was a CPA!!) writing, etc. I have found so many coping skills – texting, caller ID (so I can recognize who’s calling me) and my kids help me find words and do the math. After many tests (brain scans, etc) the only thing they could diagnose was aphasia. My problem started before Topamax (300mg daily) and continues with and without the concurrent migraines. I pray all of you find some relief in some type of coping skills like I have – it makes it somewhat better. Please know that I still hate it and get very frustrated. But at least, I know I can try to deal with it. Bless you all.

  • jules
    6 years ago

    I just recently started having migraines, and I am 23. I have had a rough time, and not too many people understand what is going on. It really is a frustrating thing- especially with my career, school, and life in general. I felt like no one gets it. I have a huge problem at work “functioning” as I call it. I can’t complete a sentence, and it is even worse when I try to read. I’ve been placed on several different medications in the past month, and I’m starting to think they are just getting worse. So is the memory. I just want to say that I get emotional reading everyone’s posts, because it is so helpful knowing that I am not the only one like this. It’s kind of a support system that I never thought I would need or have. With that being said- I appreciate each post… because somehow it gets me through the day- knowing that there are people who get me.

  • laurawestkong
    6 years ago

    My brain fog was so constant I never associated it with migraines. I had trouble stringing words together to form simple sentences. Feels like when you’re learning a foreign language and your brain is turning and turning, searching for the word you know is there but you can’t find it, except its English which I’ve been speaking my entire life.

    When I went on a gluten-free diet my brain fog disappeared along with my migraines. I went from 10-20 headache days a month to 1-2 just like that. Both the brain fog and the headaches when they are there are milder too. Sometimes I don’t take medication of any kind. Occasionally an aura comes and goes without a headache.

    If I am not careful with what I eat, not just wheat/gluten, but other random foods too, the headaches and brain fog will start creeping in. Then I tighten up my diet and try to eat really clean. No processed foods, dairy, grains, added sugar, etc. Of course that’s not an instant fix for the conversation at hand, but it does turn things around and keep them from getting even worse as the days go on.

  • Mary Roger
    6 years ago

    I lose the ability to think and use words. Fortunately my husband has been thru this enough with me that he can quickly figure out what it is I am trying to say. With each migraine the condition is getting worse. I try to keep myself going with word searches, crossword puzzles, word games, etc. to keep my mind as sharp as I can when I am not having a migraine. What is there to help with these times? Are there any new trials, research, etc. to help us?

  • Janet
    6 years ago

    Janet,

    I have learned over the years that I’ve been a migraine.com member that what I go through…it’s not only me….and for so many many many years I thought these things only happened to me.

    What do I do when I feel I’m not present and with people during a migraine attack…is fake the best I can…all the while I’m not hearing anything significant because during these times I don’t comprehend..and if I try to speak I stutter because the words don’t come to my brain at all. My husband gets it because I’ve been like this for so long…and he knows when I’m frustrated when communication is difficult for me…or I can’t understand because I really can’t listen…not because I am not interested…I’ve learned part of the entire migraine means you see the people talking to you and hear them but you have no idea what they said because your brain is otherwise engaged….I go with it because I can’t change it and apologize if I can when I can….the frustration for me hasn’t gone away in 37 years…and since I didn’t outgrow it as I was told at 20 years old…my options are minimal. For me..it’s better knowing I’m not alone in these feelings…all the while very upsetting because I’m so different…and after all these years, sometimes angry to have to be this way day after day after day…it’s part of who I am.

    Blessings,
    Janet Jones
    Douglasville, Georgia

  • Angel
    6 years ago

    Wow, its so nice to have an entire group of people here who understand exactly what I’m going through… in my world, I don’t have anyone who does…

    Like you, Janet, I’m a complete chatterbox & the class clown who is always making everyone laugh until… Migraine Brain takes over… then I’m completely withdrawn, quiet & if you really know me, you’ll notice that I’m those two things b/c I’m actually quite the space cadet…

    The more I learn about migraines, the more I realize that I’m affected more than I ever realized… I knew I was quite intelligent once upon a time (pre-migraines) & now I feel like an idiot frequently as sometimes I struggle w/ math in my head or make grammatical errors that I previously would not have done. Behold, my migraines are chronic, almost daily & science has proven that I can expect them to affect my intelligence level and my ability to focus & concentrate (which is now gone).

