Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bigger Isn't Always Better

Yesterday I had to have my eyes dilated. Maggie giggles every time she hears the word "dilated". She's obsessed with babies and labor and delivery. It's creepy, but she knows a lot about it, so I guess that's good. But I digress.

I had to get my eyes dilated. First time ever. Not fun. I had no idea how crazy weird it is to have your eyes messed with. But it was pretty necessary, so I'll tell you my story.

I woke up, just like any regular day, but when I stood up, I noticed flashing silvery lights creating a halo effect in the very middle of my vision out of my left eye. Kind of like when you stand up too fast, and the blood rushes out of your head? It was like that. But it didn't go away. In fact, after a shower and doing my hair, it was getting worse. I had completely lost my peripheral vision on my left side, and the silvery halo was still there. It was giving me a headache.

We called Moran Eye Center, just to see what they said about it, and the nurse said that is a sign of a retinal tear or detachment, and that it warranted immediate care. I was totally freaking out at this point. So we headed up to the U, and got in to see the eye doctor. After a battery of tests, all of which freak me out because I have serious eyeball gross-out issues, it was confirmed that I did not have a retinal tear or detachment. Thank goodness.

So I had a little chat with the Neuro Ophthalmologist, and we concluded it was most likely what they call an ophthalmic migraine.

Basically, it's like when some people get migraines, they get the weird auras and light sensitivity right before the pain sets in. Only with this kind of migraine, all it is is the auras. I guess it's pretty common, but I had never heard of this in my life. It lasted a good 6 hours, and then as it subsided, I was left with a groggy, heavy feeling like I had been run over by a truck. It wasn't my best moment.

But really, all in all, I would take the auras and lights over having my pupils dilated to the size of baseballs any day. Not being able to read (Facebook), and the searing blinding sunlight really turned me off. I like my regular sized pupils, thankyouverymuch, but I am grateful for the technology that allows the doctors to see things like detached retinas and whatnot.

Today I'm fine. No more auras, no flashing lights and not too much light sensitivity. But I do need to keep an eye out ( ha ha) for another attack, because apparently once you get one, you are very prone to more. Weird.

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grannybabs said...

I've heard of those. Hopefully you won't have another one - at least not soon!!

Laura said...

Oh that is crazy! Glad your retina didn't tear!! Yeah, having your eyes dialated sucks.

Phoebe said...

David gets the same migraines. he says it's really weird. But definitely better than a retinal tear!

Nurse Heidi said...

I had migraines during adolescence that always had strong visual auras and violent headaches. I grew out of them. Or so I thought. Last year I had two of the visual aura only headaches. They're creepy and disconcerting. Keep some excedrin on hand to nip it in the bud right away and take a good nap.