Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google, M.D.

Today I was home knocked on my butt by a migraine--I've had a few in my life but nothing regular.  I'm not prone to them, but I experienced something last night that freaked me out enough to do some Google diagnostics on myself.  Apparently, it's part of the migraine process called "aura."  I have been seeing these kind of "aura" every once in a while for the past few years but brushing it off when it happened.  It freaked me out but I figured that it had to do with my contact lenses.

This week, though, it happened three times.  One time Monday morning while I was teaching, one time Monday afternoon right before my meeting, and again last night.  Both Monday afternoon and last night, I took out my contacts only to discover that the problem was still there.  I started to get freaked out. Last night I tried to see which eye it was that was "messed up" and I seriously couldn't tell the difference, but I had a moon shaped thing going nuts in the left side of my eye.  I could feel the headache coming in the back of my right eye.  By this morning I had nausea and light sensitivity.  It was a doozy.

I spent some time looking up my symptoms, though, because I could see that they came before this bad headache.  I found a lot of information.  Here's a few representations of migraine aura.  I fount them by doing a Google Image search:

This is a near perfect representation of what I see when this happens.  The blurry spot looks jagged and fractal-like, and it moves with my eye.  It's like when you look at the sun but it's much more distinct and not preceded by any kind of bright light in my eye.  It seems to come out of nowhere and grow.  It's usually accompanied by a "blind spot"--it happened during my AP class the other day and I couldn't read the overhead.  I had to ask a student to do it for me.

The area gets bigger as time goes on and usually lasts about 20-45 minutes.  Apparently you can have the "aura" without having an actual migraine, but often it will precede one.  I think more often than not I've had these "aura" without the actual migraine, but it may have been that I just didn't notice the connection.

Mine look like an animated version of this--a moon piece made of zig-zags.

I found this on YouTube this afternoon--it is more blotchy than mine, but apparently they can come in different forms. I talked to my mom today and she said she gets these "floaters" but hers are more like black spots.  She said my grandpa gets them too.  Who knew?

I'm not happy I had a migraine, but I am happy to know that it's not something worse with me.  When this would happen it would worry me, and it freaked me out that it happened three times this week.  Looking at the symptoms of a migraine, I'm not surprised I got a bad one today.  I had irritability and fatigue and these "aura" since the beginning of the week... possible warning signs of the onset of this monster headache.

It's slightly better, but not great.  I'm still light sensitive and I'd say it's at about a 4/10 instead of a 10/10 now.  Still hurts even though I've been sequestered in a dark room all day with a mask over my eyes and heat on my neck. :(


  1. Oh no! I hope you feel better soon! Sometimes Google or WebMD can be the worst thing because it makes you certain its cancer or something horrific, but I'm so happy you were able to figure out what was wrong! Get better soon! XOXO PS. At first I wrote "Getter soon" Hmmm. I kind of like that combo though!

  2. I definitely feel your pain, I get chronic headaches so I know what it's like having to deal with a migraine. I think I get one at least once a month, if not more but taking control early definitely helps and for me, I just have to sleep it off once it really hits. The dark and a hot compress on your face is amazing when you get one. I've had the aura, and I usually get it in the form of dark spots like once a week also, its weird, but I've gotten used to having it. Hope you feel better fast!!

  3. This is going to sound so childish, but I want to see AURA. I know migraines are god-awful, but these auro things look awesome. That auro in the last YouTube vid looks like Monet's brushstrokes.