Strange mental event prior to ocular migraine?

For many years I had migraines once or twice a month, lasting 3 or 4 days each. No auras. Then about 20 years ago the headaches stopped and I had no headaches of any kind after that, but a very occasional ocular event came along. Then a year ago, after being put on three heart meds (afib-related) I started having really unnerving mental events that I hardly know how to describe. A sudden sense of confusion and unreality, as though someone had reached into my brain, grabbed a handful of random confusing memories, and scattered them into the here and now, giving me the feeling that I had just experienced them, even though I knew I hadn't. Along with this came a ominous sense of doom and gloom.

At the same time I started having daily ocular auras, frequent mild headaches, and occasional brief double vision. After a CtScan, Brain MRI, one-hour EEG and 48-hour EEG, I was assured that my brain was fine and was told by three doctors that I wasn't going crazy. That was some comfort!

In the year since, these frightening mental experiences have mercifully lessened (only very occasional now and milder), headaches have stopped, and ocular auras come and go only infrequently. However, I have started to notice that when I do get even a hint of of one of the mental events, it is often followed and hour or two later by an ocular aura. It has taken me a long time to pick up on the possible connection. If I thought that the weird mental events are simply migraine-connected they would certainly lose their punch. Would be extremely interested in hearing if anyone has has had similar experiences and have found that they are simply a harmless aspect of migraine aura. Thanks to all who have waded through all the above! I look forward to any input!

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  • Hi Nanframz.

    I've been diagnosed with chronic migraine since the birth of my daughter. I've had symptoms for years though. The past 10 months have been horrendous with a variety of symptoms. I like your description of a mental event. I experienced a change in the way my brain works over a few days. Completely feeling like I wasn't part of reality, on waking not recognising what I was seeing. When thinking about some things it is very cloudy. Looking at people and my surroundings, I know them but everything feels so strange. Terrifying feelings of doom. I could go on for hrs about what it is like but like you I find it extremely hard to describe but it is truly awful and honestly it's permanent. I have never gone back to normal.

    It took so long and so many consultants to work out what was wrong because I don't get severe head pain. It's slight on the right side, with a painful neck. Lots of sickness, tingling and a variety of strange goings on all over my body. It took my own intelligence to figure out it must be neurological. The consultant was very good but obviously it is so hard to describe. He said because it is nothing else it has to be migraine.

    It has been so hard to get used to but I am fully accepting of the diagnosis even though I have strange symptoms unlike the normal migraine. I have had 2 brain scans. All normal.

    I just wanted to say you don't have to have anything that others would consider serious like a tumour to have extremely strange going ons. It is our brains so anything can go on when they are not working properly.

    And as migraine is hardly understood at all it is even harder to figure out. The invisible illness. And to look at me, I look fine.

    I hope you will be ok and that things have lessened. Things for me have bettered slightly and I am able to function again.

  • Caroline, please forgive me for taking so long to reply! I greatly appreciate your extremely interesting and relevant response to my post about a possible connection between my peculiar mental events and migraine. Although our experiences are not identical there is enough similarity to give me comfort in believing that I'm probably not going bonkers, but can blame the "events" on something neurological connected to migraine, which is still not fully understood.

    I really feel for you in your prolonged situation, Caroline, and hope that your symptoms will continue to improve. I send my very kindest wishes to you. I'll keep my eyes open for more postings from you, if you ever feel like adding to what you've already taken the time to share. Bless you!

    Frances

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