Brain Fog and Migraines

Aside from fatigue, which is a whole other dimension of disability and always deserves its own post when talked about – it is never to be combined with the hundreds of other things that I deal with.  Anyway, BESIDES fatigue, as far as functioning in daily life, bouts of brain fog and migraines are the things that hold me back the most in those areas 7 years later.  I’m not even talking about participating in life – writing, hanging out in groups, taking a walking tour – all of which I cannot do.  No, these things sometimes take away my ability to simply FUNCTION certain days.

The brain fog stills gets me sometimes.  There are still days that I just know as soon as I wake up that the day ahead will be a lost cause.  Forget about getting any work done or thinking much at all.  It doesn’t happen a lot anymore, and it usually won’t last the ENTIRE day.  It’s one more thing that no one else would understand unless you’ve experienced it.

The migraines.  They’re just so bad.  Years ago, I gave up dairy for a while and it did help with the migraines, but it only lasted about a month or 2 because I wanted to order a pizza.  A few months ago, I had back to back – within weeks of each other – 2 of the absolute worst migraines that I’ve had in about 5 years.  3-days in duration, nausea, vomiting, and a pain so intense it makes you want to cut your head off.  I remember once when my husband was at work and I was at home, I got a migraine and texted him “you might wanna stop at Target on your way home and pick me up a new head, I’m done with this one.”

So, I’m trying dairy-free again.  It helps.  But I have a headache right now and I’m disappointed.  Perhaps I’m just having a Herxheimer reaction as all the dairy leaves my system.

Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. So sorry to hear of your migraines Amy. Am lucky to have avoided this problem. In its place I continue to have awful ataxia and am seemingly subject to a variety of skin ailments, e.g. achilles tendinitis for 2 months now with no signs of abatement.

    Hope you improve.

  2. Amy, would that be brain fog that makes my husband kind of zone out? It scares the crap out of me when he kind of looks asleep with his eyes open. I wonder if he is having something happen to him. Sometimes, while eating, he just looks like he has no idea what he’s doing there. I have to remind him what the current task at hand is.

    Thank you.

  3. Tina Canon…YES!!!

    Amy, may I ask what you take for a migraine?

  4. Amy, I do not wish Migraines on anyone, I have been a Migrainer since I was in my teens, unfortunately I have numerous types of migraines have taken just about every thing there is to try to get rid of them and to prevent them. I currently to Topirimate 100mg to try and prevent them and am back to Fiorinal to stop them once I have them. I no longer take any triptans to stop them as we think they are one of the causes of my strokes. I have anywhere from 10 to 20 migraines a month. I used to keep a dairy of them but because I get so many and have several triggers I was constantly writing it down. Some of my triggers have stopped as they were hormonal so the ones I could be prepared for are gone. But I know change in weather will bring them on, too much caffeine, certain smells, STRESS is a HUGE trigger for a lot of people (I know it is for me). Once you know was your triggers are it can be a little easier to get a handle on some of your migraines BUT not all of them. I went to see the top Headache Specialist in the State of Arizona about my migraines and he reviewed my history and examined me and basic said.”You know you have a difficult case” and went on to pretty much tell me the same thing I have heard a dozen or more times. Lean to live with it, there is nothing that can be done. Now that I’m not working, I take my pills, I close my eye (and pray my vertigo isn’t to bad) and pray the pain stops and that I don’t bite someone’s head off in the meantime.

    Brain Fog, I can’t remember what it’s like NOT to have it. What it’s like to have an entire thought from start to finish come out of my head. The fog hits and the harder I try to remember something and the harder I try to remember it and the farther away it goes.

    And like you Amy I don’t even want to talk about Fatigue. I am ALWAYS tired. Yesterday was my daughter’s graduation from college. I made it through her graduation but I was so exhausted when it was over.

  5. Luckily my migraines pretty much stopped when I quit being a manager, haven’t had one in 20+ years now. Brain fog is not one of my problems. Fatigue I bull my way through. Spasticity is my main problem.

  6. Fortunately, I have none of those issues, but at times i’m Really stupid, as in unable to do something I know is really easy; as soon as I feel it, I shut up, so as not to embarrass myself. I spend an awful lot of mental energy trying to be as smart as I used to be.

    Tina, has any neurologist considered that your husband’s episodes might be caused by seizures? Sounds a bit like petit mal seizures to me.

    • We see the Neurologist next week (first neuro visit since the hospital stay right after the stroke). I’ll ask if that’s a possibility. I wonder for him if it’s a multi-tasking thing, tired thing? Who knows? We are new at this and I’m trying to figure out all of layers of his condition. Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. At first after my stroke, brain fog was a constant, everyday problem. But about a year ago, I discovered magnesium-l-threonate, which is expensive, but after taking it for a few months, I found it was getting better. Now, after taking it for a year or so, I don’t have brain fog at all, unless I’m stressed for some reason (like now, when I just had a tooth pulled and for a few days the brain fog came back). I highly recommend it, at least to try and see if it helps. It’s really made an amazing difference for me.

  8. Migraines are the WORST! I had chronic migraines for years (like, I’d be debilitated almost 1/2 the time because they’re so bad), but now I’m migraine free and off my migraine meds! Have you tried a chiropractor? I haven’t heard of the med you take, but could the brain fog be a side effect? When I was on Topiramate I really struggled with memory problems (not the same as brain fog, I know). I actually just wrote a post about what I do for my migraines, what helps, what doesn’t. Might be worth a read. I hope you get better!

  9. I soooo relate to this! And I totally agree: fatigue always deserves its own category. I always say, “If chronic illness is Hell, fatigue is its most sadistic demon.”

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