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Episode Info: As this is Migraine Awareness Month, this episode introduces you to what it is like to live with Hemiplegic Migraine (HM). We compare a typical migraine attack to a HM attack. We then present some basic facts about HM, symptoms, answer frequently asked questions, and follow-up with a step-by-step action plan. HM is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I've had migraine with aura for years. But my HM does not compare. It is tremendously worse and life altering. That statement is not meant to minimize the pain migraineurs feels, especially the chronic migraineurs. But what we as HMers experience involves the same migraine pain coupled with so much more, which we'll discuss in a moment. Picture This Visualization helps. So picture this in your mind. You’re in a department store one of the big ones. It’s busy, the lights are flickering and blinding, and it’s too loud. The sounds of the store are a mixture of the piped in music, people talking, an the blasted beeping of the check-out scanners. Then someone passes you showered in perfume. What happens? You start to feel a migraine coming on, right? You may see zig zag lines, get nauseous, maybe have an odd smell or taste in your mouth, and then the pounding. You reach for your abortive medicine hoping you caught it in time. If no, stabbing starts. We all know what that feels like, right? So you try to finish your shopping and get out of there as quickly as you can to get home and crash. Now you’re a HMer. You’re in the same store. What happens? First of all, we usually don’t have an abortive, as the general accepted rule of thumb (at least for now) is no triptans for HMers. The world around us starts to gray out as we slip into this hole. We can hear sounds around us but they are muttled. Then if we didn’t react fast enough and sit down, boom. We’re down on the floor either because we passed out or our affected side is too weak to hold us up. We can’t communicate and may not understand what you’re saying. What others see is this person who’s on the floor with our face drooping on one side, drooling on ourself, and confused (if you’re conscious). It looks like we’ve had a stroke. Some of us, like me, might even convulse or have a tremor. Can you picture it in your mind? With a migraine, even though the pain is overwhelming and you may even throw-up, you can still walk out that door and get into your car. An HMer can’t walk. Once we come back to conscious level, we are paralRead more »

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