Monday, December 14, 2009

Stopped in my tracks

I was just trying to have a lovely impromptu dinner with the boy tonight when all of a sudden I noticed that I could not see all of the letters in the word on my glass. I thought "uh oh..." and then proceeded to test out my vision by looking around at different details.

The I was missing in Miller.

The O was missing in Sports.

The pepperoni was missing on my pizza.

Then sure enough, I started to see the little lights.

Remember when you used to be able to turn your tv to channel 99 and see nothing but static? Or 'dancing ants' ? Now, it's probably just ESPN7 but you remember what I'm talking about. Well, picture that in bright colors. Now picture it right in the center of your vision, completely erasing what SHOULD be seen.

Now imagine it growing larger and larger within minutes until your entire vision is fuzzy, cloudy, and quite disturbed by the dancing colorful ants.

Welcome to my migraines. If I were an artist, I'd draw a picture to better describe. However, I'm not. So... I google image searched migraine auras. Interesting finds:

This shows the progression of the aura as it grows and then finally recedes. Blah.

Ugh I can't even look at this one.

A lot of people will say that even looking at or imagining the auras will bring tears to their eyes. I think the craziest part is that the aura doesn't bring pain at all. It's just the knowledge of what comes next. Check out this description I found here :

Migraine headaches may be preceded by a visual "aura", lasting for 20 to 30 minutes, and then proceeding to the headache. Some people, however, experience the aura but do not have a headache. This visual aura can be very dramatic. Classically, a small blind spot appears in the central vision with a shimmering, zig-zag light inside of it. This enlarges, and moves to one side or the other of the vision, over a 20 to 30 minute period. When it is large, this crescent shaped blind spot containing this brightly flashing light can be difficult to ignore, and some people fear that they are having a stroke. In reality, it is generally a harmless phenomenon, except in people who subsequently get the headache of migraine. Since migraine originates in the brain, the visual effect typically involves the same side of vision in each eye, although it may seem more prominent in one eye or the other.

Some people get different variations of this phenomenon, with the central vision being involved, or with the visual effect similar to "heat rising off of a car". Some people describe a "kaleidoscope" effect, with pieces of the vision being missing. All of these variations are consistent with ophthalmic migraine.


Pictures found: here , here , here, and here


Anonymous said...

Hello there.

I have Google Alerts set up to email me whenever it finds websites talking about visual migraines. That's how I found your blog.

Anyway, have you seen this:

It is an animation showing what the creator sees when he gets a migraine. I've found it useful to show to my friends and family when they can't seem to understand that my migraines aren't just little headaches.

Dan Goldberg said...

Did you get the headache after?

I've never had a migraine, but I did have an abcess over one of my teeth once that caused persistant nauseating pain unlike anything I've ever had...I'd imagine it's like that but in my head?

I hope it wasn't too bad!

Mardee said...

Hey Rachel! Its been a while. FIrst off, congrats on the engagement!!! I watched your video together and its adorable. Secondly, I recently was sent to the ER because the nurse at the school I work at thought I was having a stroke based on the symptoms. It turned out I had a pretty serious migraine for the following 5 days. It sucked. I am still going to neurology appointments to check my progress, but the doctors are pretty sure it was a migraine. the auras caused me to have a panic attack. I feel your pain. PS I like your blog!

suebuckeye said...

Hey Rachel,

This is Heather (Dawson). I was looking for a wedding website and found your blog instead, and this entry. I have these migraines, only without the headaches. They're called "ocular migraines" in my case, and I just had one today. There's no cure, and the only thing I can do is just wait them out (and not drive, type, etc).

For me, I've found that Starbucks coffee triggers them. No other coffee or caffeine does it. I suspect it is because Starbucks is so strong.

Anyway, let me know about a wedding website, bc I'm interested in your progress ;-)