Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Strange symptoms

I have had migraines since I was in my twenties. I had one in February that was pretty scary. I had trouble getting the right words out.

It felt like I was having a stroke! My doctor said that it was my headache had occurred on the left side of the brain where speech is controlled. I am scared that I may not know if I am really having a stroke versus a migraine.

I am in generally good health and exercise regularly. The last migraine I had, I heard a buzzing sound that apparently wasn’t there.

Anyone else like me out there?

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.


  • Teresa Spence
    8 years ago

    I had headaches most of my life but in my late 50’s I started getting really bad ones on the left side of my head. One night I had one so severe I had started having stroke like systems. It effected the whole left side of my body. I was treated as a stroke patient until they found out I had not had a stroke. 4 months later the same thing happened, only this time I was worse. My eye and mouth drooped plus I didn’t know who anyone was for 3 days. After ruling out a stroke again I was seen by a Dr. and told I had complex migraines. I started seeing my Dr. and it’s been great. I have had no more of these “episodes”. I do take Topamax to control them. I still get headaches but they are not the bad ones. I would suggest to anyone to find a Dr, and explain what’s going on. There is help.

  • Linda Diaz
    8 years ago

    Thank heavens the severe ones have subsided. May they continue to stay away. Thank you for sharing this link.

  • Deborah Clark
    8 years ago

    I was beginning to think that I have a speech problem. The words are in my head but I am not able to pronounce them. My memory is a fog. Smells and sounds make me crazy. I pray someone will come up for some answers as this disease effects all of us in so many ways. Will this ever end?

  • Beth Gorze Cogan
    8 years ago

    I think Jackie probably is most like me. Seems everything has become a migraine symptom now.
    I could repeat what everyone else here has said, but the best way to describe it IS that you have trouble retrieving words. You KNOW what you’re trying to say, but simply can’t seem to get the point across no matter how hard you try. You know full well nothing you’re saying is making the statement your brain is screaming at you. It literally is “That sounded better in my head”, but after so many years of migraines, it’s hard to ever find a time (at least for me) where this goes away. Even in writing, and I used to express myself wonderfully in writing!
    At best, I rest better knowing I’m not alone…and neither are you.

  • Adele Schlazer Lester
    8 years ago

    Over the 40 yrs of having migraine with aura, numbness, difficulty with words, vertigo (you name it I’ve had it) by far the scariest is not being able to get the words out. Only other migraineurs can understand these symptoms. The latest is: supersensitive brain stem.

  • Vicki Olson Ennis
    8 years ago

    I have problems focusing, everything moves too fast, words don’t make sense, I also smell smoke or gasoline when there isn’t any around. My words don’t come out right and I can’t think straight. It is so frustrating. What I would give to have someone figure this out…

  • Cathy Ashenfelter Christensen
    8 years ago

    Oh gosh yes! It’s like being a (for lack of a better term) a dog. Your senses are so heightened that you hear sounds or pitches that others wouldn’t, same with smells. I can pick up scents when I am pre-migraine that others won’t for several seconds. It’s not that the sound isn’t there, it’s just that no one else hears it. The ringing in my ears in insane! My headache specialist said our brains are hyper sensitive before and during. What a relief to hear that. I verbally have trouble coming up with words at times, yet I can type it just fine. Left side of my skull feels as though it’s being cracked open, yet there is a tingly numbness to head. You are not alone…we are all alike in many ways.

  • Elaine M. Lemieux
    8 years ago

    I’ve had migraines all my life, and have had some odd symptoms too. Loss of coordination to the point that I was unable to walk straight. I wanted to go straight, but kept listing to the side. Occasionally, I find that my skin becomes very sensitive, painful. My scalp will hurt, too. I become hypersensitive to smells, and VERY irritable…sometimes even the day after the pain has stopped.

  • Nesha Timmins
    8 years ago

    All the time. And I have trouble understanding people when they talk.

  • Carolyn Shaw
    8 years ago

    Yup. Very unpleasant. Apparently it is all normal considering that it is a migraine.It feels like an out of body experience. Sounds like you are quite normal!

