I have an ophthalmic migraine and the best doctor in the world.

I have an ophthalmic (eye) migraine and the best doctor in the world. I love my doctor, have I ever said that? I've probably been seeing him over 5 years, and I loved him from the start. If you're looking for a doctor in Huntsville or Madison Alabama, I can't recommend him enough:

Dr James Makemson
Makemson Family Medicine
250 Chateau Dr SW # 210
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 880-4690
(They're in the Crestwood Hospital Professional Building)

He sang the Beverly Hillbillies theme song to me today -- would your doctor do that? He's also never in a hurry to get rid of you. He sits down and has a fucking conversation. He's always quick to return calls (sometimes himself after hours) and his office staff is nice too. And he's good no less. And I've never had a problem being fit in to his schedule. I called today to ask if I should go to the hospital and the office staff fit me in right away. They whole practice is awesome, and I've never had a doctors office or a doctor I could say that about. I trust the man immensely, he's always taken care of me and fixed me up. GREAT doctor.

Anyway, enough about the doctor. Now on to why I went.

I couldn't see. Seriously, I thought I was going blind. I was playing Spider Solitaire (up to 2 suites now) on the computer (come on, I didn't have anything better to do -- I was waiting on a meeting at work). So one minute I'm playing the game, then the next minute I couldn't read the cards. I couldn't read anything. It seemed like I had been staring at the sun for an hour. I could see, but I couldn't focus and certainly couldn't read. I tried to look up the symptoms on the internet -- but couldn't read anything. I couldn't even find my doctors number in my cell phone. I couldn't see.

It went from a sun spot to a giant blind spot in the middle of my vision. Then a blind spot to my right. And it was both eyes. All in all, it lasted almost an hour. And then when I got my eyes back, I had a SPLITTING headache. It actually felt better when I banged my head on my desk and began hitting my forehead with the heel of my palm. Seriously. So this all happened at lunch time so I had to wait for the doctors office to open back up. I call to see if I should worry about this. The office person said it sounded like a migraine but that I should come in because of the vision symptoms. So I went in.

On the drive over, my head hurt so bad that I was shaking and about to vomit -- but I made it. After practically laying out in the waiting room smashing my eyeballs with my fists, I actually felt better. Then I got to go back to a room where I could lay on the table and cover my eyes with my hands. After this I started to feel even better. Then the doc came in and had a look and said it was an ocular migraine.

No shit, migraines can make you not see? I've never had a migraine before. I hardly ever even get headaches. And who knew a fucking migraine could make you not see? And thats when he sang the beverly hillbillies song (Let me tell you a story bought a man named Jed...) and told me that the story about the time he had one. Apparently it's common and nothing to worry about unless it keeps happening. Well I feel like a moron for going to the doctor for that. He offered me a prescription, but I declined (believe it or not, I do have a high pain tolerance and I already take enough pills). He said the best thing to do was to go home and go to bed. Now thats some advice I like! So I went home and slept for 6 hours. Woke up around 10. No headache when I woke up -- until I started watching Top Gear and checking my email. Now my head hurts again -- but not nearly as much.

So weird isn't it? I still feel like an idiot for going to the doctor but hey, the more you know...

"Ocular Migraine Symptoms

"People with ocular migraines can have a variety of visual symptoms. Typically you will see a small, enlarging blind spot (scotoma) in your central vision with bright, flickering lights (scintillations) or a shimmering zig-zag line (metamorphopsia) inside the blind spot. The blind spot usually enlarges and may move across your field of vision. This entire migraine phenomenon may end in only a few minutes, but usually lasts as long as about 20-30 minutes.

"Generally, ocular migraines are considered harmless. Usually they are painless, cause no permanent visual or brain damage and do not require treatment."

Althought that last bit about it being painless is a GIANT LOAD OF SHIT.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey-i know its been a while since you posted this-but i had the same thing happen with my vision tonight! now surfing the internet for answers-but i had no headache! totally no pain....and no giant load of shit! hahaha

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Because there aren't standard definitions for these kinds of migraines, most people, including doctors refer to them as "ocular migraines."

But if it happens in only one eye, it is an ocular migraine, which results from reduced blood flow to the eye. When blood flow resumes, your sight is restored, and no headache.

But you had it in both eyes. This is actually called a "migraine with aura," and that affects both eyes and usually results in a headache. It has happened to me twice.

As you said, it's not a big problem unless you're having them regularly, in which case you may have an increased risk of stroke or TIA's (transient ischemic attacks, i.e., "mini-strokes").

It can be really scary when it happens, but it helps to know that it's going to go away soon, and probably won't hurt as much if you take some aspirin immediately and lay down.

11:36 AM  

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