Psychodelic, maaaan....

OMG, QuickSilver, thank you so much.
Ever since my car accident, I have been seeing these things every few weeks and no-one could tell me what was causing it.
It usually happens when I start to get a bit tired or have been staring at a computer screen for too long.
Now I have a name for what happens. Thank you so much… :smiley:

Thank you sooo much for this thread!! I’ve had this (occasionaly, mildly) for years. I’ve tried to describe it to friends, family, co-workers and even several doctors. Apparently my descriptive abilites aren’t very good, as no-one has ever told me what it was. :frowning: Just knowing it’s not my imagination helps a lot. (Knowing that it might not be a symptom of imminent death is pretty reassuring too.)

Strange things, indeed.

I’ve never suffered the more painful variety, but I’ve had ocular migrains twice. I had my first one when I was 8 months pregnant. Home alone with my 2 year-old, and mine went from crazy visual stuff to a 10 minute inability to speak! I clearly remember looking in the mirror and trying to force myself to say something understandable, instead of garbled gobbley gook, but my words mocked me. I could think the words “Something is very, very wrong” but I was saying “wormy soma rye more”. 10 minutes later, it was as if I’d dreamed the whole thing. No pain, just a profound fatigue.

Myriad tests, including an MRI, revealed nothing, and by process of elimination it was determined that I’d suffered an ocular migrain. MIGRAIN! I didn’t even have a slight headache! Who knew?


I believe that effect is called aphasia. I’ve also experienced it and it is truly scary. The first time it happened I couldn’t name ordinary objects around me. I was looking at a desk calendar and the only name I could come up with was ‘Brazil nut’. Other things, like doors and chairs, I just couldn’t find the correct word. Happened once, never happened again and I don’t miss it at all.

F and J

My job is done here.

This post was sponsored by the Pharmacuetical Industries of America. *A drugged person is a happy person! *

Unspecific Angst would be a great band name. (Just sayin’)

Uh, I don’t think that sounds like migraine, or a migraine aura. Migraine isn’t known to be caused by trauma. I strongly suggest you see a neurologist for a diagnosis.

Can I trade my “Massage? Hah, the pain is so bad that someone touching my head would make me die” migraines for “ooh, pretty colors” migraines?


I’ve been seeing these things for several years, more or less since I finished high school. I discovered recently that my mother suffers from them as well and she explained the phenomenon to me. We both occasionally get them while driving…terrifying, that.
Personally I think they derive from stress because I always seem to get them when I’m on the wire. Not always, though.

Fortunately, I haven’t had a “headache” migraine in years - and I don’t miss lying in a dark room with a towel over my head praying to die. My last one was diagnosed as a “migraine with neurological complications” after everyone thought I was having a stroke at age 33. I get the ocular ones every now and then - annoying but at least they don’t hurt! Since I’m blind in my right eye due to “presumed ocular histoplasmosis” the ocular migraines can put a stop to doing anything until they decide to go away. I usually try to take a nap, cause being tired is what seems to bring them on.

I’ve had migraines my entire life, but only freaky kaleidescope visual auras in the last year or so. Sometimes the auras are harder to deal with than the migraine itself.

To coop
I’ve have read, but cannot find anything online, that sometimes migraines can be brought on earlier head trauma. But nonetheless, I agree with UncleBeer 100% - see a neurologist for a diagnosis.

For tension headaches, I could see this working, but not for migraines, which are generally considered neurochemical (older theories say vascular, newer theories say it’s brain chemistry), I can’t see this helping. Mild pressure does somewhat distract from the pain for some people (myself included), but for many migraineurs, even touching the face or head is incredibly painful. By mild pressure, I mean lightly wrapping the head in an Ace bandage or the like. Applying any kind of firm pressure during a migraine would likely send me reeling.

One other thing, and this isn’t meant as a criticism, so please don’t take it that way. You’ve inadadvertantly hit on something that’s a hot button issue for migraineurs, which is comparing a migraine to a tension headache. You’d be surprised how many of us who have migraines have been told, at one time or another, “Why can’t you just tough it out? I work the whole day with headaches all the time,” or having someone stop by and say, “Oh, I have such a horrible migraine” when in fact all they have is a plain old tension headache. A horrible migraine, for a lot of people, means a trip to an emergency room, or vomiting repeatedly in their bathroom all night, or not being able to move at all because you feel like if you do, you might have a stroke.

What you should do, is jab an icepick in their eyesocket and tell 'em, "Now, you have something that feels like a migraine.

We might be twins! I had the same headaches and the same reaction, though nobody ever mentioned “neurological complications” in my hearing, but now I just get the aura, mostly just visual but sometimes a bit of nausea. I’m also right-eye blind, and the ocular migraines do sometimes get in the way of doing anything.

