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faith and Migrainagoraphobia


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All of Navy's recent migraine discussion kind of brought this my mind and I thought I'd try to get some input here

I wanted to respond here, too. Just about the aura and the scary feelings.

I get basilar migraines, have got them since childhood. In this case, my "aura" is that I go blind. I literally lose all vision in both eyes. I'm awake and conscious and aware- though my head gets a strange, pounding, stuffed-with-cotton surreal feeling, like I'm there but not really there (probably pretty clumsy description but there ya go).
The strange surreal feeling I can actually relate to and I think I know what you are talking about. Basilar migraines, I think, originate in the occipital lobes which process vision. So... that would explain some things.

Then not TOO long ago one came on when I was at church, (husband drops me off there, I was alone because I was still pregnant and he takes the other two) and I had a huge panic attack.

I mean, I KNEW that it'd be over soon (the aural crap, I mean), that I'd just have to sit still till it passed, etc. etc. But I couldn't stop myself from freaking out. I was trying to "look normal" and not succeeding at ALL.

Yeah... trying to look normal when you feel your brain doing something very weird is really hard.

I do have a couple suggestions. [i am not sure how helpful, though]

How much warning do you have? 3-5 minutes?

I would suggest, as just something to HAVE, carrying around a small notebook and pen or a book. Obviously you can't do much with them. But if you are worried about seeming normal or just trying to figure out what to do sitting down when you realize what is going to happen and putting a book in your lap or scribbling iin a notebook might just give you something to hold in your hands. It seems silly, but it's a physical thing to focus on, it doesn't bring attention to you, and it may help with the panicky feeling if you feel less lost? It isn't a perfect solution, but if it is a choice between sitting and being worried and panicky or sitting and being worried and having something to pretend to do... it may be worth trying, anyway. Sometimes distraction helps. [though it may be strange]

I don't know how much info you have gotten on the migraines and the mechanism and what is happening and why. If you don't know what is going on and why, you may want to look into explanations of basilar migraines. Even the little info that I have found has helped me to be calmer about what happens when I get a migraine.

Some kind of therapy that will convince me that having my vision blink out at random intervals is not that bad and What's the Worse that Could Happen (don't even get me started on THAT one)?

...The pain is wretched, but these stupid headaches are crippling me even when there's not one in sight

I'm also wondering if there are any other things that tip you off about a migraine coming even before the aura. Even before the aura, there are things that happen for me. Sometimes I will get randomly frustrated [sort of] for no reason. The first couple times this happened, I didn't think anything of it. But then I realized that it probably was important to note. Sometimes I also use words in just a subtley different way, mix up letters in a certain way. I might be more sensitive to a certain taste or smell. There are a few different, strange things.

Also afterward, it could have a mood effect.

If you are having a really bad run of them and they are happening really close together, you could be feeling like a big mess.

But there are a lot of things that we might not notice that can warn us about auras and migraines. It just takes a while to get the hang of it.

Part of what is making you really upset during the migraine may be the migraine on top of you being upset.

And yeah, with the pregnancy, hormones are going to make this all really difficult to unravel, though you may have some signs that are not considered typical even before you get an aura.Do you think it might help to figure out what is happening and why?

Or the uh... "Hi, I'm just reading a book..." fake thing? Or even looking at more general migraine stuff might help.[i'm doing some things with phases right now but I have links if anyone wants.]

~navy~

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Hi Navy,

Hmmm. I'm not sure what happens before the auras, truthfully. I don't think I've ever paid enough attention. But that's a great idea. I have charted for things like food triggers before but as for what actually happens right before, no. That's really got me thinking.

Welllll, I might have glossed over a bit as far as what happens during the auras. Hee. The part that triggers my anxiety is the blindness, which is why that is the part I mentioned specifically, but actually, I can't really do much in the way of coordinated movement either. I mean, sitting is fine. I'm not sure if I could sit AND hold a book in a way that would look, well, convincingly normal. (I know,it SOUNDS bad, but it could be worse.) I've been told it looks like I'm drunk, in terms of movement anyway, and the whole slurring-my-words thing. Yeah. There's a lot to be embarrassed over and yet it's the not being able to SEE people's horrified reactions that bugs me evidently :)

I'm not convinced it's actually the embarrassment so much as the feeling of being stuck and helpless that upsets me, though. I can't exactly walk anywhere, for one thing I can't see and for the other thing I can only lurch. With help. It's freaking scary. It doesn't last long in the grand scheme of things but imagine that happening at the weirdest times when you don't know when it is going to come on. 10 minutes of that crap would be enough to send anyone around the bend. :embarassed:

You've given me some stuff to think about, that's for sure. I've never really done any research about my migraines, to be honest. I don't know why it happens, something about the veins or arteries or something. Or what it means. I know I can't take the usual preventative stuff because there's an increased risk of my brain spontaneously combusting (I do believe that's the scientific term lol) And I'm at an increased risk for stroke. Depakote is supposed to decrease frequency, and when I was on it (for mood stabilization purposes) it DID help in that regard. Beyond that, it's all been damage control.

So yeah, I think knowing more might help. The thing that would help THE MOST would be having a normal, not screwed up brain. Unfortunately, ebay doesn't allow that sort of thing. ; ) I haven't been to the neuro in going on 5 years now. ;) So maybe there are newer treatments that might help. (I know, I know- bad Faith!)

Thanks for your reply, Navy. If you come across any good links about weird brain crap that might be helpful, please do post 'em!

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