complex migraines

What’s Happening to Me Part 2: Complex Migraines

The doctor came back in with good news. I was not having a stroke. But I was having complex migraines. What is that??? Read to find out.

Where were we??? Oh, yeah. We were waiting for the ER doctor to come in. We did not have to wait long. And he had incredibly good news. No stroke! I was so relieved that I was not having a stroke. What was happening to me was a complex migraine.

Say what? I have never heard of that, have you? Well basically with a complex migraine one can have ‘symptoms can include weakness, loss of vision, or difficulty speaking in addition to a headache – often mimicking a stroke’.

Things I Learned While Researching Complex Migraines

  • They are also called hemiplegic migraines.
  • Hemiplegic migraines are a rare and serious type of migraine headache.
  • Sometimes you will get other symptoms that it is coming.
  • You can have problems with your senses, communication, and be drowsy.
  • The stroke like symptoms can range from being bothersome to disabling.
  • The stroke like symptoms come on slowly, they can stay for a few days.
  • They may be genetic and run in your family.
  • Doctors disagree over the treatment of complex migraines.

At this point I was feeling much better except for my migraine. All the stroke like symptoms were very minimal or have gone away. We were released from the hospital and headed home.

I was tired and hungry. And I was so excited to be heading home to see my babies.

We left the ER not knowing what caused me to have a complex migraine, if it was going to happen again, and when. I was hopeful that it was a one and done type of thing.

I was reminded of the amazing group of people I have in my life. The love and support was amazing! And deeply appreciated.

With still having head pain and being extremely tired I headed to bed. Hoping to sleep off the rest of the pain.

What Was To Follow

In the days that followed I continued to have some headaches and migraines. This was not uncommon. Just highly annoying and painful. I was used to it. Sometimes the pain was dull and not a big deal. Other times it was hard to go about my day.

8 days after my trip to the ER I woke up about 4:30 am to go to the bathroom. The second I woke up I knew it was happening again! I told Eddy, who went to get me some medicine. Then we both went back to sleep.

I was relieved to know what was happening to me this time. But I was devastated that it was happening again, and that Eddy had to work.

It was all I could do to get out of bed and head downstairs when he was leaving. He called his parents, and they were on their way over. Help was on the way.

I laid on the couch while my 5 kids watched TV and my baby. Opening my eyes was so hard. Thinking logically was not an option.

Once my in laws got there they took my big kids to school and starting taking care of my three littles. I was in and out of sleep on the couch. Once I could figure out that I could go back to bed I slowly made my wayupstairs and to my bed.  

This complex migraine was a little different than the last one.

  • lasted a lot longer
  • main symptoms were confusion, dizziness, and fatigue
  • of course, there was head pain
  • less numbness
  • there was throwing up

After I threw up the first time in the kitchen garbage, I sat on the kitchen floor for about 20 minutes trying to get my body to get up and wash my hands. I knew I needed to wash my hands. I knew my right hand was dirty. There was no way I could get up.

I was so tired I ended up falling asleep for a few minutes. Even standing up was not possible. I literally could not get up. I tried to push myself up, I tried to stand. Then suddenly, I could get up and wash my hands.

Another time my baby woke up and before I could get out of bed to get her my mother-in-law came in the bedroom to get her. It was time to nurse her, so I made my way to the top of the stairs. (I say made my way because I could not just walk normally. I was dizzy and clumsy in my walking. It was difficult to walk.)

After about 5 minutes of trying to communicate to my mother-in-law, who was standing at the bottom of the stairs, I broke down and started crying.

I knew that it was time to nurse my baby. The words were there in my brain. In a weird way I could see them and not see them at the same time.

Trying so hard to concentrate I would try again and again to say I needed her to nurse her. But the words would not come out. My mother-in-law came upstairs and gave me a hug while I cried.

I finally was able to let her know I needed my baby. I think I finally said her name and that I needed her. Though I cannot even remember. Ha!

After sleeping most of the day in my bed I finally came down to get some food. Then ended up on the couch for another few hours sleeping.

In the days that followed I continued to have head pain. In fact, it has been 34 days straight that I have had migraines or headaches. Every. Single. Day.

Some days they are very painful, and I just need to sleep. Other days they are hardly there, and I can function normally. I have also been so tired! The fatigue is unreal.

There is a fear that one day I will wake up to more complex migraines. That it will hit me, and I will be out; unable to take care of my babies or myself.

At this point I am willing to try almost anything to try to get the head pain to stop.

Things I Have to Help with My Complex Migraines, Normal Migraines, and Headaches

  • chiropractor
  • some medicines
  • family medical doctor visit
  • started magnesium
  • massage
  • visited a nutritionist
  • drinking more water
  • have an appointment with a neurologist
  • sleep
  • trying to limit chocolate
  • yoga and other exercises

My mental health has gone downhill during this. It is hard to keep your spirits high when you are in pain and not sure how to make it stop. So, I made an appointment with my therapist. And I have no shame in that.

Taking care of me is important. Not just my physical health but also my mental health.

Going through this experience has taught me a few things.

  • Having chronic pain is miserable. This is the longest that I have had head pain daily. While it is painful, I know that there are people living in more pain daily. I have learned to be more empathetic towards them.
  • Service is amazing! Being on the receiving end many times this past month has reminded me to serve more.
  • Family is what’s most important. Family means something different to everyone. To me, it is my blood family and those that I am close to that I love like family. So basically, it’s my family and friends that are most important to me.
  • Prayer works! Even if it is not what I want, to be pain and headache free. My prayers have been answered these past few weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful day! Thanks for taking the time to read about my medical issues that I’ve had lately. Thank you for your support and love. If you have any suggestions or helpful tips, please leave a comment below. Or if you have any complex migraines please share your experience.

Xxx, Steph

If you by chance missed part one, you’ll want to read it here. 🙂

complex migrianes

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  1. There is no shame in seeing a mental health professional. I’ve seen several, and so has my husband. It’s something I’m very open with because I think the stigma surrounding it needs to be washed away. If more people see it as normal then we’d have a better place for all of us. Mental health is just as important as physcial health. I hope you’re able to find relief to both soon. 🙂

    1. I agree with you 100%!! I have talked openly about my mental health in hopes of helping others and helping with the stigma. I’m happy that you and your hubby have been able to get the help you needed! 🙂 Thanks, I hope so too.

  2. Wow, it really sounded like a stroke! Scary! I was drawn to read this because I have been having weird headaches for almost a year now. They are intense like someone poking my head sharply for 30 seconds and then they cease. Other days, they last all day long, even sometimes several days long. For almost the whole year I haven’t been able to sleep on that side of my head, it’s so tender. I’ve seen a neurologist multiple times, I’ve been poked and tested and have had multiple MRIs and yet no one could figure it out. I read that taking magnesium could help and for some reason, I believe it took about 3 months before it’s started to work, but I believe the magnesium is working. The last month I have felt little to no pain. I hope you find a cure and I will say a prayer for you today. It’s miserable to feel like that.

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry! That’s misserable. I am glad that the magnesium is working. It’s been about 1-2 weeks since I started taking it. Little to no pain is such a big improvement, yay!!

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