Friday, February 18, 2011

Serene Branson Had A Migraine

On Sunday night, a Los Angeles television reporter went on the air after the Grammy Awards and tried to do one of those kinds of reports that usually just drift in and out of your consciousness without affecting you much because there is usually nothing said of any importance. Well, the report of Serene Branson was different because you really could not understand much of what she was saying. I was going to write about it, but the preliminary word was that it was a stroke and I felt bad for her and did not think it would be fun to watch someone have a stroke replayed incessantly. Well, yesterday doctors said it was not a stroke, but a migraine. I know migraines can be debilitating, but I had no idea it could affect your speech like that. I mean the entire time the reporter is smiling although that could be something that is so ingrained into her that she could be dying while reporting and still be smiling. That seems to be a common affliction among local reporters.

"Yes, Ted, I have been hit by a car and I could possibly lose my life, but please notice that I am still smiling."

Meanwhile, Serene is hoping that the video will not go viral. Umm, a little late for that considering it was played about a bazillion times just on Monday. Does everyone believe it was a migraine? I know they can be hard on people so please tell me if you have had one and did the same type of thing. Except for the smiling part of course.

40 comments:

abiding dude said...

Yep - I had the same thing happen to me once. Actually went to the ER thinking it was a stroke, but catscan & mri showed everything okay. And sorry honey but it is so viral that I watched it on my xbox.

JS said...

I suffer from migraines, but so do some others I know and we all experience them differently. A co-worker used to see flashes before he got one and a relative has them for more than a day. When I get mine, it is a severe headaches with fever and chills and if I don't get medication in time, I might vomit. Mine are like getting a 24 hour bug condensed into 2-3 hours. ANd then I sleep. Her doctor said that some migraines can cause stroke like symptoms, but if I were her, I'd get a second opinion to be sure. I do know that it is difficult to think when I have a migraine, but I have never had difficulty forming words.

kelly said...

I have had mirgaines most of my life. They differ from one to another but at their worst it feels likes my brain isn't working properly and I have a hard time saying what I want. The day after a bad one it feels like I went 3 rounds with Mike Tyson. I have chosen to believe this is what happened to her just because I know how much they affect your body

Cindy said...

It is possible.My mom had a migraine that made it seem like she was having a stroke.

Miss X said...

I believe it. Fortunately, I haven't had any this bad.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I knew a lady who got such bad migranes she had to get special pills to get rid of them. I don't think she ever stroked out, however. That's pretty scary.

blondegossip said...

I believe it too. I've had migraines my whole life (I remember them from kindergarten!) & they've definitely affected my speech at times. Migraine symptoms can mimic strokes, I would get a second opinion if I were her too.

bflogurl said...

I am another life-long migraine sufferer (since about 7 years old), and only once had an episode of aphasia. It was absolutely terrifying.

awesome balla. said...

ive had migraines my whole life too yet fortunately i've never had aphasia. sometimes it takes me a little while to get out a thought but never anything like that.

Kristen S. said...

Uuumm...she is NOT smiling the "entire time". In fact, as soon as her speech changes, the look on her face changes. She looks pretty scared and horrified to me.

crila16 said...

This poor woman!!! She must have been terrified having lost control of her verbal skills, not knowing what was going on. You could totally tell she was alert and knew what she wanted to say, but it's like her brain twisted it and she lost complete control. The pressure of the migrane must have been pressing on the part of the brain that controls the speech. I hope she's ok.

ariedana said...

I have similar migraines fairly regularly, except in my case they're actually TIA's (got the CT scan showing brain damage to prove it.) As soon as I saw the video, I knew that's what was going on with her. When I get one, I will be normal, maybe with a bit of headache, when suddenly it's like someone twisted the focus knob on my eyes and everything's out of whack. Then I have trouble getting coherent thoughts together and speaking, my face can twist a bit and if I don't get a very prompt Imitrex shot and immediate rest, I end up unconscious. What happens to me is very, very rare - usually atypical migraines mimic strokes but don't actually cause real damage permanently. But yes, the explanation is for real, and while I'm sorry for her having to go through it, it's kinda useful for me because I can now show that to people I know who don't have a clue what happens to me or doubts me.

Jenny said...

Yep. Migraine. Depending on the person, migraines can range from bad to baddest.

henny said...

My migraines leave me unable to speak or hear, sometimes for up to 4 days. Once I went blind for an hour. It's very frustrating for me, but terrifying for anyone who doesn't know what's going on. It's affected jobs, relationships, school, family - everything.

Migraines are more than headaches, they are a series of neurological symptoms.

RudyLarue said...

That poor woman! I've also had bad migraines for years and it's always much worse if I try to fight it. She might've been standing in front of those bright lights for some time, trying to concentrate and work through it. I agree that she should get a second opinion.

MISCH said...

For me, since my teens....yes to the nausea, that's the first sign....I've passed out twice and found that the most frightening...
If I can catch it in time take the meds and lie down for a short while I can beat it...otherwise it's a day or two of misery.
Luckily they are rare these days...
I wish her the best.

Felicia said...

OMG! *huge hugs* to all the migraine sufferers posting. I can't believe what difficulties you have all had to put up with. *more hugs*

JS said...

Misch, I find that when I get meds in time, I can almost feel the headache lifting. Do you feel that too? This may sound weird, but when I am able to avert one, afterward I feel really 'peaceful' or at ease. Almost like the headache got something out of your system.

RJ said...

