Louise’s story

I had the visual aura out of the blue

Louise Prentice

I started getting migraine with aura when I was about 14. I remember getting the visual aura in art class at school. I couldn’t see half of the paper. After experiencing being partially sighted for about 20 minutes and zig zags in my vision. I had a horrible headache for 2 days afterwards.

I never told anyone about the migraine and I didn’t know what it was and it never even worried me at the time. I remember having about two other attacks.

From age 16 – 56 I never had any migraine attacks.

Restarting

In October 2018 I had the visual aura out of the blue.

I didn’t get much of a headache just a fuzziness in my head. My aura started with tiny little shapes which blocked my vision and then got larger and larger as well as flashes, and zig zags. It then went to the edge of my vision and disappeared. This lasted for about 20 minutes. I then felt depressed and a fuzzy head. I didn’t understand why I had this migraine after all these years.

I had a few more frequent migraine aura. I felt quite depressed and was very concerned that there might be something more wrong with me. My anxiety levels increased.

I went to see the doctor. He said it was a typical migraine and gave me sumatriptan and propranolol. I never took the sumatriptan as I never had any headache. The propranolol made me feel awful.

I was getting the migraine aura so frequently that I was so depressed and felt there must be something else wrong. From the October 2018 to May 2019 I had many migraine aura.

Changing again

Suddenly I went six months without having any, and then in November 2019, the migraine aura started yet again. I had them frequently again, and then between February and November 2020, I had none.

Then, at the end of November 2020, I had one attack and one attack in December.

Treatment

It is hard to know if medication does work as migraine can come in clusters and then there can be many months or even years where people don’t get them.

One doctor thought I could be getting the migraine because I was going through the menopause. In February 2020 I was put on venlafaxine. I went nine months without having a migraine aura. I have had attacks after the nine months but not as many. I find I have to keep cool as I believe if I get too hot this can bring the aura on.

I do worry about migraine. My anxiety is worse because the attacks are so unpredictable they can come on any time anywhere. There doesn’t seem to be anything specific that brings them on. I tell myself I have them because I’m going through the menopause.

The views and opinions expressed in this ‘Migraine story’ are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Migraine Trust.