Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I CAN'T READ . . . or, the return of the aura migraine

About half an hour ago I felt as though I could not focus. I was reading a book and it seemed like something was just outside my vision, keeping me from paying attention. Well it moved into my focus, it wasn't mental it was visual. The flashing cresent is back.

Boring history follows:
About a month before I started my MFA I was put on this horrid medication to help with head and limb tremmors and an increased occurrance of aura migraines (which I have had all my life). I took the meds, but they were awful. I couldn't exercise or perform any physical exertion, because for some reason they stop or lower your sweat production and cause serious problems. Another side effect was the feeling that I was in a fog at all times. I was so mentally absent. Oh and they were supposed to be an appetite suppressant, which apparently means simply making everything taste so awful you can't bear to eat. It was the one time in my life I voluntarily gave up Mt Dew. (the only good thing about the drug). Well right before I moved here I knew I had to exert physical energy not only for the move but for the St Paul Classic Bike Tour which I take part in every fall. So I stopped taking the pills. There was no immediate recurrence of my symptoms--likely because I had finally quit my job and the stress of moving passed. Well although I was more alert in everyday situations, I never really felt like myself again. I felt uncreative, I had no desire to write, and homework was much harder than it should have been, I couldn't grasp most of what I was doing. Honestly, it felt as though I had a surgery-free lobotomy. Well slowly over the last few months I feel that I am finally regaining the intellectual and creative energy I used to have. I seriously thought I would never get that back.

I have had a couple of head tremmors upon waking over the last few months, and a lot of aura migraines. For now they seem harmless, and since they brought my awareness back, they are welcome to stay.

The auras are like this forced break I have to take, like my body telling me to get out of my head for a while. I can't read or write for much of the time they occur because of the visual impairment. Right now they are happening a few times a week. At least they aren't accompanied by pain most of the time. And I will gladly take the auras over pain.

This page has some art inspired by auras, but I can't read the text. What I experience is very similar to what I see in a few of these pieces--this cresent shape of flashing color that grows until it has worked its way out of my perspective.


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