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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Need help with a diagnosis

  • By sacolucci

    Hello and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and providing your insight.

    I have always suffered from migraines but all of my life they have been few and far between. I remember my first headaches started in childhood. As I couldn’t take Advil when I was younger, I would have to survive off of Tylenol. I would have to sleep in a dark room with a pillow tied around my head.

    As a little side note, I have also suffered from GAD/Anxiety which often makes the diagnosis for me difficult.

    Seven years ago I was living alone and was going through a highly stressful time in my life. I was working full-time, putting myself through school and caring for a sick dog. As I was really young, living alone was also something I feared regularly. This made my stress levels extremely amplified. I started to feel somewhat off balance – like I was moving when I wasn’t. I remember sitting at the computer at work feeling as though I was going to fall off the chair. It almost felt like I was on a boat. Then, one night, I was watching TV and started to feel as though I was moving side to side. I went into a plight of panic and then went into this rocking sensation. It was extremely intense and lasted for 2 weeks. After this time, I hadn’t experienced anything this drastic, however, I did have episodes when I went to bed where the room felt as though it was titling.

    Fast forward to now: A year ago I had my second child and I was extremely stressed out and still am. I am self-employed so work long hours which I did even after having the baby. I am getting broken/little sleep and am just overly stressed (if I hadn’t already mentioned that:) Anyways, one night I awoke with a very disorientating feeling. But before bed, while I and my husband were watching TV, I started feeling swaying again. When I woke up that night, I was dizzy. It felt like I was having a stroke. I went back to bed. When I awoke in the morning, I felt ok but kept having these positional episodes when I was at work. Every time I answered the phone or looked down to write something on a piece of paper I would get a rush of dizziness,

    I was then subsequently diagnosed with BPPV. Also, after I had my second child I started getting migraines again but really weird ones. They always felt like they were coming from my left ear. I also had strange aural fullness and severe sensitivity to loud noise like my children yelling. One day, I woke up and felt like my head had been in a vice! It was nothing like I had ever experienced even though I did have migraines in the past.

    The BPPV was treated as I kept doing the Epley Maneuver on myself but still, 3 months later, I am still constantly dizzy every day. The neurologist says is Migraine Associated Vertigo but I didn’t have this before the BPPV, why now? Also, it’s every day and it’s not episodic.

    I am wondering if this is anxiety or something else??? I am getting really scared because it’s been 6 months now.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi sacolucci,

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with our community – we’re glad you’re here!

    Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV, can stop as quickly as it started. Some of us may have one episode while others have much more frequent attacks. You can read more information on this here; https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/migraine-associated-vertigo/.

    Migraine patterns and even triggers can and do change over time, without explanation, I know mine have. This is frustrating and aggravating to say the least. I wonder if keeping a detailed migraine diary would be helpful in trying to identify patterns and triggers? Let me share an article on keeping a diary with you; https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/.

    I found an article on anxiety and vestibular migraine you may find interesting; https://migraine.com/living-migraine/vestibular-migraine-linked-increased-anxiety-say-researchers/. I do know anxiety and/or depression can make us feel worse.

    Let me know what you think
    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi sacolucci,

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with our community – we’re glad you’re here!

    Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV, can stop as quickly as it started. Some of us may have one episode while others have much more frequent attacks. You can read more information on this here; https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/migraine-associated-vertigo/.

    Migraine patterns and even triggers can and do change over time, without explanation, I know mine have. This is frustrating and aggravating to say the least. I wonder if keeping a detailed migraine diary would be helpful in trying to identify patterns and triggers? Let me share an article on keeping a diary with you; https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/.

    I found an article on anxiety and vestibular migraine you may find interesting; https://migraine.com/living-migraine/vestibular-migraine-linked-increased-anxiety-say-researchers/. I do know anxiety and/or depression can make us feel worse.

    Let me know what you think
    Nancy

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