Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 4 May 2012


I have blogged before about the migraines I get. They are awful, but thankfully much less frequent than they used to be. I am down to about one a year now.

Migraines - are from hell!
Migraine Attack - save me!
A migrain is no normal headache!

I seem to get the most severe and scary form of migraines with symptoms similar to those of a stroke. There is nothing I can do but get myself home and safe. Take some headache tablets and try to relax as much as possible and then sleep it off.

My main symptoms are visual disturbances, nausea, numbness in hands, arms, face and lips, tingling and partial blindness, either in the centre of the eye or peripheral vision goes. Then, for me the most disturbing thing is slurring when I speak, as well as totally forgetting words. I will know I know a word, I'll be able to visualise the item and can even be TOLD the word but it won't seem at all familiar. It is weird and quite disconcerting.

I got a migraine while cycling 2 week-ends ago and luckily i was not far from home and managed to get myself fairly close to home and then phoned Quinn who came out to rescue me and walk me home. He took my bike and I held his shoulder and closed my eyes and walked home with him guiding me.

I had to SMS my SIL who was due to arrive for a visit that I was man-down, but that simple sms took me about 10 minutes to type. It was a huge challenge, I couldn't think or read or spell.

Migraines are terrible things. If you don;t get them consider yourself very lucky.

Here is more on the type of migraines I get (they run in my family)

Hemiplegic Migraine Headaches

Headaches are common. But hemiplegic migraine is a rare type of headache. It's also one of the most serious and potentially debilitating migraine headaches.

What Is a Hemiplegic Migraine Headache?

There are several types of migraine. One major group is called migraine with aura. Hemiplegic migraine is a severe subtype of this group.
Migraine is a complex neurological disorder. It generally includes headaches, but not always. Before the actual headache pain of a migraine, you can have a host of other symptoms that serve as warning signs that a migraine is coming. These early symptoms, called auras, include temporary disturbances in one or more functions:

    Muscle control and body sensations
    Speech and languag
For most migraine sufferers who have aura, the visual disturbances are the most common symptom. But for people with hemiplegic migraine, muscle weakness and paralysis can be so pronounced and extreme that it causes a temporary, stroke-like paralysis on one side of the body. This paralysis on one side of the body is called hemiplegia.

What Are the Symptoms of Hemiplegic Migraine Headaches?

Hemiplegic migraine symptoms often start in childhood. Then for some people, they disappear in adulthood. While the stroke-like symptoms can range from worrisome to debilitating, the good news is that no permanent nerve damage occurs from this type of migraine.
Migraines are unpredictable and unique to each person. You may have a hemiplegic migraine headache with extreme pain and minor paralysis one month. Then the next attack might bring extreme paralysis without much headache pain at all.
Symptoms of hemiplegic migraine include:

    Severe, throbbing pain, often on one side of your head
    A pins-and-needles feeling, often moving from your hand up your arm
    Numbness on one side of your body, which can include your arm, leg, and/or one side of your face
    Weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
Loss of balance and coordination
    Visual aura, such as seeing
zigzag lines, double vision, or blind spots
    Language difficulties, such as mixing words or trouble remembering a word
    Slurred speech
    Dizziness or vertigo
    Nausea and vomiting
    Extreme sensitivity to light, sound,
and smell
  Decreased consciousness or coma
With hemiplegic migraine, the aura can be more severe and last longer than with other types of migraine with aura. Symptoms usually last from five to 60 minutes. It's rare, but some people gradually develop long-lasting difficulty with movement and coordination.

What Causes Hemiplegic Migraine Headaches?

Researchers have now identified three genes linked with hemiplegic migraine.
Defects, or mutations, in any of these three genes lead to a breakdown in the body's ability to make a certain protein. That protein is needed for clear communication among nerve cells. Without that protein, nerve cells can't release or take up neurotransmitters -- the chemical messengers between nerve cells. The three genes linked with hemiplegic migraine are the CACNA1A, ATP1A2, and SCN1A genes.
Most people with hemiplegic migraine have inherited the gene mutation from one parent who also had the condition.


  1. Oh eina! I get stress megraines about twice a year and they completely dibilitate me. I take a megraine cocktail and sleep,it off. The next day I feel so weird

  2. That sounds frightening Jane. Thank heavens it only happens once a year!