Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ridiculous Brain Stuff

Whoever it is out there who has the sympathetic magic voodoo doll that looks like me (or perhaps like a middle aged Georgia O'Keeffe), please, could we come to a compromise of some sort?

I was in my classroom Friday during pre-algebra. They were taking a test (I give a test every other Friday, regardless of where we are, we just stop and take a test right then and there, I put them on the calendar in August and I do not move them). I started grading some of the tests that came in early, while also glancing back and forth at my computer screen at my gradebook.

The computer screen left an afterimage in my vision, like a camera flash. but then I realized that it wasn't rectangular like the screen or like anything on the screen. It was like a tiny jumble or scribble. And flashing. And creating a blindspot in the center of my vision.

Oh my God, I'm going blind, I thought to myself. Why hadn't my magic eye doctor caught this, seen it coming? Then, thinking of things he had tested on me in the past, I closed my left eye and still had the blind spot. I switched eyes and still had the blind spot. It's not in my eyes. I have a brain tumor.

I looked down at the test I was grading at the blank area was larger. A student came up to my desk and I had to flit my eyes back and forth to see who it was. I was freaking out. I googled "sparkly floater blind spot" and immediately went to the page about scintillating scotoma.

I was having a migraine aura.

Those of you who know me know that I have 99 problems and migraine auras are one of them. But I have never had one of these. Other people have described them to me, but my migraine auras were always a bad smell, deja vu, and a sense of not being real. And then BAM, headache. Or BAM, no headache. Just depends.

But this had never happened. I went next door and told the teacher in that room that I was going to the nurse's office. And I did.

Where I promptly had a panic attack.

She took my vitals. My blood pressure was 116/68. Reassured that I wasn't having a stroke, she gave me a ton of ibuprofen and tylenol and a full strength coca-cola. Sat with me until I calmed down.

I started to notice that the weirdness was spreading out in the shape of a backwards C, made up of flashing TV static and jagged lines. It was kind of fascinating. It had started as a tight little knot and was now becoming kind of a crescent boundary of my vision. I had central vision again and was able to have a normal conversation about my history of migraines with the nurse and with my boss. They decided to send me home.

And then it was gone. I didn't notice it leave, but it spread all the way out and was gone. So I told the nurse I would drive myself, which I did, and when I got home, I lay on the couch and got comfy, waiting for a raging migraine.

Which never came.

I took more ibuprofen at 5 in the afternoon. Still nothing.

Woke up this morning and I was fine.

It's been a ridiculous year for me healthwise. I have a dead knee. I don't need a funky new brain pattern. So if you are the person who just stuck the pin in my doll's eye or occiptal lobe, could we please negotiate a settlement, a truce? Because I'm ready to be normal again.


  1. I've had exactly that kind of aura. Got it a lot going through puberty, and have had it occasionally at the other "big M" end. If I'm out, as soon as it starts, I head home whilst I can still drive. Sometimes I get the headache, sometimes not.

  2. I have visual migraines a couple of times a year. They always seem like a pulsating prism for me. It's odd, and I lay down for about 20 minutes while they pass. Fascinating, but concerning. Thank god I don't have "real" migraines.