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Migraine aura anyone? Or does the cheese stand alone?

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doclewis

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Apr 4, 2016
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Hmm, I think we are related :). Again sounds like same thing I have had before with two a day rarely. Haven't had this for a couple of years though. As I mentioned before the "postdrome" of the migraines have been less the last year or so. I also think that these ocular migraines are in some way related to congenital bicuspid aortic valve which I did have. Don't have any idea why the frequency is so dramatically increased post op. I had AVR and aneurysm repair five years ago. This is only problem I have had related to surgery or heart. It has been three weeks today since I had one. This is a rarity for me, so I guess I am overdue. Eat chicken daily. Maybe I should quit?
 

slipkid

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Hmm, I think we are related :). Again sounds like same thing I have had before with two a day rarely. Haven't had this for a couple of years though. As I mentioned before the "postdrome" of the migraines have been less the last year or so. I also think that these ocular migraines are in some way related to congenital bicuspid aortic valve which I did have. Don't have any idea why the frequency is so dramatically increased post op. I had AVR and aneurysm repair five years ago. This is only problem I have had related to surgery or heart. It has been three weeks today since I had one. This is a rarity for me, so I guess I am overdue. Eat chicken daily. Maybe I should quit?
Trying cutting down your consumption of crude oil as well :)
 

Meathead TV

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Sheesh. Today was a migraine rarity for me. Double-duty. First one started about 1:30pm with the usual "Hmm, I can't quite see right" like glare or something was hiding some letters in what I was trying to read. Aura then came on & lasted the usual 20-30 minutes but it was a doozy, very very large shimmering lightning bolts. Then had a dull headache all day.

To my surprise (& disgust) at about 8:30, it started all goddam over again. Aura only lasted about 15 minutes that time but the headache is worse now. Am gonna go to sleep now or at least get in bed with the lights out. Thought I would post this first here b4 I do that though.

I blame this migraine, er migraines, on the fact that I had scrambled eggs for lunch, and chicken for dinner. Also that the new AC/DC album arrived in the mail today (but I felt too lousy to even listen to it). Crude oil is holding steady so I don't think that has anything to do with it. I would blame the full moon but there isn't one today, at least not here.
I've suffered from migraines since I was a child (migraine with aura). During my entire life I've only twice had migraine happen twice during the day, the last one just a few weeks ago. Pretty much exactly the same timetable as you had and I also had far worse headache after the second seizure.
 

Palious

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I am convinced about a link between vascular issues and migraine. I posted my symptoms (after my Bentall procedure) at the beginning of this thread back in 2019. They have not changed and I will get a migraine if I exercise too vigorously. It is difficult to believe that specialists in this field have not enough anecdotal evidence to proceed with some more structured field work to ascertain whether or not there is a link. I bring this to the attention of my cardiologist every year but to no avail and he seems not to want to discuss it further. I guess we just have to manage but its a shame for all the future sufferers!
 

doclewis

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I am convinced about a link between vascular issues and migraine. I posted my symptoms (after my Bentall procedure) at the beginning of this thread back in 2019. They have not changed and I will get a migraine if I exercise too vigorously. It is difficult to believe that specialists in this field have not enough anecdotal evidence to proceed with some more structured field work to ascertain whether or not there is a link. I bring this to the attention of my cardiologist every year but to no avail and he seems not to want to discuss it further. I guess we just have to manage but its a shame for all the future sufferers!
As I have posted previously, I too get aura if I exercise to vigorously. I have discussed this with my cardiologist, and with heart surgeon. Neither had ever heard of this. I saw a neurologist who said she had seen same thing in patients who have had carotid endarterectomy but had never seen it with heart surgery. She thought it might be due to increased flow to brain after surgery. Blood flow to brain is controlled by sensors in the neck and with sudden change they do not respond different flow of blood.
 

Freebird

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As I have posted previously, I too get aura if I exercise to vigorously. I have discussed this with my cardiologist, and with heart surgeon. Neither had ever heard of this. I saw a neurologist who said she had seen same thing in patients who have had carotid endarterectomy but had never seen it with heart surgery. She thought it might be due to increased flow to brain after surgery. Blood flow to brain is controlled by sensors in the neck and with sudden change they do not respond different flow of blood.
Interesting take from your neurologist. How then to explain those of us who had them both before and after surgery? I've also heard theories of hormonal changes and barometric pressure changes. Endless theories and yet nothing clear.
 

