I’m curious who else on the board experiences cognitive difficulties when they have symptoms. I’ve had this condition for 5 years on and off. When I am symptomatic, along with my main symptoms these days (they have changed over time) extreme photophobia, lightheadedness, odd vision –strange depth perception, looking through glass sensation, surreal effect, I experience a kind of mental slowing and/or brain fog. I feel like I’m in a dream like state. I access information too slowly, so when reading, it feels like there’s a lag between reading a sentence and taking it in. My ability to be analytical is shot. It’s like mentally I can cope with simple conversation and thought, but as soon as I have to grapple with an idea or formulate opinions around something I can’t pull my thoughts together in the same way – my thinking is foggy and slowed.
This is, for me, by far the worst aspect of this illness. I’m keen to know how many other people get this. For me it can go on for weeks, 24/7, alongside the other symptoms. I read something on here about someone’s neurologist suggesting their brainfog IS the migraine for them. It certainly feels that way for me. I have worked out that I’m not just light sensitive but that daylight and sunlight are actually triggers for me. The more light, the worse the dizziness and the cognitive problems. With this current relapse, 10 weeks now, there have been periods where the cognitive difficulties are there when the other symptoms are almost absent.
I am never confused in the medical sense of the word. I know who and where I am, and can generally fake normalicy in conversation, although my ability to think is far from normal and it’s a big struggle. I am a freelance screenwriter and this has a huge impact on my ability to work. I am lucky in that propranonol afforded me a lot of relief for 18 months and I was back at work and almost 100%. However I stupidly allowed myself to have a panic attack about going on a plane as I hate flying. Fear is a huge trigger for me and pretty much always brings the condition back. The light sensitivity starts to creep back and things landslide from there. I took some time off over the summer and the relapse happened during the break. I need to go back to work soon but am avoiding taking a job as it’s punishing and almost impossible to do my job like this. I know, I’ve tried before.
I have upped my dose of propranonol, but unfortunately, this time, it doesn’t seem to be the magic bullet it’s been in the past. Well, not as yet anyway. Although I have experienced a slight lifting of the cognitive difficulties on the higher dose. The drug also comes with unfortunate tiredness and depression SE’s, but frankly I’ll take them over this horrible illness.
Anyway, I’m rambling. I really just wanted to connect with people who also experience cognitive difficulties as part of the condition. I am seen in a neurology and neurotology department. I have a MAV diagnosis, but I haven’t grilled a neuro about this aspect of things. The only explanation I got a while back was that migraine slows the brain. I would love to hear from anyone who may have discussed this cognitive aspect with a doctor and has any further info about it. I am seen on the NHS in England so have to wait an eternity between each appointment. I’d also just love to hear from anyone who can relate to what I’m going through.