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What do migraines feel like?

(19 Posts)
ameliameerkat Tue 16-Nov-10 18:39:21

My boyfriend gets migraines. They start with his vision going slightly odd - if he catches it then (with painkillers and more sleep), he'll have a headache for a few hours when he wakes up (he says it's usually a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale).

I've started ocassionally getting bad headaches, but I don't know if they're migraines as they're so different to what my boyfriend gets. Mine start with a slight pain in my head/neck, and some stiffness in my neck, then within 5/10mins they are excrutiating! Literally I can't move with the pain in my head/neck and can be in tears from it. I tend to take both paracetemol and ibuprofen and lie down and not move until it goes away (literally not move, moving is far too painful, even slightly turning/tilting my head), which is usually 30mins to 1 hour. Does that tally with anyone else's migraine experiences?

potplant Tue 16-Nov-10 18:45:49

Mine are a cross between both.

Starts with altered vision and numbing of my tongue, sometimes I can be violently ill at this stage as well. When my vision goes back to normal I get hideously painful headache - just like you descrbie, I can't move my head without causing more pain. I can't do anything except go to sleep.

It is usually a few days before I feel normal again.

lollipopshoes Tue 16-Nov-10 18:49:23

with mine:

imagine you have the worst hangover ever.

On top of that, someone is hitting you repeatedly over the head with a hammer and shining a bright light in your eyes and you know that if you move a muscle - one tiny muscle you'll hurl everywhere.

Then someone turns the heating up full so you're sweating. As soon as you summon up the energy to move to get out from under the quilt they put the fecking air conditioning on so you're freezing.

But anything is "normal" - peoples' experiences are different.

ameliameerkat Tue 16-Nov-10 19:49:47

Thanks guys. I knew they varied a bit, but didn't realise they varied so much! At least mine are relatively short and don't involve throwing up....so I'm feeling quite grateful grin

Marjee Tue 16-Nov-10 21:27:26

I get migraines although thankfully not very often. It usually starts with a headache and a horrible sicky feeling, if I take painkillers straightaway it usually stays like that, if not I spend the next day or 2 throwing up and in pain. Sometimes I get blurred vision and dizziness before the headache starts but not always, they are usually the warning that it will be a bad one. Migraines are evil things!

BelligerentGhoul Tue 16-Nov-10 21:31:16

I get the blurred vision and the tongue thing, coupled with tingly fingers, nausea but also a feeling of being really hungry. They can last several days at their worst and at their very worst, I can go from feeling fine to actually not being able to walk/sit up within a space of minutes (thankfully only once or twice a year at most with these ones and usually when I have been over-tired for weeks first).

Em3978 Tue 16-Nov-10 22:00:51

I get two different kinds of migraine... yeah fun!
the 'usual' type, with (for me) blindness, flashy lights, then a headache the size of a planet, nausea, stiff neck etc for anything from a few hours to a couple of days.

Then I can get 'Icepick' migraines; its like someone has stabbed me right through the head, with an icepick, and it hurts like hell, i can't function, i can barely see, I feel sick....
for about 10-15 minutes! Then its gone.
Icepick migraines are migraines, just weird ones.

My dad gets the typical migraine, my mum gets the icepicks... i inherited both! ta mum n dad!

bethylou Tue 16-Nov-10 22:05:05

Can I hijack and ask whether any of you get tingling in both sides of your body (i.e. arms/legs) at the same time? My GP recently tried to tell me that I couldn't be having a migraine because the tingling should only be in one side!

CountessVonKnackerstein Tue 16-Nov-10 22:13:47

Mine are always on the left side of my head, through my left eye and up into my head. They are worse if I'm
tired, hungry or have not worn my glasses at work.
They start as itchy eye, then feel like a "sty" in my eye, then head feels cold, pain down my nose then top of my head down to my nose.
I've found a cure though, 2 glasses of warm water, resolve extra and one nurofen "migraine" tablet. Then I stick a cold patch thingy on my forehead and go to sleep..

potplant Wed 17-Nov-10 14:30:00

Em3978 - I get both of those as well, but I always thought that the blurred vision ones were actual migraines and 'icepick' just a headache.

bethylou - Mine are usually just down one side but sometimes both my hands can go numb.

Saltire Wed 17-Nov-10 14:37:25

EM3978 - i get those too, never thought of them as ice pick migraines though.
I start with blurred vision or zigzag lines, then get numbness and tingling on ym face, often accompanied by blind spots. thenthe ehadache starts. The last one I had, was so bad I really did think I was going to die, I thought my head was going to burst. I was lying in bed, unable to move my head bacause of the pain,a dn DH was sitting with an ice pack on my forhead and I was crying my eyes out it was so bad.

Anyone who's never had a full on migriane thinks they are "just a headache"

BelligerentGhoul Wed 17-Nov-10 17:40:42

What is Resolve Extra, Countess?

CountessVonKnackerstein Wed 17-Nov-10 20:03:32

It's actually a hangover cure. But it settles the stomach and the fizz gets the paracetamol into your system quickly. Taking it with a nurofen migraine tablet seems to work.

BelligerentGhoul Thu 18-Nov-10 17:32:00

Thank you. Will keep it in mind.

BlingLoving Thu 18-Nov-10 17:33:52

Amelia - not sure if this is helpful but I got a headache more like yours recently. As I'm pregnant, I saw a doctor. He said if it comes from the neck and shoulders and works as a band around your head rather than stabbing pain in one eye, it's more likely to be a tension headache.

hackingandhewing Thu 18-Nov-10 17:56:19

Mine often start with sever aching of neck and upper arms, nausea and noise sensitivity. Headache is usually one side of head and one eye.

At worst they are severe pain, disorientation and am almost unable to open my eyes for a few hours. (Luckily this happens rarely).

I hope you don't think I'm bonkers for suggesting it but mine have reduced in frequency and severity since I cut out "diet" drinks adn became aware of aspartame (thanks to MN!). Mine are also hormonal - usually during or just after AF.

Incidentally, does anyone else have a sort of post migraine haze for a day or so after a bad one? I am often unbelievably sleepy the next day and sort of a bit spaced out.

ditavonteesed Thu 18-Nov-10 18:01:49

hard to derscribe, mine start as a normal headache and then usually very suddenly turn into a pain in my eyes which Is about an 8 or 9 on pain scale, I have to crawl to bed, lie down and after about 10mins it feels is if my brain has stopped bouncing off the sides of my skull, then I have to lie absoltly motionless for about 12 hours, if it is overnight I will drift in an out of sleep but still wake upo with the same headache. I feel like my eyes are going to burst, mine are usually hormanal or stress related, cant bear any light and am often sick. Cant usually function the next day.

HeadFairy Thu 18-Nov-10 18:04:04

I've only ever had hormonal ones postnatally. I had my first one since having dd 10 months ago last week. Mine are an intense pain behind my left eye which lasts at least two days and nausea for about a day. I don't often get the visual disturbances, but I did when I had one after ds (flashing colours and dizziness, felt like I was going to fall over all the time)

BelligerentGhoul Thu 18-Nov-10 18:19:12

Yes, mine are usually in my left eye and are often hormonal too. Because of the pain in my eye, I feel as if it looks as if I'm winking at people. It then gets worse and worse until I can get myself dosed up and into a darkened room.

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