Friday, February 23, 2007

So what did I learn?

The whole blurry vision, feeling unsteady thing kinda freaked me out, So I thought I'd look them up a bit. It's called having an aura...and though unpleasant, should be seen as a good thing as they prepare a person for what is coming next.

From the Migraine Clinic I learned:
If you have two or more of the following symptoms during an attack it is probable that you are suffering from migraine

Neurological disturbances lasting around 15-60 minutes which normally occur before the headache begins; most commonly visual disturbances including blind spots, flashing lights or zig zag patterns; confusion, inability to concentrate, problems with articulation or co- ordination, or tingling, pins and needles or numbness on the affected side. These symptoms, known as aura are most often identified with migraine but in fact only about 10-15% of sufferers experience them. Migraine with aura was formerly known as classic migraine.

Although some people experience aura symptoms only, the attack normally proceeds after a short interval in the same way as migraine without aura, formerly called common migraine, with some or all of the following symptoms:

Intense throbbing headache, often on one side of the head only
Nausea and/or vomiting and/or diarrhoea
Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
Increased sensitivity to sounds (phonophobia)
Increased sensitivity to smells (osmophobia)

You may also experience stiffness of the neck and shoulders, tingling or stiffness in the limbs, an inability to concentrate, difficulty in speaking, or in rare cases paralysis or loss of consciousness.

A general rule of thumb is that if a headache and/or other associated symptoms prevents you from continuing with normal daily activities it could be a migraine.

Although headache is the most obvious event during a migraine some migraineurs start to feel "strange" a day or so before the attack begins. These strange feelings, known as the prodrome, are the first signs of the attack and can include cravings for certain foods, excitability, hyperactivity, tiredness, yawning or a change of mood.

Migraine attacks normally last between 4 and 72 hours and sufferers are usually symptom free between attacks.
From the neurology channel I learned:

Migraine with aura is characterized by a neurological phenomenon (aura) that is experienced 10 to 30 minutes before the headache. Most auras are visual and are described as bright shimmering lights around objects or at the edges of the field of vision (called scintillating scotomas) or zigzag lines, wavy images, or hallucinations. Others experience temporary vision loss.

Nonvisual auras include motor weakness, speech or language abnormalities, dizziness, vertigo, and tingling or numbness (parasthesia) of the face, tongue, or extremities.

From Wikipedia:

An aura sensation can include:

  • Visual Changes.
    • Bright lights.
    • Zigzag lines.
    • Distortions in the size or shape of object.
    • Slowly spreading spots.
    • Shimmering, pulsating patches, often curved.
    • Blind or dark spots in the field of vision.
    • Total temporary monocular (in one eye) blindness. (in retinal migraine)
  • Hearing voices or sounds (auditory hallucinations).
  • Strange smells (olfactory hallucinations).
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling on one side of the face or body.
  • Feeling separated from one's body.
  • Anxiety or fear.
  • Nausea.
  • Weakness, unsteadiness.
  • Being unable to understand or comprehend spoken words during and after the aura.
The stuff highlighted is what I was dealing with. Aren't you glad I got off the road? :)

I also learned that "Most people who have auras have the same type of aura every time." So oh joy...if this happens again I'll know that I will feel really bad for about three days and then I'll be fine again.

The doctor did tell me it was unusual for a person who normally doesn't get headaches to suddenly start getting them, particularly migraines. So I think should this happen again, I will mention it to my doctor and ask WHY. I did ask why this time but he really had no idea and he was totally sure what all was going on with my head.


jen elslager said...

Been there, done that, not fun. I had two of these last year, but none since. It may not be something you'll have to deal with continually. Praying for you...

Annette said...

ah..hope! :) thanks Jen. I really hope I don't have to go there again. Certainly has given me more sympathy and understanding for my mom who went through massive headaches for years. She had no Aura or anything, but she could be laid up for afternoons at a time. Funny, I go through this and all I have left in me is sympathy for people who go through this more often than I do. funny how God opens eyes.... :)

jen elslager said...

Yes, God can give us those 'aha' moments as far as remembering those worse off than us... though I confess my 'aha' moments usually come after the pain recedes. :)

Annette said...

that jen, is just so true! :)