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Change in Migraines after years of the same

I’m 48 & have had migraines since I was in my teens. When I was pregnant I didn’t get morning sickness, I got migraines that lasted for days. My migraines have mostly been hormone related. I would get them while I was sleeping, usually aware in my sleep that I had a migraine but couldn’t wake myself up to take something. I took midrin for years, which with a few extra hours of sleep would take care of my headache, but midrin went away & since then I haven’t been able to find anything that helps. After Midrin they would last about 12-18 hours. I get a migraine about every 3 weeks.

And now they are changing. I am not waking up with them any more – they come on suddenly – like I am getting hit in the head with a hammer! I am getting confused, having trouble focusing, my eyes and top lip are twitching & drooping & my face is tingling as are my hands & feet. The first time this happened I ended up in the ER thinking it may be a stroke. The doc treated the migraine & the symptoms went away so he wasn’t worried about anything further. My next migraine had similar symptoms. I then was referred to a neurologist by my family doc who has treated my migraines for years. She started me on topamax (I am up to 50 mg – when I go up to 75 I have a big focus issue at work) & new med to take when I get the migraines (my new insurance wouldn’t cover frova.) So I get another migraine (on my 3 week schedule)& this time my confusion & lack of focus was so bad I couldn’t drive & my husband had to pick me up from work.

Now, only 1 1/2 weeks later I am driving & getting confused & driving not sure where I am. I pulled over & my husband came & got me, Again twitching, numbness in the face, hands & feet. We went to the ER again & because I have had 4 of the episodes since March 20 they did an MRI which came back normal. My reg doc ordered an EEG to rule out seizure activity but I haven’t gotten that back yet.

This is just very frustrating because it is scary when you find yourself driving & not exactly sure how you got somewhere.

Trying all they typical stuff: magnesium, b vitamins, water, also using essential oils. The thing that seems to do the most though is sleeping in a dark cool room with an ice pack on my neck, lavender oil on my temples.

I’m worrying about my job though. Already missed 6 days since February.

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


  • Kathy Braaten
    5 years ago

    I was having the same symptoms. Spent the last 3 days in er in Edmonton having every test they could think of. Conclusion they came up with was non epileptic seizures, migraines and trigelelal neuralgia. Haven’t followed up with my doc yet so we will see

  • oddrianna
    5 years ago

    Jodi, I have suffered with migraines for years and tried several medications, including topamax. When I was on topamax I was constantly tired, confused, and driving was absolutely impossible-even when I was on a low dosage. I also experienced a new slew of symptoms after having the same type of migraines for years. The only relief I found was getting off of all medications completely. When I stopped all medications, even though I still got migraines, the scary symptoms like numbness and confusion were greatly reduced. I also found that when I was on topamax, my abortive medication that I would take at the onset of a migraine worked less. Even though getting off all of my medications was a total bitch, being off them gave me a better understanding of my symptoms and get better treatment because I was able to decipher what were my actual migraines, rather than what was being caused by the meds or a rebound headache.

  • Kathy Braaten
    5 years ago

    I can not tell you how relieved I am to hear this story. I have also suffered from migraines since I was a teen, started out about once a year and now it’s daily. I get the same kind of attacks, face on left side goes numb, muscles start spasming then the nerve pain hits. My whole left side of body goes numb, I loose function in left hand, left leg at times goes out on me. I can not Cary on a conversation, comprehend anything said to me and my memory is gone. Just like having many mini strokes a day. I get my MRI July 12. I am from canada so seeing specialist can take 2-3 years and getting tests 6-12 months

  • Chere
    5 years ago

    Migraines are caused by so many things. Hormones, certainly.

    But keep in mind food triggers. Our food providers have been tweaking what we eat. And some of the things they are doing isn’t really good for all people. The days of trusting food providers is over.

    MSG (and its hundreds of names!) is added to so many foods without folks knowing they are eating it; a huge trigger for many folks with migraines. Processed and Diet/low fat/etc foods are full of msg-like ingredients.

    GMOs are being added to many products in recent years (corn, soy, etc.) The GMO added is designed to kill insects. Why would we believe it is okay to ingest it?

    I recommend reading Heal Your Headache by Buchholz. It opened my eyes to many strategies in reducing my headaches. My library had it and other great books – maybe yours does, too. Reading more about migraines really helped me advocate on my behalf.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    You mentioned that Midrin had worked well for you in the past. There is a med called, Prodrin that is considered a Midrin equivalent. You may want to talk to your doctor about it.

    The new symptoms you are having must be scary. It’s good to know that all the tests are coming back normal, so that means there isn’t a more serious underlying issue. But that can be frustrating too since there’s quick fix for what you’re going through.

    A few years ago, a TV reporter had a Migraine attack on camera, showing stroke-like symptoms that were later found to be part of her Migraine aura, similar to some of the symptoms you were describing. Here’s some more information about it:

    As far as your job is concerned, have you had a candid discussion with your boss or HR? I know that I had to sadly use vacation time for Migraine days after I had used up all of my sick days. It’s stressful trying to take care of yourself and trying to work. Take the time you need to rest and recover or else your body won’t heal and the Migraines could get worse or more frequent. If you are worried about your job, become familiar with the FMLA law, that protects your job if you need to take extended time off.

    I wish you good health!

  • Jodi author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I have an appt with my neurologist Thurs & will ask about that med. As far as work my boss & I have talked. Hes pretty good & did mention FMLA if it was needed so I did plan to check into it especially since the frequency of these episodes is increasing. I worked as a sub in my son’s school district for years & it was a great job to have with the migraines but I needed. I’ve thought of checking into it again just because of the migraines.

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