    Then there’s the memory… my boss sent an email and was shocked that I had no recollection of it one month later, haha, who was she kidding? She sends lengthy, wordy email one month prior to the actual event & expects me to one, focus enough to read it and two, remember? Psh, we all know that would never happen. 🙂

    But there’s not just a change in my personality from extrovert to introvert & forgetting where I am in conversation (yes, that happens too) – I also notice that when I have Migraine-Brain, I get tongue-tied very frequently… has anyone experienced this?

    Again, thanks to you all for going through this w/ me, though I wish none of us had to suffer.

  • Vicki
    6 years ago

    The most frustrating thing for me is that I think these particular symptoms have kept me from moving very high in my career. Absenteeism from time to time (I just forgot the word I really wanted to use, as well as the rest of what I wanted to say).

    Somehow I managed to put forth the right intelligent words and conversation in my recent job interview that I wanted very much! I thanked God for all of it! I know it’s in there(my brain), it’s just a matter of getting down the right pathways.

  • marycr8on
    6 years ago

    I remember the first time it really became apparent that this was what was happening to me. My daughter was driving me to a neurologist’s appointment in a different city. We got a little turned around, so she handed me the map to figure out where we were and how to get where we were supposed to go. I looked at the map and had no idea how to tell her what she needed to know. I found where we were and where we should go, but I just couldn’t give her directions at all. She took the map and said: “You can’t even read a map?! What’s wrong with you?” I felt like an idiot, that had never happened to me before, at least not to that degree. My daughter has done a lot of reading about migraine since then and understands what happened now, but she will tease me about it on occasion when we drive somewhere together. I know neither of us will forget that one.

  • Sonya
    6 years ago

    Hi, I’ve had migraines for 33 years. Thank God they are finally slacking off to where I don’t always have them every day. A true answer to prayer! I found that I had the most trouble “finding words” when I was on Topamax. I was gradually put on the max amount and it was very troubling and embarrassing! I don’t recall having that problem much since I’ve been off of it. I don’t have much trouble with chit chat and I work from home (unable to work outside the home for many years)so I don’t have many long engaging conversations except sometimes on the phone. Then I try to end the call quickly. I do have problems listening like last night at the supper table my husband was excited about a project and he talked on and on about it until I finally had to cover my ears and say “No more. No more!”
    The saddest part about my migraines is that I have always loved music and always played music in the car. Now I can’t listen to music at all. Not any kind of music. My husband also loves music and likes to come home and play music to relax. I will have to come upstairs and close the door. I can only stand music in church and can even sing in church but only if I don’t have a migraine at the time.

  • nekhbet
    6 years ago

    Ugh, talking to Migraine Me (which is most of the time, these days…) is something like an extended game of very frustrated Charades. I have trouble with fog, aphasia, memory, speech during all phases of my migraines. I know that some of my other meds can also cause similar symptoms or aggravate the migraine brainlessness, & I often feel like I’ve got (rabidly painful) scrambled eggs in my head instead of something that actually helps me think & communicate & even vaguely function & all. Thankfully my family & friends are now used to the glazed-eye, stuttering/mumbling thing–it frustrates *everybody*, but at least we all know why–as I’ve managed to inform everyone during those shocking moments of clarity where I can talk! And sorta think! (I hate that that’s become a treat rather than a majority.) And if I have issues while in public/around new people, I try & communicate, however tersely, that I’m migraine-ing & it gives me trouble–they’ve been pretty understanding, in my experience, even if it’s perhaps because I’m freaking them out too much for protest, lol. Notes & lists are my secret weapons–even though sometimes I have to sit for an hour while I try & bring up the word I want for my list…

  • Garangwyn
    6 years ago

    I’m afraid I have the same problem as Ang44 and georgialesinger. My communication problems don’t go away when the migraine does. It’s not just oral communication either…my whole thinking process has become affected to the point that I not only became “someone else”, but I lost my job too. I still wonder how much is the migraines, the meds, and the brain lesions, which I understand are commonly found in migraine patients, yet which they claim are unrelated and have no effect. A lesion is scar tissue…how can scars in you brain not affect something? At least I can laugh about it now and I just tell people I have brain damage. If I laugh, so do they. I recently went on a gluten-free diet, however, and I actually think that is helping to clear up some of the fog.

