Today Guido was planning to take me to Balducci’s to get the ingredients for him to make a ragù alla bolognese (one of his specialties). Unfortunately, I was hit again by an ophthalmic migraine. Now I know what it is because we did an Internet search. All I knew so far was that in the past I had some incidents of distorted vision with wavy or jagged lines, or as if Iwere peering through a cracked glass window, but without a headache, and no pain.
I had a few of those in the past, and I remember that the doctor thought it could have been a “mini stroke” but the tests didn’t show that. This week it happened on Tuesday, Friday, and today – too many! It is a very scary feeling, especially since it has to do with the eyes. Instead of trying to relax, as recommended, I get more edgy, naturally. I have an appointment with Dr. Pennington on Tuesday, and we’ll see what he says. Guido has promised me that he will be present. When he is not, P does not let me talk. But, as I said, thanks to the Internet, I know it is not too serious. The causes are so vague that it would be almost impossible to prevent!
Here are some excerpts from articles about this condition, if you are interested.
Ophthalmic migraines are a little known form of migraine. Ophthalmic or ocular migraines are sometimes called silent migraines, because they can occur with or without a headache being present. They are characterized by a visual disturbance that occurs in one eye. Many persons who have migraines describe them as if they are peering through a cracked glass window. Others describe their visual field as having twinkling lights (scintillations) or distorted vision (metamorphopsia) with wavy or jagged lines. Unfortunately, physicians do not fully understand the causes of ophthalmic migraines.
Current hypotheses for causes of ophthalmic migraines include a vascular spasm or intermittent constriction in the blood vessels located behind the eyes, changes in blood flow to areas of the brain responsible for vision, problems within the nerve pathways or chemistry within the brain.
Stress is an associated risk factor with ophthalmic migraines. The body’s stress response causes a multitude of changes in the hormones within the body. These can alter sleep, interfere with the fluid balance and cause mood alterations.
Ophthalmic migraines are unlike other types of migraines, in that they primarily affect the eyes. This special type of migraine usually lasts 15 minutes to several hours; however, on rare occasions the damage to the visual field may be permanent. As with other types of migraines, the person who experiences this type of migraine is often exhausted at the conclusion of the experience. During the ophthalmic migraine and immediately afterward, rest as been shown to provide some benefit to migraineurs. Ophthalmic migraines can be dangerous, because they impact your vision and thus make one prone to accidents. Notify your health care provider if this is a new symptom for you or if these types of migraines are occurring with increasing frequency.
This would not have bothered me so much were it not for the fact that I am already feeling worse than ever. It is not easy, but I keep trying to be optimistic. I only wish I could be in San Francisco or in Lake Garda now, so I’ll try: Beam me up, Scotty! It may work…