Thursday, June 24, 2010

Well, that was interesting...

Quick, what's this a picture of? It's a diagram of what you see when you're having a "scintillating scotoma".

Here's something new.

I just went blind.

Kind of.

Well, I could more or less see things generally, but not clearly enough to read or really see things directly in front of me. A kind of field of dark grey shadow right in the middle, with everything around it sort of muddled. Then a little kernel of sparkles, like light reflected off water started to one side of the dark bit. The sparkles grew into a kind of arc with dark in the middle that took up the whole field of vision in about five minutes.

After that, there was some freaking out...


the sparkles started moving off to the upper left corner and the dark patch lifted. After about 1/2 an hour, the sparkles scampered off at the top left corner and things got back to normal.

While all this is happening, I'm thinking...

well, what, exactly?

Not much that's printable.

Turns out that I have something that is clear enough to be written down in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. I tick all the boxes for Classic Migraine with Aura.

The sparkles and the going blind was the "aura" part, apparently. Too bad that while it's going on, you can't read the website that tells you not to worry about it, that it will go away after an hour or so, and that it won't do any permanent damage.

Cause, while it's happening, you're kind of going nuts.

"What?! What?! I can't read! I can't see! If I can't read, and can't see, I can't writeandifIcantwriteIcantworkandIllhavetogobacktoCanadaandliveonthedoleandIdratherdie!!!


While you're freaking out, your head has got bored with the sparkly light show and is doing something new. While your vision clears, you'd swear your skull is shrinking. Squeezey-squeezy...

It has something to do with serotonin, apparently. Which makes sense, really, since serotonin and it's whims has figured large in my daily life lately.

Well well. I thought neurologists were all idiots and charlatans.

So all that brain stuff is true.

Who knew.



Anonymous said...

That happened to me! I went to the ER because I thought I had a detached retina! I was so confused by the lack of crippling headache pain! The ER doc was really excited by the classicness of my classic migraine. - Karen

EMG said...

Hey, wow! I used to get these fairly regularly--would have the same reaction: fear of imminent blindness or brain tumor--but never knew what they were. Now I do! I used to describe it as a pixelating arc, and never would have thought that other people's experience of it would be so minutely similar.

(I generally would get them after long bouts in front of the computer screen, but they never led to migraine. Haven't had one for some time now.)

Anonymous said...

I've had those a couple of times. Interesting. Glad I don't get the migraines with them.

Bearess said...

I had the only two of those I've ever gotten when I was pregnant! The first one didn't have a migraine to go with it; the second did. I'll take the first any day, even though the wonky vision lasted *a lot* longer than the second time. Very very freaky while it's happening!

John said...

Holy Christmas, that is scary.

Americans like to do practical things, which would be help or advice. Too far for the one and too ignorant for the other. You'll have to make do with all the sympathy I can muster.

All the best,


Young fogey emeritus said...

I get these without the migraines. Now I know what they are. Thank you!