Why I couldn’t see today

Vacationing in South Haven, Michigan

I was driving the family to South Haven, Michigan, for a family vacation when the right side of the world disappeared. It just gradually faded away to nothingness. I decided it would be best if Annie drove.

I sat in the passenger seat, closed my eyes and imagined all the ways I was going to die. Surely it was a stroke. If not that, then an air bubble from the time I got the bends while SCUBA diving had broken loose and was about to kill me.

And then it got better and we were on the beach in Michigan in August, which means we were wearing sweatshirts and had hand warmers in our pockets. I could see now, so what did it matter?

And then it happened again. This time I was at work. I called Annie and told her just so she knew what to tell the hospital if they found me unconscious in my office. And then it got better and I was fine, but Annie told me that I needed to go to the doctor still. She demanded it.

So I went to the doctor and he told me that I was experiencing a classic precursor to a migraine, and that I should pop a few Advil when it happened.

It happened again today in my office. Here’s how to best describe it. When I type an email address, I can’t see anything after the @ sign. So if I’m emailing ImDying@ImDying.com, I couldn’t read the second half.  I popped some Advil, shutoff the lifts, closed the blinds, and listened to the Audible book of Game of Thrones. An hour later I had a small headache and since then I feel like it’s about 3 PM after a late night with friends.

I can see again, which makes me so thankful for the gift of sight. I should appreciate it more, but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be taking it for granted once again.

I’m sharing this for two reasons:

1) In case you had this same thing happen to you and are looking for answers. Of course, please still go to the doctor. Here are other warning signs of a migraine.

2) Just to say that if you suffer from serious migraines, I SO feel for you.

Every few months I get a migraine that can only be treated by sleep, but I’m rarely debilitated by them. Even this vision thing is just a minor inconvenience for a bit.

Do you suffer migraines? What triggers them? How do you treat them?


Rhonda Palmer says:

Yeah, silent migraines are a thing, but do be careful. Maybe an MRI at some point. Thus saith the nurse.

Kelsey says:

Rhonda, my doctor said we could do an MRI, but thought the symptoms were classic migraine symptoms. If they get worse or more often, I’ll seek out an MRI.

Becky Vigus says:

My daughter had migraines when she was younger. She took Motrin 600mg prescribed by her doctor, drank large amounts of Mt. Dew for the caffeine, and the band director had a pillow and blanket he kept for her in a sound proof room. So she could go there and turn the lights off when it happened. She was usually carried there and then the person who put her there reported to the office where she was and alerted her next teacher. They would call me and tell me where to find her after school. Usually by the time I picked her up she was coming out of it.
My son-in-law on the other hand gets much more severe ones. He often lies writhing on the bathroom floor in pain. Many times wretching and going back to the floor. He can be out of it for hours.
I don’t know the solution. I once saw where you sit with your hands and feet in warm water with a package of frozen veggies on the back of your neck. Since I’ve never had them, I don’t know if it works. Good luck to you.

Kelsey says:

Becky, I didn’t have coffee yesterday morning. Coffee cures all! I’ve had migraines that have made me sick to my stomach, but rarely. I can’t imagine what your son-in-law goes through.

Becki says:

My brother-in-law suffered from really, really bad migraines; so bad my sister (and then later my sister and her daughter) had to completely leave the house for hours so they wouldn’t torture him. Since he started Tai Chi, however, they became a thing of the past. You can find him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-sieger/47/243/a45, or he has a website at http://www.healingrelease.net/#!bio/c1n58 (his bio page).

I normally am suspicious of alternative medicine, and normally would not recommend someone who practices it, but I can say for certainty that Brian hasn’t suffered migraines since then. Might be worth talking to him. Tell him his Pennsylvania sister-in-law sent you. 🙂

Kelsey says:

Becki, that is amazing. I’m convinced that we have a lot to learn when it comes to alternative medicine. I saw massage therapy and acupuncture work on a family dog. Thanks for pointing me to you brother-in-law.

My daughter Katie has had terrible migraines for years and is treated by a specialty clinic in Chicago. She’s been on a million kinds of meds, both preventative and acute ones. There’s a certain cocktail that they give her when she has to go to the ER when her other meds won’t stop the headaches. It’s the equivalent of like 2-3 Benadryl plus 3-5 Ibuprofin, and they usually include an anti-nausea med (you can take Dramamine)… for future reference. You can do that at home (but start with the lower doses of each). I hope you never need to know that! I’ve never had a true migraine—thank the Lord.

Kelsey says:

Kelly! Thanks for the advice. My heart goes out to you and Katie.

kim says:

I don’t get that before a migraine but I do get vision problems when I have one either this or black and white dots appear blocking my vision and sometimes double vision. Just depends it sucks just keep on it with the doc so they don’t get worse

Kelsey says:

Kim, The doctor said he could prescribe pain meds if the got worse, but for now they are pretty manageable yet inconvenient.

Angela Myers says:

I’ve had only a couple of real migraines, and they lasted only a few hours. I don’t want any more. I have had several “silent” migraines. Mine start with what looks like translucent curtain moving in a breeze caught in my peripheral vision. I feel a little light headed, then it eventually goes away and I’m left with a slight headache. No idea what brings them on.

Kelsey says:

Angela, so weird and always a point of concern. Every time I’m convinced I’m going to suddenly drop dead.

WaTasha Barnes Griffin says:

I too, typically get the occassional migraine. Perhaps one evey couple of months, just as Kelsey mentioned. However, I have had one in January and February this year.So seeing this blog was, enlightening. When a migraine is coming on, I get the halo or bright light sensitivity, which incidates “migraine coming!”. Most often, I am able to catch it and immobilize it in the nick of time. If I can get a nap it really helps, if not..uugh.
I am way too busy to be unproductive, due to headaches. I intend to share with my GP on Friday.

Kelsey says:

WaTasha, I’m sorry you have to experience these as well. Not fun at all, and always frustrating when we have things to do. I tried to make it a positive thing: “Ok, now I get to close my eyes and listen to an audiobook.” I felt like I had been run over by a truck the rest of the day though. Good luck!

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