Friday, February 15, 2008

NYTimes: Migraine

The New York Times

OPINION | February 13, 2008
Migraine: Patterns
Oliver Sacks
The "visual disturbances" that some migraineurs experience, often magnificent and intricate in design, may offer a glimpse of the geometry of the human mind.

I got a migraine on Monday. I've only have a few in my life - say once a year since the first I recall in middle or high school. I got one last summer that was pretty bad. And then on Monday as soon as I stepped out of the door I got that floaty thing in my eye, and by the time I was at school I had a headache. This article does a good job describing the image I get in my eye: the first paragraph part - I don't have any of those pattern-y things he's talking about, but it's fascinating to see how other people are affected--smells, sounds even. I didn't really know a migraine was before, and this article gave me a tinge of the what's going on in my brain and its effects. (just enough to make me want to learn more.)

I've never had a very serious migraine, and I knew the headache wouldn't last too long if I could just take a short nap, so I tried to wait it out in the office. But it wasn't working: I felt icky, and all the noises were acutely annoying. And then I recalled how the last time I had a migraine I was really pooped all day even after the headache had left. So I went home. And honestly, I wasn't quite myself for two days. I'd still like to know more about the causes, but right now I'm pretty glad to know that I'm not totally weird in this phenomena. One guy who read the article responded and hit the nail on the head.

Interestingly, I never made the association with words getting mixed up (which I do pretty badly anyway), but upon reflection, migraines definitely accentuate this behavior. I always used to say that migraines 'made me stupid' for a few days, and that I couldn't concentrate and everything seemed jumbled up, but this is the first time I've heard this quantified.

i related. wow. one should never try to teach under these conditions.

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