Migraine visuals


I get migraine headaches.

There. I've admitted it. The world now knows I have migraine headaches, and they suck. A lot of people have "migraines," which are really just tension headaches, or stress induced headaches. Sucky suck for them, because, yes, it's a headache, but it's not really. Not REALLY a migraine.

I'm one of the lucky (yeah, in quotes, "LUCKY") ones who also have auras before a migraine. The percentage ranges from 12% to 25% of the people who have migraines who also have visual disturbances (auras) before the doozy of a migraine hits, depending on which study you read. I've tried to figure out how to tell people what I'm seeing, that I'm about to go blind and I have fifteen minutes to get someplace safe before I lose my sight, but most people just don't understand.

Here's how I describe what I see: imagine looking at something and not seeing borders. Like, look at my face. Now, you see the wall behind me. Imagine the border between my face and the wall gone, but in such a way that you don't notice the loss of the border.

If the wall is blue, and my face distinctly not blue, then it's obvious where the border between my face and the wall is. However, when I'm experiencing the preliminary auras of a migraine, that border is gone, EVEN BETWEEN TWO VERY DIFFERENT COLORS. It's gone, and I don't know it's gone. It's very disconcerting.

I've thought about doctoring an image to show what I see. The preliminary auras are mostly a lost of borders. After a short while, I see a bright spot, like looking at a really bright light (try the sun, but in a much smaller space), and the emptiness from looking at the bright spot and looking away. The brightness will grow, typically into a thin arc, with zig-zag iridescent lights. The arc and zig-zag lights are typical auras for most migraine sufferers.

But that doctored image...

Turns out, I took a picture that shows what I'm talking about.

If you zoom in and look at Sarah's face, the border of her face is blurred into the hair of the girl behind her. However, the color of her hair is the same as the trees in the background. Just looking at the close up of this section makes my stomach turn the way it does when I'm about to go blind from a migraine aura (which tells me, it's a learned response and not really part of the migraine, something I should work on stopping next migraine).

This is the closest I've come to what I see with the borders blurred. I'll have to work on the blinding zig-zag line next.