About 2 months ago, I began having severe headaches (on the left side of my head) that were unlike headaches I had previously, and at about the same time, developed weakness on the right side of my body and intermittent numbness in my right hand and arm. I was in the UK and didn't have international health insurance so I put off going to the doctor for a couple of weeks. After 2 weeks, the weakness and headaches were still present, so I went to a GP who sent me to the A&E. I was evaluated by the stroke team there (I was 24 at the time, I should note) and had a CT done. They ruled out a stroke but noted that I had a small (5mm) nodule in the left frontal region of my brain that they believed might be a menengioma and they admitted me to the hospital. 4 days later, I had an MRI that showed the nodule still (6mm), but at that point, they decided it was actually a bone growth from my skull and not the cause of my symptoms. I came back to the US in order to try to get things sorted out (as I'm still having headaches and weakness). I saw a neurologist here who sent me for another MRI, this time with contrast, because he was not sure that it was not, in fact, a brain tumour. I had the MRI, but this time, it didn't show anything, bone or tumour. Meanwhile, evaluations for PT and OT showed that I still have notable weakness on the right side of my body, as well as a foot drag, and slower response times. The only other seemingly neurological symptoms I've had are that I will suddenly get weakness/heaviness on both sides of my body that will last maybe a minute or so and then will go away, sometimes several times a day, sometimes a couple of times a week. I did have a seizure a year and a half ago that they never determined the cause of, but that was so long ago, it seems unrelated.
My doctors are a bit stumped at the moment as to what coud be causing my symptoms and I am concerned as to what could have been in my brain and showed up on a CT and MRI, then disappeared on an MRI a month later. My doctor mentioned it could be a type of migrane causing this. Does anyone have migraines that cause unilateral weakness that doesn't go away for 2 months straight? What did you to to help it?
I am a migraine sufferer. I experienced my very first migraine at the young age of 12. It runs on my mom's side of the family and my brother has them as well. I have never ever experienced any type of weakness in any part of my body during a migraine OR a headache. My mom nor my brother has never experienced that either. But everyone is different because a lady I know had severe migraines and she had a stroke which caused her to become paralyzed. As for the scans to show something wrong and then show nothing is wrong, that happened to my husband. He had an MRI on his brain once and it showed some type of abnormality but then when he was tested a year later, it showed everything was fine. No evidence of anything ever being abnormal. The doctors couldn't explain it. I do hope that you find some answers soon. When it comes to headaches no one should ever mess around.
I too suffer from migraines and currently am seeing a neurologist who is treating me. But I did have a menengioma removed from the right side of my brain 6 years ago. What brought me to the ER was an unbelieveable pain on the right side of my head,nothing I had ever experienced before. They immediately did an MRI and angiogram with dye and found a subdural hymatoma, in other words bleeding on my brain. This led to 2 surgeries in one week because they couldn't find the cause until I started seizing in the hospital which led them to do another MRI, which located the menengioma and it was then removed. I had to go through PT afterwards but am perfectly fine now other than difficulty with word recall when fatigued. When I think back prior to the pain in my head I did have weakness on my leftside and nose bleeds, which I just ignored. I am still on antiseizure meds because since the surgery my eeg's have been abnormal. Did they ever find out what was the cause of your symptoms?
Wow, I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that! That sounds terrible.
I started going to a neurologist who specializes in migraines, and he diagnosed me with complex migraines which can cause neurological symptoms like unilateral weakness. They initially tried botox (it's used to treat chronic migraines - and since I have a continual one, I was a good candidate) and the first round seemed to help, but the second round didn't and my headaches have been worsening. The weakness did improve with the first round of botox and a couple of months of PT/OT, but it's still not as good as it used to be (I particularly notice it with my writing - I still cannot write more than a few sentences without my writing becoming illegible - which I never had before the headaches. They've been trying me on other medicines for the headaches - steroids, then Depakote with no success. They tried a fentanyl patch, but it made me uncontrollably throw up, and Tylenol 3 did nothing. I'm on Opana ER at the moment which is helping somewhat, but I still have significant headaches with it (I was initially on 20mg 2x/day which helped a lot more, but I was so out of it and couldn't stay awake for anything, so they lowered it to 10mg). My hem/onc looked at my MRI and thinks that the spot in my brain is calcified inflammation, so who knows what it is. They don't think it's the cause of my headaches, though.
