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Triggers and Causes

Migraine Fog

  • By Khoura27

    Hi, I’m new to the group. I have been getting migraines periodically for 35 years. A few times as a child, a few times while pregnant with my son, and several times over the last year and a half. I get auras, numbness, have suffered aphasia. Last summer I has one for several days and was left with a confused foggy feeling for a few days after the pain stopped. It was to the point that I couldn’t drive and had to ask my husband which toothbrush was his because I couldn’t remember. All I could really do was wait it out. Take vitamins. Rest. I didn’t have a migraine for quite a while after that.

    I recently went through a very stressful week due to my out of state father getting in a severe car accident. All is getting better with him now, but for that week I was 24 hou care giver, cook, maid, pet sitter, chauffeur, errand girl, called insurance people, doctors, therapists, homecare, towing company. I did all of that on completely on my own, on about 6 hours of sleep for the week. Things are settling and I have been home for week. I have had three migraines since returning home, and haven’t been able to kick the foggy feeling yet.

    Does anyone else get that brain fog? The last time I had it it lead to two EEG’s and an MRI, which lead to nothing. It’s such a weird, confusing feeling, I would almost rather have the migraine than that feeling.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Khoura27,

    Thank you for your question and being part of the Migraine.com discussion forum – welcome!!

    I’m sorry to hear about your father but happy to hear he is recovering OK. It’s not uncommon to have an uptick in migraine frequency after stressful events. Returning to your normal routine, and keeping a regular sleeping pattern may help with attack frequency.

    Yes, brain fog is experiences by many of us with migraine. This may occur before and/or after the headache phase of a migraine attack. We have plenty of articles you can find in this link; https://migraine.com/?s=brain+fog&submit=Go.

    I hope that helps. Keep my posted on how you are feeling,
    Nancy

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  • By Goodmaus

    HiKhoura27,

    I have had migraines for 56 years. I have always had “migraine fog” prodromal, postdromal and during migraines. I used to call it “the stupids,” as that is how it made me feel. This has worsened as I aged, so allow me to make some suggestions as to things I have done to make life with fog easier.

    Develop habits, such as ALWAYS putting your keys (or purse, phone etc) in the same place. I organize my purse, kitchen etc along the same lines, and rigorous attention to this helps you to navigate your life. I do the same with actions. For example, I always lock the door when I walk in, even if it is for just a few minutes. Therefore it is unlikely I will leave it unlocked when I am in a fog.

    I also act on things that occur to me as soon as they do. This might mean writing a post-it note, writing it in the notes or reminder section of my phone, or just stopping everything and doing it while I remember it.

    Develop a sense of resigned and good humored acceptance that you will lose or forget things. Stop trying to find something you lost (where is thing I was just holding) and try to go on without it. I say to myself, it will show up in time, and it usually does. To this end I have multiples of tools or items I use. For example, I have 2 pairs of glasses by my bed (One on either side), and another pair in the living room. I use an organizer for my daily pills and if it is not where it is supposed to be, I can go to the main box which is in a permanent place which it NEVER leaves. I buy staples one ahead..e.g., a bottle of ketchup in the fridge and another on the shelf, I always have access to a backup for everything I need. I keep a huge calendar on the wall and also one on my iPad and iPhone. All this helps keep the stress down.

    Admit to friends and family what your problems are and try to keep them informed so they can help. This is very hard, and it makes me feel dependent which I HATE. But those around you need to know when they should look out for you. When I am in a fog I might call out that I am letting the cat in the garage, so my husband can check to be sure the cat got back out and the door was closed. He reminds me about my pills, or,draws my attention to the sounds my phone is making so I check what is needed (oh yes, take the clothes out of the dryer).

    Also, be honest with friends. As my headaches have expanded to18-20 days a month (+ pro & postdromal time), I have had to admit I cannot take on some tasks. That I am not reliable any longer. When people make a date with me, I remind them I’m not sure I’ll be there. I get them to call on the day and confirm. I accepted it doesn’t make sense to buy expensive tickets for events in the future, as I might not be Comfortable going out in public.

    Well, this is enough for now, I hope you won’t find yourself as far down this path as I have, but this has helped me survive.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Goodmaus,

    Thank you for much for sharing your experience and tips with our community. It sounds like you’ve developed great coping skills and strategies that help you life a full life with migraine. That’s not easy to do!

    The calendar on my phone is my life line. If it isn’t in there, it doesn’t get done! I’ve also let go of worrying about things when I think I’ve lost them – they always turn up.

    Take good care,
    Nancy

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  • By Befanie

    Hi Ladies,

    It is such a relief to read about this. I recently found myself in a fog for almost over two weeks following a migraine that lasted for five days. I’ve not experienced such a fog before. I’m used to the “hang over” and simply being extremely exhausted, but the fog really scared me. I have a meningioma as well so I marched to the Doctor since my spacial perception has been off for a while anyway and described my “brain fog” to her. She couldn’t explain it either and ordered an MRI which showed no changes on my tumor. I wish I had found this site sooner. I have no insurance, this is a whole lot cheaper 🙂

    Thank you so much

    Befanie

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Befanie,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us – we’re glad you’re here!

    Nice to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? I find being able to talk with others who truly get migraine disease to be validating.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing,
    Nancy

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  • By Turok

    I’ve had migraines since I puberty. Not really something I was really expecting. It’s come down the family line on my mothers side as long as anyone remembers. I thought being a guy I would be immune, unfortunately out of my siblings, I get them the worst. I didn’t really develop the fog until about 10 years ago when I started to get the visual aura. I hardly get the aura but the fog I tend to get more often and like the aura I only seem to get it before and during the migraine. It makes work that much more difficult because there are times after a meeting, I hardly remember what we just went over. I’ve even had to make customers repeat themselves. It’s brutal. I’m sorry you have to deal with that aspect of migraines.

    Dave

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  • By Tatum

    Hello everyone,

    I also suffer from brain fog. For the longest time I thought I was losing my mind, not knowing it was somewhat common in the migraine/chronic pain world. There are times where I cannot drive either. Please never test your limits either- if you ever feel an aura coming on or suddenly forget where you are or where you’re going, pull over and call someone. Being only 18, my mother always says she’ll come and get me if I need her to. However, I’ve only had one instance of this, so I pulled over and waited to collect my thoughts since I was near home.

    I hope you feel less alone,

    Tatum

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  • By Ughhhh

    Hi, I get severe fog and cognitive impairment, it’s my biggest complaint. It is very weird and aggravating and very isolating too bc people do not understand this symptom and can’t validate of empathize with you on it.

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