5 of the worst migraine symptoms

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What are the Worst migraine symptoms aside from the pain, which we can all agree is the damn worst migraine symptom? I am not going to bother putting that on the list… it is a fact. So let us just put Pain as number 1, the worst of the worst. But what other symptoms would make the list? Here is my thinking…

  1. Nausea/vommiting- I wouldn’t put mild nausea on the list at all. I would put extreme nausea on the list. The sort that makes you chomp on anti-nausea pills like they are candy just so you can contemplate eating a fraction of the food you should be. Still being nauseated. And hoping that food actually stays down long enough to digest. Because you know once you start throwing up you will just keep on doing it until there is literally nothing left and maybe even after that. That sort of nausea. And not just a day of it but a lot of it. A lot of nausea. Yeah, that makes the list.Nausea
  2. Diarrhea- This along with number 1 is sort of what I like to call a ‘sick migraine’ because no matter the pain level I am literally incapable of leaving the house… and the vicinity of the bathroom area. This can be severe. The sort that makes you violently ill to the point you are shaking and dizzy and cannot stand anymore. As in need electrolytes stat. No one talks about it. But it happens. One of the worst migraine symptoms. People end up in the ER because of it. Completely and utterly dehydrated.
  3. Vertigo- Mild vertigo is a little disorientating. Moderate to severe vertigo on the other hand limits movement to making it impossible. You can get sudden drop attacks and fall into walls or just plan fall. Down the stairs, as I did recently. You cannot drive with it and that also triggers it. Any motion triggers it. Plane, train, boat or amusement park ride. Add subtitle text(3)
  4. Brainfog/Confusion- These are separate things but both are equally problematic in the real world. As in, literally, as soon as you step foot outside of your house these become a real problem. It can be very frustrating to think through this haze. And freaky when confusion sets in. This is on the list because of how it makes absolutely everything ten times harder than it is. Some examples are forgetting my address and phone number. But others are worse than that. BrainfogA common migraine attack prodrome symptom.
  5. Auras- Auras run a spectrum. Does it bother me when my face tingles? Not at all. When I am driving and I lose my capacity to see though that is a little more problematic. I was once stuck at work (more than once) for an hour waiting for an intense aura to finish so I could get back to closing. I was blinded by it. I also have persistent migraine auras so when I will be blinded by an intense bout is a random stroke of fate and not dependent on the migraine. It is always there, to some extent and just flares up randomly. Also, of course, before a migraine. So visual auras… can be a major problem. Now think of others. I have lost my hearing. I have had aphasia. I have had complete facial recognition issues. Think of people who get paralysis or motor weakness abruptly. I have had objects appear distorted or moving when they are not. Here is a list here of potential auras. And another set of auras that cause people significant problems are Alice in Wonderland auras. So auras can be a massive issue. And the world melted and streaked with color. She saw faces that were indistinct and ripples in the air.Long story short... she ran for a triptan.
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The tells and the pass

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I can pass for healthy. I know because while I have FM and chronic migraines no one at work can tell when I have a migraine. Which is always. And they can’t even tell when I have a pretty damn severe on. I fake it pretty good because I am in customer service so I have to. I have the finest fake smile you have ever seen. Natural, smooth and honest. Because I am honest about being pleasant and happy. Just happens I am hiding all the pain expressions and behaviors that come with it.

So I can ‘pass’. At work. Not always at home where my spouse is more aware of my ‘tells’ that give me away.

We all have them. Although with chronic pain we are used to dampening those pain behaviors for various reason, we still have less noticeable tells. With migraines they can be quite migraine related.

Here are mine:

  1. Loss of the ability to communicate is a tell. Whether it is brainfog from the prodrome or aphasia from the aura… loss of communication that is quite noticeable is a tell.
  2. Rubbing my neck all the time is a tell. Because my neck hurts so damn much I just want to try and relieve the tension.
  3. Violent nausea and vomiting… big old tell. My relentless nausea has definitely been noticed by my co-workers as I lose weight and can barely eat. I have also thrown up but have been as discrete as possible about that. This one… pretty obvious.
  4. Vertigo is a tell but more precisely when it is severe or when I have a drop attack. A drop attack is sudden, and I will lurch to the side it is one often either falling or falling into a wall, chair or whatever happens to be there. Severe sudden vertigo on the other hand I will grip onto things and immediately find somewhere I can sit safely. It is a tell something is wrong.
  5. Then when the pain is climbing up into the 8 range lack of smiling, or difficulty maintaining a smile, lack of laughter, silence until I have to talk… is a big sign for me.

I think if people are not familiar with migraines they simply do not see the signs. Can’t recognize the tells. Think you are seriously ill, even though you explain it is just the migraines. Or don’t notice at all.