So... I'm still having bad headaches, am still having some unilateral weakness, am on strong meds and still can't seem to control them well, and my headaches additionally get notably worse any time I exercise at all. It is really frustrating because no one knows what to do with it/cares enough to figure it out.
How long did you have the weakness/nosebleeds for before it progressed to your other symptoms?
When I think back I would say my symptoms were present for at least 4 months prior to the severe pain on the right side of my head. The nose bleeds were infrequent and progressed to weekly, but I thought it had to due with the weather. I noticed the weakness when I was cooking one day and couldn't lift a pan with veggies I had just sauted with my left hand. I had absolutely no strength in my left wrist and to this day still don't. Also when I am very fatigued I have a tendency to fall to the left or list as I call it. In other words my balance it off. But more importantly your migraines sound awful. I can't imagine all the time. I know when I get a migraine it last for at least 3 days before it is completely gone, so I can't imagine all the time. Are you on any preventative meds. I was on Topomax for migraine prevention but didn't like to fogginess it gave me. The Botox does work but not as good each time. I take Axert or Frova when I do get a migraine and use and ice pack on my head, which does seem to help alleviate some of the pain. Let me know how you are doing.
Hmm... my weakness started in a similar way - just all of a sudden I couldn't use my right hand, couldn't lift or grasp things, write, brush my teeth, etc. It is better now (although my right side is still weaker, even though I am right-handed), but it took quite some time. I keep wondering if it will progress or develop into something more. I've now been having the headaches and weakness for 9 months.
I'm not on any preventative medicines for my migraines at the moment. I'm just getting the Botox and taking Opana ER (and I also take Gabapentin for some nerve damage that I have and I know that can also help with headaches, but I only take 900mg/day). I tried Topamax years ago when I started having more mild headaches and had really bad side effects (I tried a number of SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclics, anti-seizure meds, etc, at that time, but nothing worked well). That's disappointing to hear that the Botox decreases in efficacy. I was hoping that the next round (in a few weeks) would work better. I'm thinking I may have to go up on the Opana for a 5-day round or something to see if they can get the headaches knocked down a little bit because they're worsening again. I just bought an air filter and such to make sure that allergies aren't playing into it as well. It's hard for me to have any of the meds that you take when you get a migraine because mine doesn't go away, so it's really hard to break the cycle. I wish they could... I do use head sometimes (just for short periods) and it seems to help a little bit, or will sometimes rub peppermint oil on my head. It makes it a little cool and tingly which feels nice and the scent helps with nausea some.
I have trouble with feeling a lot of pressure inside of my head pushing outward. When I look up abut headaches that feel like pressure, it's always describing something like a band pressing inward, but mine feel like my head wants to explode more. No one has been able to shed any light on that, though, since I also have sharp pain in specific places.
I'm sorry that you still have so much trouble with weakness. The migraines and weakness are so hard to deal with. I wish that there was better treatment...
hi in the shelter, i know this is an older post, have you heard of hemi-plegic migraines, they cause one sided weakness, can move from side to side, they also cause stroke like symptoms. i have had a few seizures from these migraines too. it is a rare form of migraine, im looking for help with mine and saw your post and it sounded very similar. i hope by now you are feeling better.
shelsers75, I haven't ever heard of hemiplegic migraines. I just looked them up, and they do look a LOT like what I have except for two factors - I don't have an aura and my headache varies, but never goes away, so I have had a constant headache for months, which doesn't seem typical of that type of migraine. Have you ever experienced them without the aura or lasting that long? It's not something my neurologist has ever mentioned, so I will look into it more. Thanks! I am currently being evaluated for intracranial hypertension, so maybe that will provide a clue. I am just so tired of spending half of my day completely disabled by headaches. Good luck in treating yours!