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My ever-changing plethora of symptoms

My mom had migraines when she was younger, the kind that laid her out for 2 days, in complete darkness. I was the oldest of five and had to take over.

When I was 22 I first noticed auras, but no terrible headaches. At first they manifested as blurry distant vision in the afternoons. Then one day I saw jagged lines of light while I was driving and thought it was a crack in the windshield. I’d get headaches, but not very frequently.

My migraine got worse in my 20’s and 30’s, usually with a small wiggly light somewhere in my field of vision that got bigger, usually forming a crude letter “C” that scintillated. It eventually moved out of my vision and then a black hole appeared. A headache would follow, anywhere on a pain scale of 3-9. At times I’d get so agitated I couldn’t rest.

Around age 36, new symptoms began to appear. I’d wake up and my last two fingers or part of my lower arm would be numb and sometimes tingly. I had a full workup, terrified that it was something worse than headaches, but thankfully it wasn’t. I was put on Inderal 60 mg/qd. One day I had a headache and decided to try one of my mother’s Imitrex injections for relief. Parts of my head, face and throat began to get numb, one spot at a time. The numbness would last for a few minutes and migrate to another spot. It was terrifying. I never used Imitrex again!

During my pregnancy later that year, every day my right arm would get numb and I’d have to lie down. Hormones definitely contributed to my migraines. From time to time a headache would hit me hard, but usually it was low grade pain and weird numbness.

My 40’s brought new symptoms. I’m a teacher and I’d notice dull pain in my head and aphasia. I could almost “see” words but had to struggle a bit to say them. I also get mentally “off”, when I feel almost intoxicated or out-of-body. I like I’m behaving oddly, and it’s shameful and embarrassing, especially in social situations.

In the past ten years, my symptoms have included the following:
– “C” shaped light aura
– numbness/tingling in my mouth, tongue, arms, legs
– leg weakness
– aphasia
– right eyelid swelling/drooping
– pain in my teeth and gums
– rhinorrhea
– dull body aches, especially in my legs
– chills
– sensitivity to sound

Triggers for me are bright lights, especially strobe lights; odors such as car tires and certain perfumes; too little or too much sleep.

I’ve been on a few antidepressants which didn’t help much. Higher doses of Inderal caused depression.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to being part of this site, as non-migraineurs can’t really understand.

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.


  • David
    1 year ago

    Hi, m5us0o.

    I got the zigzagged line aura when I was about 10. I finally figured out how to stop the pain when I was 50–took me a while. Fortunately, my father had them, so my parents understood when I became nauseous and went to bed. Had they not understood migraines, they probably would have thought I had some flu.

    I hope to offer the migraine with aura treatment later this year if I can figure out how to do a website. I’m technically challenged. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing–haven’t heard my from folks with auras on this website. Lots of good material here, since the folks try different treatments out and share how they did or did not work.


    David Skaer

  • mrst53
    1 year ago

    This is the first time someone mentioned pain in the teeth. I get this at the beginning of my attack. I use Kanka on my gums to help with the pain, until the meds can kick in. I also get diarrhea and get very cold.

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    1 year ago

    m5us0o, thank you for sharing your story with the community! We are glad to have you here and hope it is a place where you find connections with other migraine sufferers as well as useful information. You have been through a lot with migraine over the years! It is so rough when the nature of migraine keeps changing. I’m glad you have become aware of your triggers and how different treatments affect you. Every person’s experience of migraine (and treatment) is unique – as evidenced in your own family by what works for you vs. your mother. We are always here to listen whenever you are in need of support! ~Allyson ( team)

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