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13/30: Aura

About an hour ago I looked in the restroom mirror and realized that I couldn't see part of my face.

Being me, I thought, "Wow, I'm disappearing! It's a metaphor!" But, also being me, I tried to figure out what was going on by covering one eye at a time. The effect, a kind of shimmery arc in the upper-left field of vision, was stronger in the left eye than the right.

I went outside into the sunshine. The effect got stronger, but otherwise I felt fine.

I came back in and googled "eyesight aura" whereupon Wikipedia obliged me with this artist's conception of the pre-migraine phenomenon known as "scintillating scotoma" that's pretty much exactly what I was experiencing:

animated gif showing a small Asian shrine building with a shimmering arc in the upper left region of the image representing a migraine aura

I called my sister, who's had migraines all her life and has sometimes mentioned this mysterious aura. She asked if I've been under any unusual stress in the past several days. "Well, yeah," I said, thinking of the massive neuro-chemical cascade of last weekend, which, being me, I did not share with family members.

While we spoke I began to feel vaguely headachey, a bit numb in the tongue, ever so slightly dizzy. Now the visual aura effect is gone and my head's starting to go at it hammer and tongs.

So yeah, this doesn't suck at all. Grrr.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2013 05:04 am (UTC)
I got that when I was sick last year ( I was down with bilateral pyelonephritis with intra-abdominal sepsis and was really sick with high fever ). The glittering thingies on my side visions drove me nuts. I used to have migraines when I was younger but I didn't have that ( the migraine ) during my illness and I never experienced any visual aura when I had the migraines before ). Hmmm, I must go find out more about that.
Jun. 15th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
Good God! I had no idea you'd been so ill. These gaps in my "attendance" at LJ seem like a small thing till someone I've been communicating with on and off for years points out a major event that I missed. Are you better now?

I've had "sick headaches" occasionally in the past--migraines by some definitions--but they seemed to have vanished, possibly with hormonal decline in my late 40s, and probably also with major dietary cleanup. So this sudden arrival of "classic" migraine symptoms yesterday came as an unpleasant surprise.

Happily, the aura was more acute than any headache pain that followed, and I got through the evening and the night without major distress.

It's interesting that glittering thingies in the side vision can be a symptom of more than just migraine. Sigh. Science makes so much progress in pinpointing causes of things--when are they going to get to mine, dammit??
Jun. 16th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
I didn't mention that symptom to my doctors because at that time it seemed minor to all the other complaints I had. Lol, I was quite the horrible patient with never-ending pain everywhere. As it was, I had a heart, lungs, gut, kidneys and blood doctors looking after me. Now I wish I *had* mentioned it, what's one more doctor after you already had five. Heh.

I'm fine now, thank you :)

Edited at 2013-06-16 11:44 pm (UTC)
Jun. 18th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
I have migraines, though less now than in the past, and they always start with that aura. The first couple of times it happened, when I was in high school, it was very scary, but now I know it's a symptom. I know it will go away after 20 or so minutes and then I'll have a long, long headache.

Jun. 18th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
Can you do anything between the warning and the headache to stave it off? I'm wondering if I should have a drug or something on hand.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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