  • Susan Walton
    6 years ago

    I am going through the same, I am afraid to speak publicly. I too rely on crossroads etc, to keep me focus. I did a CT Scan and was told I had a brain lesion, I totally believe brain must affect us. I was also an extrovert and 24 years of migraine have made me into, what can I say? A mere speck of my fun self.

  • minddoctor
    6 years ago

    Jenniferbrodeur interesting point about brain lesions. My migraines started about two years ago following a car accident. My MRI showed brain lesions, but the doc thought they could be normal for my age (I’m 40 now). It only seems rational to me that having scar tissue in the brain must be effecting lots of things. In terms of conversation, anyone else have difficulty projecting their voice? I am also normally an extroverted, even somewhat loud talker – but during a migraine, no one can hear what I am saying, and they often get frustrated with me. I try to make my words louder, but I simply can not – perhaps it’s because I become so noise sensitive during an attack. I also feel incredibly stupid before, during and after a migraine – I was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury from the MVA, so perhaps that is to blame… but it is the reason that I am not practicing psychology for the past two years – I might have a doctoral degree and once felt quite intelligent, but brain lesions, pain cycles, etc. leave me struggling with such basics – like I could watch a 30 minute tv show and almost all of it does not get encoded, to the point where I could watch it again right away and it’s nearly like a brand new experience.

  • jantics3
    6 years ago

    “My ears hurt” … It is hard to have conversations, challenging to talk, and almost impossible to remember anything. My ears are in intense pain the whole time I have a migraine. So … coping … 1. SHARE INFORMATION Let those around me know who my migraine effects. 2. TAKE/WRITE NOTES when talking. And write things down for others. 3. I SOFTEN THE SOUND ENVIRONMENT, turn off everything possible (amazing how even those electronics build up in intensity). 4. HOOK-UP Strengthen/calm the brain/neurological pathways (brain gyms). Clasp hands & place over heart, cross ankles, & place tongue on roof of mouth while breathing deeply in through nose & out through mouth … this actually helps. 5. STAY OFF THE PHONE. So much communication is non-verbal. And my brain is already misfiring … being on the phone & missing a good portion of the conversation opens the door to miscommunication. Hope some of my coping skills help someone else. I look forward to seeing what other people do.

  • heatherrouse
    6 years ago

    I call those my “Stupid Migraines” I will be talking and forget words or what I was saying. All I have to do now is tell my family I’m having a “Stupid Migraine” and they understand. We all kind of laugh about it which good because it makes me feel better without having to explain every time that the words are just not there. And the family knows to try not to have deep conversations with me when I tell them I’m having one of those.

  • Daniel
    6 years ago

    I can relate to what you are saying, and add a few more problems that occur because of the chronic daily migraines that I have, and the meds that I take.

    One of the main problems that I have, is that my speach has slowed down considerably so that even my wife has to have extreme patience to listen to what I have to say. It’s as if I can’t get the words out fast enough.

    Another problem, is that I forget not only names, but simple words. What I mean by that, is that I may be in a conversation and in the middle of the sentence, and I stop speaking, because I have forgotten the next word that I want to use. I don’t forget the conversation, but the word is just on the tip of my tongue and I can’t seem to get it out.

    My wife has gotten used to this, and helps by saying the word that she thinks I’m trying to say, and most of the time she gets it. It’s just so frustrating, being a professional in the field, now on disability because of the meds, the lack of the ability to communicate the way that I want, and the constant pain, so that I can’t concentrate on my patients.

    Even writing this, I have had to stop several times, because I have forgotten the next word that I have wanted to type. As I have said. I can understand and empathize with you completely!