My mom and I both suffer from migraines. They are very debilitating. I've never had speech problems, but I often experience visual problems and my sense of smell goes off the charts sensitive, so I believe that speech could be affected. My mom was put on some migraine medicine that affected her speech, so maybe that was part of this woman's problem. In any case, I feel bad for her.

ardleigh said...

I get migraines. I've had all the same symptoms as all of you said. They can be BAD. I thought that my head would explode more then one time. As bad as they are I can believe that she had a migraine. Although what it looked and sounded like is more like the some of the seizures my sister has with her epilepsy. If I were the reporter I'd get a second opinion and some more tests.

FS said...

I have migraines, and once I had one bad enough to affect my speech so I can believe this is what happened to her. She has had a scan, xray, etc, but I agree she might want to get a second opinion just to be sure.

She needs to embrace the fact that this went viral and perhaps use it to raise awareness of strokes, migraines and other types of brain related illnesses. She's a journalist and she has a platform. I think it would be very helpful.

SFG said...

I didn't think of this when I had first watched the video but once I read a report saying it was a migraine it made TOTAL sense to me. I have only had this happen once, when I was 14, and I remember it vividly. I wanted a blanket, but I could NOT for the life of me make my mouth form that word. My BRAIN knew what I wanted but my mouth would not form the word and instead out came mindless babble that made no sense. Scared the hell out of my parents AND me. (my dad gets them too though, so he knew what was going on) I still get migraines but fortunately have never experienced this symptom since that one time.

MCH said...

My mom & sis get them. My mom's are so bad that she sometimes cannot leave the bed. Knock on wood, I've NEVER experienced one that bad.

It seemed so much more logical that she'd had a stroke but I'd buy the migraine thing too b/c its all neurological.

Honestly, she really doesn't have anything to be embarrassed of. I'm sure people initially laughed & said WTF but after hearing it was medical related, what jack ass would do that?

lanasyogamama said...

Poor thing, I'm glad she's ok.

dollface said...

I had a seizure once from lack of sleep (I have an autistic son). This poor woman needs our kindness. It's really scary

MISCH said...

JS........
Exactly.....that's the exact feeling, along with utter relief.

JS said...

I wish I could be that 'at peace' all the time, without the migraine trigger. :)

chihuahuense said...

wow! So many of you with migraines, I can't imagine! Hope you all find relief! Neuro is so interesting to me, I did clinicals on a neuro floor and even though you KNOW what an amazing machine your brain is, it is hard to comprehend until you see all the things that can go wrong. Hope she gets better!

BlahFrickinBlah said...

TIAs don't leave any permanent damage, ariedana. They are often warning signs of a stroke coming down the pike. I'm not a doctor but this is kinda in my field. I've never heard a dr associate brain damage with TIAs.

memyselfandi said...

This was my first thought when I saw this. I get migraines like that too. I was at work while one was coming on. I went into my bosses office to tell her about it and I freaked out when I heard complete jibberish coming out of my mouth. It's as if my mind/vocal coordination were completely off. I could think clearly but nothing I said made any sense.

CaliGirlinVA said...

She did not have the "common" migraine that most of you experience, but a type called "complex" migraines, which can mimic stroke symptoms. Once the complex migraine is over, symptoms resolve. I don't think she needs another opinion.

Jaiden_S said...

I consider myself fortunate that I've never had a migraine and can't fathom how painful they must be. I do understand that complex migraines can mimic strokes or TIA symptoms; however, one should ALWAYS get a second opinion. If she's had a stroke that's more than a mild TIA, she should know so that she can be ready for another one, if it happens.

Maggie said...

I've suffered from migraines for 20 years, and when I heard about this, I said, "I bet she had a migraine." The onset of my migraines come with stroke-like symptoms: numbness on one side of my body, speech disturbances (trying to say one thing and having completely unrelated, nonsense words come out), visual disturbances (hole in my vision, so I can't see part of what I'm looking at).

Then the symptoms go away and the headache hits like a freight train...like an icepick through one eye. No fun.

Green Wave Gal said...

Looks like a petit mal seizure. My mom is epileptic and has petit mal seizures on a regular basis (sometimes a few a day, sometimes a few a month)...that's what she sounds like.

Melody the First said...

Enty, you disappoint me. You seem like you were itching to make fun of her. The woman was obviously terrified. She had a complex migraine which can very closely imitate a stroke.

chihuahuense said...

@abiding dude-yes, it is way viral, and I heard on the news tonight that it is rare to catch it on video, so neuro HCPs are going to be using the video to teach young HCPs how to identify them. :o Sucks for her, but I'm glad it can be useful.

Mango said...

Wow, she looks so frightened in the video. Glad she's better and I hope many will learn from it. Maybe someone won't be accused of being drunk or on drugs and will be given help because Serene's video went viral.

MeganGMcD said...

I have complex migraines. I suffer from Yoda-speak when they arrive. So yes, I do believe it.

Char said...

I had the same thing happen to me a few times. When I arrived at the hospital (because I couldn't string 3 proper words together and my head felt like it was going to explode) they thought I was having a stroke. I was then diagnosed with complex migraines. In the end it turned out I'd had encephalitis which caused my cerebro-spinal fluid level to be too high, putting pressure on parts of my brain. But the symptoms were just like a complex migraine, so yes, I know that's definitely possible and probable that's what happened to that woman.

snagglepuss78 said...

whenever i have a severe migraine my speech is slurred and half of my face actually become numb and i have no movement or feeling.