The story of a visual migraine

The first time I got one was bad.  I was working from home – which at that time meant sitting on the floor of my husband’s study with my laptop.  I was having a hard time seeing what I was trying to do and realized that my vision was not focusing in the center.  It was just slightly out of whack.  What followed was almost the worst headache I’ve ever had (the one in Paris, with nausea, no pills, and a sprained ankle on top was the worst).  Bad.  I figured out that the vision problems were migraine aura – and became a bit paranoid that any other visual symptoms would have the same follow-up.

They changed a bit after that, though.  Sometimes there’s pain, sometimes not so much.  Lack of focus is now rather rare.  I get migraines monthly, but migraines with aura are less frequent – maybe just a couple a year.

Until this year.  I had a few weeks at the end of January/ beginning of February where I got one every day.  It was crazy.

It starts with a small segment of flashing color and black lines, maybe the size of your pinky nail, usually somewhere upper-right of middle.

It’s there even when you close your eyes.  You try to ignore it, but your eyes seem pulled to focus on it, which can cause a headache on its own.  Your eyes now can’t rest, dumbstruck by the flash even behind the lids.

And then it grows.  For me, it grows into a jittery, snake-y circle of triangular bright colors bordered by thick black lines.

Sometimes the center of the circle will blur.  Sometimes it seems like you can maybe see something in there….

Here’s my 6×6 piece for this year – a still of what this looks like.

5231

*cough* This is still available for purchase ($20, money goes to Rochester Contemporary Art Center)  – you can see it live at ROCO or find it here online. *cough*

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