Is this Migraine ( Hemiplegic possibly?)

Hi there everyone,

I am wondering if you could give me your advice/opinions as to whether I could be having Hemiplegic migraines.

My episodes are variable from mild to stronger. I am having 2-3 episodes every month around period and ovulation time. My symptoms are: tingling and numbness on left side body, even half lips and tongue, my head feels weird and pressurey like my brain is being sucked out. My cheek feels like it is swollen. My mouth and tongue feel like I've been to the dentist and had an injection. My eye feels swollen and I get blurry vision ( no weird shapes or loss of vision) but the sclera goes bloodshot for days afterwards. My left leg goes numb and I can't walk. My left leg always goes every time.

Sometimes my left arm will go weak and sometimes it is a mixture of other leg and arm too. If it is a milder episode it will just be my left leg and I have to drag it around with me. A stronger episode seems to involve all my left side. I have to drag my stiff heavy left side body with me. My left side chest is heavy and stiff like a board. It is exhausting and I find it difficult to breathe, I make grunting sounds on exertion. My speech goes slurry and lispy. I struggle to get the words out. My speech has never gone completely though. I feel confused in my brain and a bit out of it. One time i was trying to put rubbish in the bin, i kept looking at the rubbish and then at the bin. I knew it had to go in there but I couldn't work out how to do it. My coordination is off. It seems that my upper arms go weak and stiff and heavy. If I try to eat I cannot lift a fork to my mouth. these episodes last anything from 40 mins to 2 hours. I seem to get multiple episodes per day. Just this Monday I had 3 and again 4 episodes on Tuesday. None today but I am left with residual weakness of left leg so I still am unable to walk. It usually takes a good few days for my leg to recover.

Also since reading all about migraines my symptoms seem to fit. I recognise the prodrome, I have an underactive thyroid and thought that I had been having hyper episodes but now think it could be the prodrome symptoms. I get irritiable and rage at poor hubby and I have excessive yawning

It has also been suggested by doctors that I have Gastroparesis but since keeping a diary I have noticed that I only have digestive trouble at the same time as these attacks. I often vomit or have thought I've had bouts of food poisoning until I've put it all together. I have to stop eating for a few days at these times as my digestive system doesn't seem to work.

I have also had muscle and nerve tests on my left leg and the results of two seperate tests showed myopathy.

So what are your thoughts? Does this sound like migraine??

Forgot to say I don't actually get the headache pain just a pressure feeling like my brain is inflamed and some alien is trying to suck it out of my skull!

Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts

Carolineanne x

11 Replies

  • Dear CarolineAnne, I suffer with hemiplegic migraine and the symptoms you describe sound almost exactly like the symptoms I get. I now take Gabapentin daily as a prophylaxis and then when the migraines start I take Paramax which has an anti emetic in it as the stomach shuts down quickly in a migraine and that's what causes the nausea, I also take a diclofenac and zoning nasal spray. If I hit it quickly it's the difference between a migraine lasting a couple of hours as opposed to one that lasts for 3 days! I hope you can get diagnosed officially and get the right medication to help you. Good luck!


  • Hi April

    Thanks for replying. It's good to know that I am not going mad with all these strange things going on. I guess the next step is getting an official diagnosis. It's been a strange journey with all these seemingly random things going on. Now it seems to all make sense. It would be great to try to reduce or eliminate these episodes and get on with my life! :) I'm glad treatment has made a difference for you. Thankyou for sharing your experience. CA

  • Hi , I,ve had these type of migraines and they were triggered by taking the combined pill (progesterone and estrogen) when I stopped taking it they stopped. Just wanted to make sure you,re not taking it too. Estrogen is seizure promoting and should be avoided by those withcertain types of migraine. Hope you find some answers soon :)

  • Hi thanks for replying- thankfully I've never been able to tolerate the pill so am not on it. I have read about 'estrogen dominance' and as I am a little heavier than I should be and probably in perimenopause I think my hormones are all over the place lol. Thanks again.

  • Hi, have you thought of having your hormones tested by a bio identical hormone doctor? I,ve just had mine done and they show I have 40% of the progesterone I should have. (I should add that my GP tested and said they,re 'normal' so something to bear mind if you get this done) I,ve only been using hormones for 2 weeks so will have to see if I get a positive result in the coming months.... I,m 42 so probably approaching menopause too :(

  • Hi Julia

    I think that is something i would like to have done although I'm not sure of the cost. What would be the approx cost if you don't mind me asking? CA

  • Hi Caroline, I,m not sure where you live but I contacted Marion Gluck clinic in london and told them I wanted my hormones tested for migraines. They gave me a list of everything that needs testing then I asked the GP to do them. (it's cheaper that way) you then see a consultant with your blood results(between £240-£360) and go from there.

    The hormones they prescribe cost 20-30 pounds per month.

    Hope that helps :)

  • Thanks for the info Julia. I will look into that. If I could stable my hormones I may be able to get rid or at least reduce these episodes. I do feel my hormones are up and down and it seems that I don't have any other triggers like food, weather or bright lights. Thanks again- fingers crossed! CA

  • No problem, hope you see some improvement soon.

  • Getting official diagnosis isn't easy but if you tell your doctor all the symptoms you told us I'm sure they will be able to then give you the right meds to help. Let us know how you get on. Best wishes


  • I will do- thanks!

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