Palious

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What is it you expect him to do? He's a specialist in a totally different field.
Its an example of the transactional nature of modern health care...ie. we go from one specialist to another and each deals with their own 'bubble' of expertise and more often than not its the patient who has to refer back and work with the primary health care contact (in the UK its our General Practitioner....our NHS GP) who has to pull together patient issues that cross specialist boundaries. My expectation is that one of the many specialists who have heard much anecdotal evidence of linkage between migraine and cardiac/vascular disease brings it to the attention of a body able to start an initial research programme (e.g. with a university for a students post grad study?).
 

pellicle

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Its an example of the transactional nature of modern health care...ie. we go from one specialist to another and each deals with their own 'bubble' of expertise and more often than not its the patient who has to refer back and work
that's true.

But its pretty hard to know everything about everything as well as the interrelationships.

So at the moment we have to content ourselves with this situation. Perhaps AI will make further inroads, but I expect there will always be questions we have no answers for at any point in time. At least right now our understanding of plumbing, anatomy and surgery have given those of us on this site the opportunity to live longer rather than die earlier (as would have been the case a short 50 years ago).

even if I still get migraines, at least its something that my own personal journey has found some respite from (using what I've learned). However while I know what works for me I expect that may not work for you. Thus its not really scientific nor transferrable (which heart surgery is).
 

Freebird

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that's true.

But its pretty hard to know everything about everything as well as the interrelationships.

So at the moment we have to content ourselves with this situation. Perhaps AI will make further inroads, but I expect there will always be questions we have no answers for at any point in time. At least right now our understanding of plumbing, anatomy and surgery have given those of us on this site the opportunity to live longer rather than die earlier (as would have been the case a short 50 years ago).

even if I still get migraines, at least its something that my own personal journey has found some respite from (using what I've learned). However while I know what works for me I expect that may not work for you. Thus its not really scientific nor transferrable (which heart surgery is).
Excellent insight.

I'm sure it's buried somewhere in this long thread, but may I ask what works for your re ocular migraines? (assuming that's the sort of migraine you get)
 

pellicle

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Hi
I'm sure it's buried somewhere in this long thread, but may I ask what works for your re ocular migraines? (assuming that's the sort of migraine you get)
always easier to ask than seek through the mess that most web forums are.

So my migrain types are like this:

I find that neck mobility and posture are critical. I discovered this upon reflection when I changed from field work into desk work and had reason to go see an osteopath/chiropracter (after a bicycle accident). After seeing them for about a year I observed that I was not having anywhere near as many migraines as I once was. So I asked him about it and he said that yes, that was a known outcome but they (he) didn't promote that because it wasn't always certain. Probably they promote that now ...

I found that desk work promoted me to not have my neck mobile and my head looking in one direction for large amounts of time. Also that walks with a backpack were good but ONLY if I focused on my shoulder position and mobility.

Lastly I found that doing plain bench press (no, the machines do not elicit this) and starting the day with 2 or 3 sets of 30 reps with no more than 20kg on the bar also really helps to get the lower neck moving. Its important (in my workout) to move slowly and bring the bar (gently) to rest on my sternum and focus on my neck position and evaluate tightness. I then also do some shoulder shrugs where I do not lift up high but focus on drooping (stretching those trapezius shoulder muscles) and move the shoulder a little back on the down, then forward then up in an isosceles triangle. Usually 10kg in each hand.

If I start with that and then either don't do more or move on to more I have weeks without migraines. I haven't been able to go to a good chiro regularly for about a decade now and so those discoveries back in the 90's really helped me.

If I ignore all this I'll be back to having migraines a few times a week, sometimes 2 per day.

I hope that helps you
 

Freebird

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Sep 27, 2019
Messages
127
Hi


always easier to ask than seek through the mess that most web forums are.

So my migrain types are like this:

I find that neck mobility and posture are critical. I discovered this upon reflection when I changed from field work into desk work and had reason to go see an osteopath/chiropracter (after a bicycle accident). After seeing them for about a year I observed that I was not having anywhere near as many migraines as I once was. So I asked him about it and he said that yes, that was a known outcome but they (he) didn't promote that because it wasn't always certain. Probably they promote that now ...

