Activity Caused Migraines – Am I an alien?

Okay – so I had a sporadic migraine or two growing up with totally different aura’s (one “falling golden coins” one black spot of no vision, and the more frequent one now being the “glowing neon ameba with lines”) but I have a symptom that has baffled me and doctors. Seventeen years ago I was in an accident where I was on a bike and hit by a car. The car hit the bike, but I flew off and landed on my right elbow and knee. The only reason I bring that up is because shortly thereafter, I started getting more frequent migraine headaches, and I took me a while to recognize the correlation, but if I put any stress or weight on my arms – lift or pull – I can cause a migraine within 24-48 hours. I feel fine during the activity – no pain, no soreness, but then… Activities I have issues with include: ironing, mopping, carrying groceries (or anything). Basically, chores of daily life. Its almost like over hours, something swells in my neck and it all begins.

I can’t tell you the frustration I have had trying to get someone to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. Migraines DO run in my family. My mom always got them, and now a nephew also suffers – so that seems to be the neuro’s “go to” diagnosis – but no one has this ability that I have to cause my own, and it is not only limiting my life, because I LOOK fine – but it’s causing relationship problems as well. Carry my own luggage? nope – pick up the heavy laundry basket? better not! Crouch for any time – like gardening – nope…Shovel snow!!! – Well I did that last Thursday in our blizzard, and only cleared steps and my car, and 36 hours later had a whopper migraine. Thank God I didn’t have children, because there is no way I could carry them!

I have also had some weird ones – one last year where I got the aura, then couldn’t speak or understand language and the pain came on 3 hours later – trip to the ER. I do have some white spots on my brain that a stroke specialist said was from migraine – not stroke (thankfully), and I do have a PFO (small hole in the heart many people with migraine seem to have), but what is the physical connection???

I have been told various things – its a muscle spasm that pinches a nerve – just take Tylenol with codeine – go to Physical Therapy (the lowest tension stretching bands caused a “bed ridden” migraine), tried acupuncture, been to 3 neurologists, an osteopath, have had numerous brain scans, neck MRI’s, etc.

I am 57 – and have tried to keep in some kind of shape. Luckily I am naturally slim, so I do look in shape – and I used to be able to do lower body exercise – but recently even that caused the headaches, then walking too far on the treadmill (on level setting) caused one, and now it seems walking more than 10 minutes makes one happen. Like – REALLY? My neuro told me to “have my husband carry things” and if I have to walk far – use a wheelchair – Oh, com’on!!!! I almost cried.

Yes, I know I need to find another doctor – but I am just wondering – does ANYONE here have this weird situation??? I am feeling like an alien…

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