  • Janet
    6 years ago

    Daniel,

    I suffer in so many ways that you do…being in a conversation and forgetting what the conversation is about right in the middle of one..or your thought escapes your brain just as you were going to say it…..the frustration is so overwhelming for me, that as a child I stopped talking entirely. Now, I seem to be getting the same frustration all over again. A lifetime of migraines does cause brain damage. I have no recall…but sometimes when reminded by friends or family and entire time in my life that my migraine brain has forgotten somehow comes out from under the webs and parts of that time is remembered …any way I look at it…there are worse disabilities to have…but I’m of the mindset now that with all the side effects I still suffer from medications I haven’t had in years…or other health problems because of some of the treatments over the years has allowed me to be angry …I don’t stay that way for long because as the years have gone by..I haven’t found a doctor who can help take it away or make it even tolerable…it is what it is…

    Blessings
    Janet

  • Cecile
    6 years ago

    Speech problems are common for me when I have headaches — word-finding, forgetting names, forgetting common words, and stuttering. I can’t not carry the simplest thought. Before I realized I was a migraineur, I thought I was a poor thinker and was bothered by it, but now I know that when those symptoms show up, a headache is on the way and I can take action to ward it off, or at least lessen its severity. I used to try and hide my aversion to conversation and social interaction during those times for fear of being unpleasant – ha! All I accomplished was being….. unpleasant.

    After I was diagnosed with chronic migraine and realized the connection between the two events, I began to be up front with people in a matter-of-fact way, and soon those situations became much more comfortable for both parties. Co-workers could ignore me and I could ignore them and neither of us were being rude. It saved my remaining scintilla of energy for being animated with clients.

  • samanthajay
    6 years ago

    Hi Cecile,

    I often mix-up my words and like instead of saying something like ‘did you get the notes from our meeting?’ I will say ‘did you get the meeting from our notes?’ without even realising the mistake until someone points it out to me. I often do stumble or stutter over a my first word too. When I’m in a full swing migraine attack I find it hard to talk at all. My boyfriend used to get so frustrated when he would ask how he could help and all I could do was blink or nod.

    I’ve always just thought of the former as a form of, I don’t know, verbal dyslexia. I’ve never once considered it might be related to my migraines. I’ve only just signed up to this website and I’ve already learnt so much. Thanks you to everyone for being so open and sharing this information.

  • dismales
    6 years ago

    Wow you couldnt have described me better. I am a nurse, and trying to cope with a migraine and/or chronic daily headache while working with my patients is a challenge. But a challenge God has given me to carry out. I am still trying to find something to help with the pain and debility. putting things into words or the words in the right order even is a task at times. Thanks for your posts, it helps to know there are others who hurt and Drs. dont know why.

  • Sand
    6 years ago

    Dismales, I am a nurse also. Please be cautious about taking the medication prescribed for you while you are at work. The state board of nursing in the great state of Texas has decided any one who requires prescription drugs for pain has no business nursing. And, no, I wasn’t abusing the meds. One doctor, one prescription, one pharmacy, used as prescribed. I had an absentee problem. Didn’t think it was ethical to practice when I was affected by the migraine. Got me a urine drug screen, cost me my job, and eventually my license. God bless you, I hope this never has to happen to someone else.

  • georgiaslesinger
    6 years ago

    I’ve learned that, instead of trying to appear normal, it’s best to come right out front and say, “I’m in the middle of a migraine, so if I’m not making sense, just let me know. And please understand if I ask you to repeat something.” Even people who don’t understand about migraies appreciate the heads-up and are very kind, I’ve found.

    With my family, they already understand. During one visit with all the kids and grandkids, etc., I said something that was completely unintelligible. My husband translated what I meant to say to them exactly! Then he proudly said, “Bet you didn’t know that I was fluent in migraine.”

    If I’m on the phone, I put it on speaker immediately and let the other peson know it by saying, “I’ve got you on speaker because it’s too painful to put the phone to my ear right now. But, I’m alone here, so don’t worry.” If it’s still too much after a few minutes, I let them know that I have to go and will call them back when I’m feeling better.

