Friday, May 30, 2008

I Got My Medical Degree at Google University

The hits, they just keep on a-comin'. My body, always willing to surprise me, has taken on some interesting changes.

Several weeks ago the kids and I were over at my sister's, and I started having a really bad problem with my vision. It got quite dim, and there were odd flashing rings around my peripheral vision. I couldn't see very well. I was more than a little freaked out. I thought perhaps I had looked directly into some kind of light or another, maybe in contrast to where my sister's computer was located in relation to the windows, and perhaps frigged up my retinas. It was the only thing I could come up with.

It lasted about half an hour altogether, and then once we were home I had a killer headache. I thought it was from the tension of, you know, feeling a little blind there for awhile.

Well, last night as I was tucking kids in, it happened again. I kind of kept going with what I was doing, went downstairs and tried to watch TV, but it was just impossible. Jagged flashy lights around the edges of my dimmed vision made it just not an option. I remembered the first time it happened, and really spazzed out that I might be having some kind of vision failure, some degeneration that would eventually leave me blind. I was also worried about a detached retina, except that my vision disturbances were occurring in both eyes. (I tested this...both sides, open or shut.)

It occurred to me that my friendly little computer over here on the desk might be able to help me out. So I Googled "vision flashing light" and the very first hit (confirmed by many others) showed me that what I was probably experiencing was an ophthalmic migraine. This basically is a migraine without the pain. It is often (and was, in both of the times it occurred with me) followed by a "regular" migraine. Last night I was able to use my prior experience to know that a migraine was probably coming and took some meds to help diffuse it.

I've gotten migraines since I was a teenager (perhaps earlier, it's hard to remember). At one point in my twenties I was having them on a daily basis, to a degree where my doctor ordered a Cat scan to be sure I didn't have a brain tumor (nothing showed up...well, not nothing...there is a brain in there, it was confirmed). Having this new twist on the migraine is interesting, but other than the sucky part where I can't see, it's kind of good to have the advance warning that the big pain is coming. My usual symptoms (usually one or two big flashes of light in my entire vision) don't happen early enough for me to take the pills that might head it off. On more than one occasion I've gotten a literal bolt out of the blue, with pain so bad, so suddenly, that I dropped to the floor.

So, Google has assuaged my fear. I am all self-diagnosed. I freakin' love Google. And yeah, yeah, talk to my physician, blahblahblah. I'm good for now. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in my life. :D mk

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi MK,

...Hope you still talk to your doctor anyway. Vision loss sounds scary. Did you get nauseous at all?

In regards to your wedding post: Nice to finally "see" you!! Don't understand why you don't like putting photos of yourself on your blog....you're a pretty gal, and you look REALLY young...!

If you don't mind me asking, who was the best man, and what was the 'final result' as far as people who wanted to bring more people (than were invited)?

Paul

Ro said...

I have an incredible amount of sympathy for migraine sufferers. Hope you are doing better.

Margaret said...

As a migraine sufferer, I "feel your pain".

The fact that you can identify what it is like before you get your migraine is huge. For me - my neck aches on the left side and my left eye twitches. I know that is my cue to take a migraine pill and get to a dark quiet place as quick as I can.

You might probably want to have a doc check you out for the aura you are seeing. Alhtough it's normal in migraine world, it's still worth them checking.

Just two cents of probably undesired input from a lurker.

Good luck to you. Migraines suck.

markira said...

Paul,

The best man was Brian's brother Chris. The person who wanted to bring three people ended up not coming at all, and I honestly don't know what happened with the other people. :D

Also, thank you for the awesome compliment. Every lady likes to hear that she looks young!

Ro,

Yup, doing better, thanks! Hope you remember to call me back.

Margaret,

Thanks for delurking! Of course your input is desired. I really will talk to my doctor if it gets worse, but I'm fairly confident that it's okay. I've had quite a few tests done on the other headache stuff, and it's all come out normal. Well, as normal as a migraine sufferer can be. Sucks, doesn't it?

Kate said...

I've been getting migraines for upwards of 15 years now, but only started seeing an aura beforehand in the last 2-3 years... and not all the time. Sometimes I get warning, other times, surprise!

Good times. I'm supposed to make an appointment to go up to Dartmouth to their headache center soon. I'm not optimistic that they'll have some sort of new and wonderful solution, but my PCP is convinced that there has to be an answer somewhere. Whatever. It can't hurt to try, I suppose.

markira said...

Kate, I'll be interested to see how your appointment at the headache center goes. You're right, probably no miracle solutions, but perhaps at least a little more details about triggers? Keep me posted!