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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Migraine and confusion

  • By Jay01

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Jay and I’ve just joined this group today looking for some insight about migraines. My mother who is 70 has been a lifelong migraine sufferer. In fact one of her siblings as well as her mother had a history of migraine. Usually, her migraine is accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light. She would stay in bed for 3 days waiting for the pain to subside.

    Lately however, the pattern of her migraine seems to be changing. In February she had a weird episode where she became disoriented/confused and slightly dizzy. She couldn’t recognize her surroundings and it lasted for about 10 minutes or so, and then she went back to normal. Of course, I panicked and thought she might be having a stroke, or that this could be related to dementia. We went to the ER, they did a battery of tests, and she was sent to a neurologist who did another whole set of tests. The neurologist told us that this was probably linked to her migraine. We were surprised to hear that, we never imagined that confusion and disorientation could be caused by migraine, or that some migraines are not painful. She had another brief episode of confusion today that lasted a few seconds. I should mention that she’s had a headache since yesterday.

    I’m really quite confused about all of this myself, and would really appreciate some perspective from those of you who live with migraines. Is it common to experience confusion/disorientation with migraine? Have any of you noticed any changes in your migraine symptoms with time?

    Thanks in advance

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for sharing your mother’s journey with us. I am sorry to hear she is having a rough time.

    It’s not uncommon for our migraine patterns to change over time. When they do, or when we experience new and/or different symptoms it’s important to let the doctor know so he can rule out anything more serious. Good to know she is being followed.

    A migraine attack can have a long list of symptoms, including confusion, difficulty finding words, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, irritability to name a few. Another thing I find frustrating is symptoms can vary from attack to attack. These articles have more information on this; https://migraine.com/migraine-aura/other-migraine-aura-symptoms/ and https://migraine.com/blog/symptoms-vary-from-one-attack-to-the-next/.

    Yes, my migraine attack symptoms have changed over time. I’m more sensitive to odors and lights, which can trigger an attack, as I age.

    I hope this helps,
    Nancy

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