  • AmyBabee
    6 years ago

    I hear you, sister! Just this sunday, I was feeling a bit okay as can be. Went to church and on my way back decided to pick up a few groceries at the store. Started getting that ‘funny feeling’ of something about to hit me. I decided to take a taxi home. I have always been a chatter-box with taxi drivers or anyone for that matter but today, the driver must have thought ‘what a drug-head’ bcos I couldn’t open my mouth to make sense. I simply told him, “can’t talk; my head”. Fortunately, my mobile pharmacy is always with me, of course, so i proceeded to take my meds. I felt so bad afterwards bcos that was so unlike me but strangely he understood ‘cos when we got home he almost gave me hug and wished me well in kind words. I thought I am aging thats why I cant remember words or names… 🙁

  • Ang44
    6 years ago

    Hi,
    Not only do I have the problem of not being able to think, speak well, comprehend during a migraine but some of my preventative medicines cause loss of word or thought recall so that I often cannot think of proper names or forget what I was going to say if I am interrupted.

  • minddoctor
    6 years ago

    A few months ago I looked straight at my cousin’s wife, whom I’ve known for over 20 years, and called her by her daughter’s name, and didn’t even realize it. That stuff is all new since the migraines started 2 years ago after a car accident.

  • Angiestl
    6 years ago

    I’m also in the same boat. When I was still working, I was in retail, which is a horrible business to be in when you forget an important word out of at least every third sentence. At one point the girl I worked with on a daily basis knew me well enough and knew my issues well enough to be able to s
    Pick that missing word out of this air nine times out of ten. The most frustrating part about this type of aphasia is that I can usually describe whatever it is I want to say, I just can’t get the word to come out of my mouth. Let’s say that car was the word I’d lost, I could tell you it was used to take 2-4 people from one place to another, usually gas powered, low to the ground. I had no idea that this could be tied to my migraines, I only knew of it being connected to my preventive med. I normally refer to it as my stupid pill.

  • georgiaslesinger
    6 years ago

    Same here, Ang:(

  • Aimee
    6 years ago

    Usually when a migraine hits me, thankfully not that often as of late, I am in my room with the lights off and a pillow over my head. My fiancee understands what a migraine is and helps me thru it, even if it is just keeping an eye on my 3 and 6 year olds. I cannot talk nor listen when in the midst of a migraine, brain function doesn’t exist during those episodes.

  • joy
    6 years ago

    What do I do when this happens? At home all I say is that I have a headache and go to bed. At work it is more difficult – first I make sure that my students know in advance that I have migraines and if I act strange it is the Migraine not them. Second I look like I am listening and if I can’t concentrate I tell them. When it is communication and I can’t talk, I use 1 or 2 words at a time. With my colleagues I do the same, just letting them know that I have migraines and my communication skills can be effected helps.

  • Laura Ryefield-Puls
    6 years ago

    My husband sent me this link, as I was in terrible pain today, and realized I was having trouble finding the correct words to tell him simple things. I have had this problem before, but I think it just hit us both today how bad it was. It’s a relief to know that it is common with migraines.

  • Michael
    6 years ago

    I drive a semi truck over the road for a living. Naturally, most of my communication with my family is done over the telephone.

    When my daughter or mother call me I want to be able to listen and respond with all of the attention they deserve. I have finally had to tell them when I talk to them what level of pain I am in at the time since it is a daily challenge.
    If it is over a 6 I start to become unresponsive and beyond an 8 I can forget it. I used to try and struggle through the conversation but it simply wasn’t fair to my friends and loved ones. I just tell them what level I am at and hope they understand.

  • Nola
    6 years ago

    The speech aphasia is bad enough, but the inability to remember even simple things like my student’s names that really hurts. Following the thread of a conversation is nearly impossible during an attack.

  • wao618
    6 years ago

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I get disoriented when I get a migraine even when there’s no pain. I’m in a profession where I need to communicate w/others and it is very difficult when I have a migraine. I usually end up having to leave work early because of the pain & I am totally useless.

  • favorst
    6 years ago

    YES! I can find myself in this position as many as 2 days before a migraine fully hits. I teach school and the kids are forgiving and helpful. I usually end up avoiding adults, and when I do have contact with them, I am apologizing continually for my inability to find the word I am looking for or taking sooo long to complete my thought. Utter frustration.

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