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dr. zephyr - Qualified Perceptions
dr. zephyr
I love google, and I love -c help. For many reasons, but today's reason is Dr. Zephyr. (Why does my foot hurt in the morning? Google told me that...). Anyway, this afternoon, I was sitting at my desk answering questions, when I started to get these flashing colored triangles in my vision. (If this were a computer game, my HUD would be trying to tell me something like "incoming enemies!", but alas, I don't have one in real life). The small mob of flashing colored triangles formed up, and started marching outward in a line, expanding their perimeter sideways. This was really rather alarming. I've never had flashing triangles before, and so all sorts of perilous, fatal, or just blindness-inducing things started leaping to mind.

So I asked zephyr class help, which, as it knows everything, thought this was "visual migraine", and then, slightly later, "shimmering scotoma". Now, these I can look up on Google in a way that "flashing triangles" is not so helpful. Yes. That. Whew. "Migraine" is just an annoying word, not a terrifying word. And then after that I got a headache, extra-confirming the diagnosis. I've never been so happy to get a headache.

Someone's flash animation of a visual migraine. Mine wasn't this bad. :) http://www.knownjohnson.com/?p=73

Current Mood: calm calmer

12 comments or Leave a comment
mjperson From: mjperson Date: August 11th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)


So did you go to the opthamologist?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: August 11th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

Yup, I did. She confirmed from the symptom description that it sounded like a migraine, but since I was there and due for an eye exam not long from now anyway, it wouldn't hurt to check. So she dilated my eyes and confirmed that my retina was still all attached where it ought to be.
ricedog From: ricedog Date: August 11th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

What kind of doctor do you go to for migraines? Neurologist?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: August 11th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

Reading up on them, there seems to be a ton of different things that they can be correlated with, or caused by, or mollified by, and then a variety of drugs and painkillers that people use. For this one, neither the visual aura nor the headache was debilitating, and advil made it go away, so unless they come back bigger and worser, I'm not going to worry too much.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: August 11th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

Neurologist is the specialist for that, but unless you have some weirdness going on, or you are getting them super intense or frequently your primary care can handle it. (I went to the neurologist for an MRI as mine are always in the exact same place- behind my left eye and I guess they wanted to make sure I didn't have an aneurism or something.)

There are lots of splefty meds for it now, and you don't even have to inject them anymore! If advil works though, go for it. (Sitting/resting in a dark quiet room can help too.) If it stops working then talk to your primary care Dr. as there are a lot of good choices now. (as opposed to all the bad choices 15-20 years ago)
greenlily From: greenlily Date: August 11th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

Your PCP, for starters. My mom's PCP wound up referring her to a neurologist because her headaches were very localized. Mine, though, just asked me a bunch of common-sense lifestyle-type questions, gave me a list of possible trigger factors and another list of danger symptoms, and told me to come back if I had any of them or if the headaches stopped responding to OTC painkillers. I got the impression that this is standard practice for folks who present with migraine symptoms.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: August 11th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Opthamologist

A wise visit though. My impression from my opthamologist is that if you do get a detatched retina you want to be seen within24 hours or less so thaey can repair it. And those can have all sorts of visual symptoms.
merastra From: merastra Date: August 11th, 2006 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that was a cool flash animation. Yeah that'd be really freaky if you didn't know it was supposed to be.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 11th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! That's exactly what I had a week or two ago, although mine wasn't as complete - more of a single ribbon than a circle. And about a half hour after it went away came the headache that lasted a day and a half.

jaedian From: jaedian Date: August 11th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Visual Migraines

I haven't had the visual effects in awhile. THe very first time I got it though was when I was riding my bike from Somerville to campus. Boy was that scary! Riding on the streets of Som/Cam is bad enough, but not being able to see properly is also bad.

The other time I had been working at LSC doing graphic design stuff and I was worried I had inhaled too much of some chemical or other. In retrospect it likely triggered the migraine.
twe From: twe Date: August 11th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Visual Migraines

Riding on the streets of Som/Cam is bad enough, but not being able to see properly is also bad.

Wow, I'd just have gotten off and walked at that point.
kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: August 11th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Imagine if you had no access to Dr. Zephyr and had never heard of migraines, and you're driving along the road to Damascus one day, when suddenly the flashy triangles start marching around.
12 comments or Leave a comment