Stress? You think so?

Since my early twenties, I have been prey to a peculiar variety of migraine. Called “acephalgic migraines”, they involve no pain whatsoever, but result in diminished vision for a period of twenty minutes. Rarely, they can render me effectively blind for a short period of time, but more often they simply constrict the field of useful vision.

Imagine looking at the world through a partially transparent television screen that has irregular bands of zig-zags that float and move within these bands. Now imagine the bands themselves moving as well, floating from the center of your eye into your peripheral vision, while new bands form and float along slightly different paths. Annoying to say the least.

Ordinarily I only get these once or twice a year. Recently they’ve been occurring with greater frequency though (I’m trying to type through one now, which is what inspired this entry to begin with) so I’ve been doing a little poking around on the web to see what I can find. It surprises me that what’s on the web is pretty much what I was told back in 1980 when this nonsense first started. Not well understood, most people experience at least once in their life, probably caused by spasms of the tiny blood vessels in the brain. (There’s a variant called “opthalmic migraines” where the blood vessels spasming are in the retina.) There is a medicine that controls them, but it needs to be taken daily and has side effects. Most people opt not to take the medicine because they are only affected a few times a year, and then for only short periods of time.

As for why I’m suddenly getting these things in clusters (three in as many days), I suspect it’s either the stress, or the …, the …, uhm … it’s the stress I guess. Not much to be done about that, I’m afraid.

Clueless Wonder and Adolescent Cat from Hell had me up at five-freaking-thirty this morning. Evidently the call of breakfast overwhelmed their survival instincts, and they decided the lesser of two evils was to cry at the door. CW is the worst, with a cry like a baby’s that pierces sleep and leaves the wakened with no hope of returning to their slumbers. I love my cats dearly, but at 5:30 in the morning there is an undeniable temptation to drop them off the balcony to see if they land buttered-side up or down.

Since the Prof had kept me up till midnight talking, I made a point of sharing the joy of waking at 5:30. It was petty, and solves nothing, but it felt good. Well, it felt good briefly. I then felt guilty about making sure he was awake as well. He gets to sleep in today, so there’s no real damage done to his rest.

As for me, I think I’ll just sit here and look at the pretty flashing lights for a while.

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