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Old 03-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
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Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

Hi, I have been having headaches and "mental fog" for a while, but recently nausea too. However, the scariest symptom is extreme sleepiness during the day where I will have to lie down and instantly fall asleep for a few minutes. Then when I wake up with a throbbing headache that doesn't go away. If you don't shake but you lose consciousness/control is that a seizure? My dad says it all sounds like a classic migraine but I'm worried it's something more serious like a brain tumor. I think it's because one of my best friends who was only 25, always seemed in perfect health died of a brain tumor last January Plus I am a worrier and use my cell phone and wi-fi computer a lot! My doctor ordered me a CT scan next week just to be sure, but wondering if I need different tests like MRI? Help/advice/experience/reassurance needed please!
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

Sounds like what I go through sometimes. I have extreme sleepiness during the day with periods of appearing drunk.

The CAT scan is the first step to determine that it is migraine or something more serious. Once worst case scenarios are ruled out they may go to an MRI. Just try to go with the doctor's time frame and let him call the shots right now. If it does come out to be a migraine your doctor may wind up being your best friend. Supportive doctors can be hard to find.

 
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

Thanks tingles, I can relate, sometimes I think I seem/sound drunk too! If you don't mind me asking, have you had either a CT scan or MRI, and did they find anything?

 
Old 03-14-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

I have other health problems including neuropathy/nerve damage so I have had about six MRI's and two CAT scans in the past five years and all have come up negative. My diagnosis is migraines and idopathic neuropathy.

 
Old 03-25-2011, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

For migraines, most doctors recommend an MRI over CT scans since it gets a little more detail, but either should be helpful in ruling out anything major. I was disappointed I got the MRI recommended to me, because it costs more, takes longer, etc! Luckily I found an open MRI place so I won't be claustrophobic and with insurance, at least it's just my deductible of $500.

For a peace of mind, tumors RARELY are the cause of migraines. And a ruptured aneurysm would mean that you probably wouldn't make it and still be here if you had one. I felt worried at first when my migraines were getting worse, but since I have them regularly, I know it isn't something life-threatening.

Unfortunately there are SO many things that can cause them. A neurologist or other doctor that works with migraines can help you figure out those causes and how to prevent them and treat them. I've heard of some people who get them after sleeping!

I also get very tired and have a TON of mental fog, so I understand how frustrating that is. I often feel like it's a bad idea for me to drive to work in the mornings because I feel drunk. I also struggle at work with being able to concentrate when I feel like I'll fall asleep. I think I'm the type that needs good sleep and naps. I get 6-7 hours a night and think I need 8-9. It's amazing what sleep deprivation and stress can do to your body. Migraines can also get you in that mental fog, even if you don't have the pain going on.

Definitely look into seeing a doctor so you can get it under control! Migraines are miserable and you don't want to have to go through them if you can stop them. They can also talk to you about the falling asleep thing. Do you ever feel well rested after waking up? I'd be curious if you had a sleep disorder, like narcolepsy. I always thought a person with that would randomly fall asleep even while walking, etc, but it's often not like that at all. It's worth at least reading about to see if it's a possibility.

I've also heard that some medications can cause this. I noticed that Prozac made me feel this way. At first it was very relaxing and I felt great, but later on, it became very frustrating because I felt like I was stuck in a cloud and couldn't snap out of it. Same thing when I have sinus and ear problems from allergies. The vertigo drives me nuts! I take birth control and some people say that makes them feel a lot of brain fog, but I'm not sure!

EDIT: Oops Tingles, I see that you mentioned both the CT scan and MRI. Maybe that's why they do the CT scan first- so it's a little easier and cheaper. They recommended I go straight to the MRI. I have mine scheduled in about a month.

Last edited by tUrRrRa; 03-25-2011 at 06:45 PM.

 
Old 04-07-2011, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

Thanks TUrRrRa and tingles for your input, and hope everything is going well with you, please keep updating!

The normal CT scan plus going back to therapy for anxiety cleared my worries for a while, but recently my migraines and nausea came back full force and now I'm wondering if they could have missed something and if I need an MRI. Currently typing this with a throbbing headache and nauseous stomach Do you recommend I find a migraine specialist or just try to get an MRI first?

 
Old 04-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

I would recommend you start a headache diary which can be found online and try to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.

 
Old 04-08-2011, 08:27 PM   #8
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Re: Headache, migraine, or tumor?!

If you think you will continue to have anxiety and will be thinking about it, then the MRI will be worth it to ease your mind! The vast majority of MRI's for migraineurs come back normal. I thought of it this way... if it were something very serious like a ruptured aneurysm, it wouldn't be recurring with me so regularly and I wouldn't be here! I can honestly say that I am not at all worried about anything serious for myself, but I do worry sometimes that I'll struggle with migraines forever, which makes me feel very upset. If you are different and DO worry about something serious (many people do!), then get the MRI so you can relax! A large problem would show up in both scans probably, but I know an MRI can get a closer look at the brain for blood vessel abnormalities and smaller things like that!

If you do or don't get the MRI very soon, I still think it would be good to see a specialist of some sort so you can find a way to treat and prevent your migraines! The neurologist just gave me prescriptions, but didn't really get to the root cause of my migraines... that's why I see the physical therapist at a headache institute. He explained to me that most of his patients have some kind of stress in the neck that makes the trigeminal nerve extra sensitive, and thus, migraine triggers like food, allergens, lack of sleep, etc. bother you much more than an average person. Doing the neck treatment would help one be less sensitive to those things! I'll be very curious to see if it helps with my hormonal migraines with time. I do want to see a primary care physician that works with headaches and migraines to rule out hypothyroidism since it runs in my family, I have all the symptoms, and I heard it can cause migraines.

I feel like it's going to be a long journey to truly to get every root cause and find relief, but I think it will be well worth it! I hope you are able to find the cause of yours and how to treat them quickly but you definitely do what you need to do so you don't worry. I know people who had a lot of health anxiety and know it really affected their lives!

 
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