  • Jessica Scisci Luberda
    8 years ago

    I have suffered from migraines for 26 years…I have experienced all three auras…most occur at the same time (loss of speach, tingling/numbness and vision disturbances) I believe there is only a small percentage of people who experience all three…unfortunately I do. The loss of speach one is very scary…the 1st time it occurred for me I was ten and we did think it was a stroke. For me, it feels like I know what I want to say but when I actually speak, jumbled words come out that don’t make any sense. It is completely embarrassing, especially when you are around people who don’t understand migraine. I have had to leave jobs quickly as to not embarrass myself. It sucks. But it is nice to know I am not alone in this…that other migraine sufferers feel the same things. So sorry for you.

  • Tonya Cramer
    8 years ago

    I get migraines in fact I live in my migraine 24/7. My migraines actually did cause a stroke. My pain is on the left side of my head as well. I have trouble speaking–walking cause my left leg wll not move–the left arm just hangs. The left eye will close and my mouth will droop. These only happen when the pain is severe. Even when the pain is not severe I may have trouble speaking. I have seen every doctor availalbe to me even the worlds specialist and no one can stop my 24/7 pain.

  • Jackie Ferrara
    8 years ago

    I have a hard time finding the right words now more than I did before I started getting migraines seven years ago. And when I have a migraine, definitely have word retrieval problems. I’m glad to hear other people had the odd smells thing. I had an EEG to rule out seizures after waking up smelling smoke a couple times. Is there any symptom that is NOT sometimes a symptom of migraines?

  • Julie Ledoux Harmon
    8 years ago

    Yes. I get vertigo, facial numbness, vision problems, and each time I hope it’s not a stroke. It’s scary. Also the buzzing like you.

  • Dawn Robertson-Furchi
    8 years ago

    Migraines are horrible in my family, I have had them for over 25yrs and suffer daily, I have had many weird sounds and smells so I know what you are talking about. But my mother had one last year that was so bad she could not speak, we had to admit her to the hospital to rule out a stroke. It was called a complex migraine, which will have symptoms of a stroke, she spent like 3 days in the hospital, very scary! Thank God it wasn’t a stroke but many tests had to be ran to clarify that.

  • Samantha Price Fischer Kyle
    8 years ago

    I lose the feeling on one whole side of my body, along with the aura, my tongue goes numb, and speech is difficult.

  • Christine R Sterba
    8 years ago

    I frequently find my dexterity takes a hit when I’m getting a migraine. It’s quite an issue for me as I’m a surgical assistant. I also find that many times, I can’t think of simple everyday words. It is scary because you think something really wrong with you. I also have smelled things that I knew were not there. It’s crazy.

  • Ricki Salzbrunn Talaga
    8 years ago

    I have heard of several strange symptoms relating to migranes. I know that any dr will tell you to beware if you suddenly smell almonds as it is a sign of a stroke.

  • Tiffany Towers
    8 years ago

    Unfortunatly, I get those type all the time and each and everytime they scare me sooooo bad! You are not alone.

  • Katie Robinson
    8 years ago

    Yes, get to a migraine specialist. This is a hemiplegic migraine…not to be treated with triptans. You need a whole battery of blood work, plus MRA & MRI.

  • Debbie DiMarcantonio
    8 years ago

    I can attest to being senstive to odd smells that no one else notices – and those that are obvious are often more intense to me (sometimes the headache can make you feel like your having an out of body experience -weird feeling that’s for sure).

  • Sharon Gilman Moulton
    8 years ago

    You are not alone-it is a very scary feeling when that happens.

  • John Drewery
    8 years ago

    I’ve had that happen to the point where I don’t form any intelligible words at all. Lately it’s been odd smells that nobody else can smell… There are a great many atypical symptoms that can occur during a migraine… I’ve even lost the ability to control my legs once.

  • theresadz
    8 years ago

    You are definitely not alone! There have been days where I’ve spoken gibberish to my co-workers, heard phones ringing that weren’t actually there, and my right pupil likes to sometimes dilate when I’m having a severe migraine which my neurologist and two other doctors + MRI said was just a symptom of my migraine.

  • Poll