Monday, October 27, 2008

Migraine Brain Works

Have you ever noticed how your brain works differently with varying levels of pain during a migraine? Most mornings, I feel as if my brain is a wonky computer with an unstable virus, and I have to figure out what is going on with it today. Sometimes as my pain level increases during the day, I can actually feel my intelligence dropping to a lower wattage.

Here are some of the variations for my Migraine Brain Works

Full Fledge Shut Down-I can’t even think. This is the face in the pillow type of day where I don’t even know what day of week it is.

The Zone Out-This is where I find myself staring at something like my computer screen at work and I have no idea what I’m doing or how long I’ve been sitting there staring at my screen.

Scatterbrained-I feel as if I have severe ADD. I have to check to see if I put my bra on in the morning or I might put on deodorant twice because I’m so distracted that I cannot remember doing it the first time.

The Substitution-I find myself saying words wrong. I say “Bed and Bath” instead of “Blockbuster Video.” I also have a problem with typos and spelling errors if I'm trying to write something.

No Short Term Memory-I have trouble learning something new at work, but doing something I’ve done for ages isn’t a problem at all.

Forget Me Not-I’m plagued all day by the feeling that I’m forgetting something important. This is tied into the scatterbrained type of day.

Do you have any different types of Migraine Brain Works?


Eileen said...

This is AWESOME!!!

You nailed it! Yes, when I Migraine it's like there is a little trojan virus in my head just zapping all intelligent thoughts right out and replacing them with a blank stare.

Drake said...

Sheesh... Talk about eeri.

I used to complain about those things until I realised no one is actually paying attention...or maybe I just thought I had complained about it ;D.

I only get migraine "halo's" every so often and never any head-aches. I do have "Palinopsia" tho, which is apparently a cross over between a migraine and a seizure...

Weird. I am not going to jump to conclusions but definately interesting...thanks

Emily said...

you completely hit the nail on the head.

i have one stage just before Full Fledged Shut Down -- I call it Blinding Pain. I'm not really blind, but the pain is just searing and i can't process thoughts. The problem is that I'm still trying to function.

Pat said...

How right you are! I try to hide the stages from my family, especially the Substitution Scatterbrained stages, because I scared my brother so much one time he thought I was getting dementia. I'll say wrong words and blank out in the middle of a sentence or thought, and struggle to pronounce the word I'm thinking of.

Amy said...

Oh man, you got all of those. The only thing I want to add or ask is do you (or any of your readers) have bad scalp pain after a migraine? My scalp and even my hair hurts so bad right now. And also, I don't know if this is due to the meds or the migraine, but do you have any weird/odd sensations in your mouth specifically after a migraine and when you eat or drink something? The only way I can describe it is the sensation you get if you put a whole bunch of sour patch kids in your mouth, it's like my whole mouth and jaw seizes up and it's almost painful. So weird!

Jaymi said...

This is a great list!
People who don't suffer from migraine or CDH would probably think that we are nuts! Your list describes all the stages I've felt too. But, my descriptions are much less colorful. I have the "regular pain" days, the "amping up or gearing up pain", the "sad,down, irrational pain" and then the "full-blown whammy pain"...Almost always when friends or family say "You seem like your doing better today." or somthing like that, I'm at the regular pain or the amping up pain days...they have NO idea! :0)

Anonymous said...

In my migraine saga this is rings true. I have been told by one boss that I can't remember things and it frustrats her; I have poor recall. I think it's because my head hurts so often I have slow recall. My husband asks a question and it takes a while for the information to come to my brain. Then topomax is truly dopomax. I have done tasks poorly at work that I haven't done before and it is frightening me. There's the mental shutdown when I am in pain and I don't have the energy to tackle anything on my to do list. I lose all motivation. My to do list has had the same things on it for way too long. Yikes. Maybe I should wear a sticker on my head like those they bumper stickers once popular on cars(migraine head-beware) Carolyn

deborah said...

yes. yes..YES!! How about this: My mailbox is at the end of my drive - I have gone to fetch my mail, and have had the feeling, several times, that I forgot to get dressed. I actually stop, mid-way, to check!! scary. I am forever, getting the wrong words out. thanfully, my family knows what's up. I abhor the monster.

rachel said...

amy- i have those sour patch sensations in my mouth. it's like a nerve explosion! i also get the same thing when i shower with a migraine- each stream of water causes the skin sensory nerves to go nuts!

PrincessSteph said...

you forgot Manic. Which is my most productive migraine feeling. totally over the top migraine manicness. It is usually after the drugs semi kick in and I get a surge of energy. Its craziness. I am totally manic. I swear if I wonder if I am not a manic depressive. Who knows. Sometimes I wonder if my migraines just generally don't make me crazy.; Good list. Thanks,

shoe hound said...

Migraine Chick, Amy and princesssteph,

Thank you so much for validating me!!! Yes, my motor skills and speech start to suffer before and during a migraine attack. People have asked me if I am drunk. It's especially when I am trying to actually function with it.
My skin/scalp/jaw/brow bone all hurt during and sometimes hours or even a day after a migraine. It's sore to the touch, like bruised almost. I swear sometimes that the inside of my orbital bone is swollen it gets so sore.
I also have mania, but it's usually before a migraine, sometimes even 30 minutes before one. That's why people have such a hard time comprehending it; I think they think pain should come on gradually. They say, "you were fine 20 minutes ago!"
I also get what I call "devil eye" where my pupils become different sizes. It seems to be relative to my pain. Sometimes I get it before the migraine and it usually lasts into it until I take a triptan.
I also get IBS symptoms with mine.

amwalker said...

Wow, this is the first time I have had these experiences reflected back by anyone else. I have said "I like your airport" instead of "apron" and often catch myself making up words for the words I can't remember , i.e. phone charger becomes "plug-in", etc (and I'm only 35!)
Does anyone else worry that it could be a side effect of medication? I take maxalt - which works well for me - but sometimes try to avoid taking it because I am worried about what it might be doing to my brain. When I mentioned to my doctor that I was worried about my thinking, and specifically word recall - she said we could do a mental status exam, but I don't think that will catch what I am talking about.

Jeri said...

I have all of these symptoms. At least 3x per week. It came on about a year ago and continues on.
I have had to give up my career, sell my house and move back in with my parents 800miles away from home until I can figure out what else to do.
Today I referred to the passenger seat in my car as "the refrigerator" when telling a friend to have a seat in "the refrigerator".. I have no idea how my brain came up with that.
Yesterday, I kept referring to my dog with my sister's name.
What is going on with my brain. I hear it coming out, but can't seem to stop it.

Anonymous said...

I have definitely had the Fully Fledged Shut Down a few times. It's actually really scary when it happens. I can't even process a simple thought such as "I should get a drink of water", or "I should go to the toilet". I can (just about) do those things, but I can't think about them - it's hard to explain.

I tend to suffer from migraine (with aura) once or twice every month on average.