I found that desk work promoted me to not have my neck mobile and my head looking in one direction for large amounts of time. Also that walks with a backpack were good but ONLY if I focused on my shoulder position and mobility.

Lastly I found that doing plain bench press (no, the machines do not elicit this) and starting the day with 2 or 3 sets of 30 reps with no more than 20kg on the bar also really helps to get the lower neck moving. Its important (in my workout) to move slowly and bring the bar (gently) to rest on my sternum and focus on my neck position and evaluate tightness. I then also do some shoulder shrugs where I do not lift up high but focus on drooping (stretching those trapezius shoulder muscles) and move the shoulder a little back on the down, then forward then up in an isosceles triangle. Usually 10kg in each hand.

If I start with that and then either don't do more or move on to more I have weeks without migraines. I haven't been able to go to a good chiro regularly for about a decade now and so those discoveries back in the 90's really helped me.

If I ignore all this I'll be back to having migraines a few times a week, sometimes 2 per day.

I hope that helps you
So interesting that yours are related to movement and not diet or barometric pressure etc. Never thought to observe that element. I now have a new round of experiments to try on myself. Thanks for the explanation.
 

doclewis

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Messages
39
Location
Orlando, Fl
Interesting take from your neurologist. How then to explain those of us who had them both before and after surgery? I've also heard theories of hormonal changes and barometric pressure changes. Endless theories and yet nothing clear.
Most of us who have posted on this thread have had them before and after surgery. Difference being that they are far more frequent after surgery. An explanation posted before is that there must be some change in the brain related to the surgery that makes brain much more sensitive to triggers after surgery. In my case had ocular migraines three or four times a year, maybe less before surgery and initially several times a week after surgery, now about every ten days. I never paid much attention to them before surgery.
 

Freebird

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Messages
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Most of us who have posted on this thread have had them before and after surgery. Difference being that they are far more frequent after surgery. An explanation posted before is that there must be some change in the brain related to the surgery that makes brain much more sensitive to triggers after surgery. In my case had ocular migraines three or four times a year, maybe less before surgery and initially several times a week after surgery, now about every ten days. I never paid much attention to them before surgery.
Just curious if you recall how far past surgery was it where they switched from several times a week down to say every 10 days that you're experiencing now. I'm currently almost 4 months past surgery and they seem to be settling on about once a week. Doing my best to just learn to live with them, which is a great mindfulness practice that I clearly need to continue to work on.
 

workmonkey

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Dec 2, 2013
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Location
Brooklyn, NY
I'm six years out of surgery, and in the past few years have found a noticeable moderation and reduction of my ocular migraines. They occur less frequently, and when they do occur, it is for less time. Some of it is just gaining awareness of what the triggers are (for me: strenuous exercise, caffeine, and lack of sleep. Anything messing with blood pressure.). The addition of Propranolol to my daily pill intake was a big help as well (it's a beta-blocker commonly prescribed for ocular migraines). And frankly, they stop disrupting you over time, to the point you almost ignore them.

On the theory side, I've recently been reading articles about concussions in sports - specifically, in football and certain winter Olympic sports (like bobsledding). A common thread in these articles is that one of the first, and lingering, symptoms of a concussion is flashing lights, auras, sensory sensitivity, and headaches. This continues for months/years after the concussion. Just yesterday, there was a story about an NFL player held out of the game because of migraines following a previous concussion.

Just a hypothesis here: But being on the bypass machine, temporary lack of blood flow, aortic clamping, and additional traumas put upon your body during the heart surgery process, could result in a soft concussion, or a similar brain injury. I've written about it before, but I woke up from my surgery with massive flashing lights, which continued almost every hour for days after my surgery. When you throw in the fact that those with valve issues, aneurisms, and similar circulatory problems are prime candidates for migraines, the surgery could be a huge trigger.

But because no doctor or surgeon seems to have any interest in researching the connection between heart surgery and migraine severity, we are all left to speculating on our own. There was a period of my life after surgery when the migraines forced a change to my lifestyle, and became one of the most frustrating and disruptive results of my surgery - which is why I've focused on it in these forums. The good news is it does lessen and subside, to the point you almost forget entirely about it. Good luck.
 

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