I get them in various situations: lack of sleep, not eating, constipation (!), and I don’t know what all else.

And I’m with UncleBeer’s reaction to people who don’t understand migraines.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve had the ocular migraines for years and never knew what they were until I read about others here. Somebody posted a link (not the same one in this thread) that had an animated aura and I knew right off what it was. I don’t get but a very slight headache, I mostly just feel really tired afterward and generally blah. A nap is all it takes, usually, and I’m good to go.

The only thing that bothers me is, they seem to be coming on more frequently and the headaches are a little more severe. Used to I might get one a year, then a couple a year. Never more than that until the last couple of years. I had 2 in a month earlier this year, one came on while I asleep in the recliner. I woke up to the later stage of the aura and just went back to sleep, but when I got up I felt pretty beat.

Up until about 3.5 years ago, I might have said something much similar to the people in porcupine’s complaint; I just didn’t know dick about 'em. However, that’s when I started dating her (yeah, her - porcupine). Not long after that, I spent a good chunk of the day in the ER with her while she suffered through a particularly bad episode. Since then, I read a bit about 'em and have seen many times first-hand just how terrible, painful and debilitiating an affliction migraine can be. As a result, I don’t think migraines are something I wish even on the worst of people.

I recommend this book, Migraine by Oliver Sacks for anyone wanting more information.

I also liked the highly amusing “All in My Head” by Paula Kamen and the absolutely perfect essay on migraine by Joan Didion called “In Bed”. This little quote from the Joan Didion piece occured to me just recently, in fact.

surfacing from a kill-me-now-36-hour-combination-jackhammer-screaming-headache and accompanying barffest. :frowning:

Not quite; the ice pick should be red hot before jabbing.

I once had a jerk inform me that “migraines are all in the head.”

:rolleyes: No kidding. I used to work with a woman who would occassionally lean back in her chair, shake her head back and forth and comment, “Oooh, I’ve got such a migraine! I need an aspirin.” She’d take one regular strength aspirin and declare her “migraine” gone after 10 minutes or so.
I always wanted to punch her, although the ‘red-hot poker through the eye’ idea sounds good. You’d also have to slam their head against a brick wall a few times for that extra-special throbbing effect.

On the days when I couldn’t come in or would have to leave early because of a real migraine, she’d roll her eyes and ask why I couldn’t just take a couple aspirin and tough it out. More than once my husband came to get me because I was afraid to drive (I get blind spots sometimes - it’s hard to drive when you can’t see and are vomiting!). I know she thought I was some kind of huge wimp, going home just because I had a ‘headache.’

I should clarify.


from the page referenced by QuickSilver , particularly the bit about may not follow is what I was talking about.

In June 1989 I had a car accident. I suffered from double-vision afterwards in that the nerves to my left eye were damaged and would cause me to see double in whatever direction I looked. After a few months, the double-vision lessened to the point it is now, where I can see fine looking straight ahead, but when I look sideways the image splits. If I am very tired it can take a short while for my left eye to catch up with my right eye if I am looking around. I was seeing an opthamologist for a while and he sent me to a squint specialist who advised getting a botulinis (called botox now) injection to control the muscles around my eye. I would have to have this at least every 6 months. He could not give me a guarantee that my eyesight would not be worse than what I am now accustomed to. If I can live with how I see now, I see no point in playing around with my eyes for nothing less than a 100% guarantee of better vision. As I said, I sometimes have these “visions” every few weeks, particulary if I am tired. They are not accompanied by any sort of headache so I live with them. They are the least of my ailments.

Thank you for your concerns. :slight_smile:

Shake her head back and forth? Holy shit, can you imagine doing that with an actual migraine? I’d really like to have a converstion with this idiot bitch.

Um, in fairness, how are non-migraine sufferers expected to have known this? To most folks, “migraine” means “really bad headache”. So now suppose that someone has the worst headache they’ve had in five years. Maybe that just means they need two aspirin instead of one, but for all they know about headaches, it’s a pretty bad one. Can you really blame such a person for calling it a migraine?

Or then there’s those with a little more knowledge, who know that “migraine” refers to a specific sort of headache with a specific biological cause. In some ways, this person knows even less, if what folks are saying here is true. Is it not possible to have a headache caused by the migraine mechanism (whatever it is) that is nonetheless as mild and tolerable as an ordinary tension headache? If I were suffering from such mild “migraines”, how would I even know it? And if a person were suffering from such headaches and were somehow diagnosed as migraines, would it not be logical for such a person to assume that their headaches were typical of migraines?