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I'm very upset...don't know what's going on with my mom

Aug 21, 2009 - 12 comments

My mom had yet another trip to the ER due to severe headache.  She started having these headaches 3-4 years ago and they did a number of tests and can't see anything.  I'm scared!  Her grandma (my great grandma) died of aneurism.  She starts feeling really sick (neaseous, dizzy) and then starts having the headaches to the point where she feels as if her head is going to explode.  They did a CT scan at the ER today and "don't see anything".  What the heck is going on?????

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134578 tn?1642048000
by AnnieBrooke, Aug 21, 2009
Migraines?  My dad did not start having them until he was past 70.  Maybe the same thing for her?

Avatar universal
by Me2mommy2b, Aug 21, 2009
Annie, can migraines be THAT severe?  She's in pain to the point where she starts crying and my mom can take a LOT of pain.

134578 tn?1642048000
by AnnieBrooke, Aug 21, 2009
The material I just checked says "moderate to severe" pain.  My mother-in-law used to throw up from the pain of migraines.  The reason I thought of it is because of the sporadic nature of the pain.  I think if it were a stroke or especially an aneurism, she would have constant symptoms, they would not come and go.  Has anyone done an MRI?

See if any of this sounds familiar to your mom:

"The typical migraine headache is unilateral, throbbing, and moderate to severe and can be aggravated by physical activity. Not all these features are necessary. The pain may be bilateral at the onset or start on one side and become generalized, and usually it alternates sides from one attack to the next. The onset is usually gradual. The pain peaks and then subsides and usually lasts 4 to 72 hours in adults. The frequency of attacks is extremely variable, from a few in a lifetime to several a week, and the average migraineur experiences one to three headaches a month. The head pain varies greatly in intensity.

"The pain of migraine is invariably accompanied by other features. Nausea occurs in almost 90 percent of patients, and vomiting occurs in about one third of patients. Many patients experience sensory hyperexcitability and seek a dark and quiet room. Blurred vision, nasal stuffiness, diarrhea, polyuria, pallor, or sweating may be noted during the headache phase. There may be localized edema of the scalp or face, scalp tenderness, prominence of a vein or artery in the temple, or stiffness and tenderness of the neck. Impairment of concentration and mood are common. Lightheadedness, rather than true vertigo and a feeling of faintness may occur. The extremities tend to be cold and moist."

There are also atypical migraines -- my dad's were manifested in just a sudden reduction of his vision, no pain at all.  

If there is one accessble, your mom might want to talk to a migraine specialist just to rule out the possibilty.  

Avatar universal
by Me2mommy2b, Aug 21, 2009
Annie, thank you for the info.  Some of the symptoms do sound like my mom's.  I'm seeing her tomorrow so I'll ask her in more detail what exactly she's experiencing during her episodes.  

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by kellym, Aug 22, 2009
That's so scary, I surely hope they find what's causing her pain. Annie, great info!!

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by peekawho, Aug 22, 2009
Yes, migraines can be that severe.  Keep at her to follow up with the doctor, though.  She might need an MRI or MRA, or both before assuming its migraines.

Avatar universal
by alikat1205, Aug 22, 2009
I promise you migraines can be that severe.  I feel like I must be having a stroke and I can hardly move, because any movement makes the pain worse.  It is horrible.  

Avatar universal
by Me2mommy2b, Aug 22, 2009
Everyone, thank you for replying.  Peek, she's terrible when it comes to drs.  I have to be on her back constantly in order for her to give in and see a dr.  I'll def make sure she has more tests.

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by GRose, Aug 22, 2009
Yes migraines can absolutely be that severe, I cant believe the dr's haven't suggested that. Migraines are one of the most painful things I have ever experienced, the pain is paralyzing.  

I hope they get to the bottom of this!

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by houseofgirls, Aug 22, 2009
I also can tell you that migraines can be severe.  It is honestly one of the worst pains I have ever had, and I have experienced plenty of pain.  It is worse then any of the surgeries I've had.  I also get nausea and sometimes vomiting.  I also have other symptoms, such as the left side of my face goes numb and my eye sometimes twitches.  When I have one, I can't even function.

Avatar universal
by 1nana, Aug 22, 2009
I also have been cursed with migraines. Besides the excruciating pain, I also experience visual auras about 30-60 minutes before the onset of a migraine, which consists of flashing-like lights and spots. And then of course, that is accompanied with the nausea and vomiting.

I agree that further testing to r/o an aneurysm, tumor, etc. should be followed through.

Avatar universal
by Me2mommy2b, Aug 23, 2009
Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories.  I never knew that migraines can be that bad!  I knew that weren't pleasant but not to the point where people cannot function.  I spoke to her about having more tests.  We'll see.

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