Felicity is fine, considering

reliefSo yes. It was just a migraine. Sure, that seems like a terrible thing to say, being that a 9-year-old little girl may have to suffer severe and debilitating headaches for the rest of her life, but it’s much better than the alternative. Brain bleeds, strokes, and large tumors that cause the head to be shaped like that cone headed family in that one show from long ago all went through my head.

The doctor gave her a cognitive test, mixing up numbers and having her repeat them backwards. Then he checked her extremities and balance, examined her eyes, checked vitals, and went through a thorough analysis of what happened and what we can expect. The fact that sleep and Ibuprofen made the headache go away was an excellent sign. She was diagnosed with a classic migraine that begins with an aura, causing vision to be distorted.

I get those. They’re fascinating. I first see a bright spot in my vision, then text goes awry. After a few minutes, everyone around me is walking around headless. I completely lose vision in my right eye, replaced by a pulsating light. The light comes directly at me, my glasses melt from my face in true Salvador Dali fashion. Then, about 20-minutes later, it all evaporates. If I haven’t already taken Excedrin Migraine, I will begin to feel a dull pain in the front of my head, then it will build, and keep building, until I’m stumbling around, speaking incoherently, and bumping into walls.

I usually like to continue coding my medical device control applications at this point. Powering through a migraine is a rite of passage for a pace maker developer. (That was a joke, by the way.)

If I do take migraine meds, the headache is meh. Nothing doing. Thus, I don’t usually complain about them, being that I have dear friends, including my bride, with pain that is much worse and more frequent.

After the doctor, I ran home and grabbed The Boy, Fred. He’s 12. What happened next is causing me great fear and worry. He was home because he didn’t want to go skiing with his class, and one of the options was to stay home and rot on your iPad. So we went to McDonald’s.

“Young man. What would you like to eat?” the nice woman behind the counter asked him.

“I’ll take a Big Mac Meal with a side salad instead of fries. Make it large, with a Coke.”

My little boy who can get a cheap kids meal, even a few items off the Dollar Menu, now has tastes. And opinions. Both cost money. Soon, the bloke will be ordering caviar and schnitzel.

I need a second and third job.


  1. Johnny Vector says

    Glad to hear it. Also glad to hear about the cognitive test. None of the E.R. doctors, including the fellow who introduced himself as a neurologist, did that for my wife two weeks ago. Maybe if they had, they might have diagnosed the stroke before puncturing her spine looking for otherwise asymptomatic meningitis*. Sounds like you got good care.

    *On the usual 1-10 scale, it turns out the pain from a spinal tap goes to 11. I hear that’s also true of migraines, but it’s not as funny.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    Thank goodness it wasn’t more serous. And thanks for letting us all know right away. I came to FtB specifically to check.

    Perhaps a good blogging topic would be figuring out a good phrase for atheists to say to each other when they get bad news, or are awaiting possibly bad news. I think even Christians know that “I’ll be praying for you,” is kind of meaningless, but at least it’s something that’s comforting to both the sayer and the hearer — it lets everyone pretend that the one who says it can actually do something. Absent such false assurance, what should we say?

  3. kestrel says

    **relief** (In a way. I would not wish a migraine on anyone.) My auras are really different from yours, that’s pretty interesting… I have started painting pictures of mine. If you ignore the fact that they lay me out completely, they are quite striking and beautiful.

    They run in my family and some family members have had extremely alarming symptoms, but so far we’ve all been able to cope. Again I would never wish one on anybody, but one can learn to deal with them, and who knows – perhaps your daughter will become an artist and paint hers as well! And let me just warn you, paint is not cheap!

  4. DonDueed says

    Another occasional aura-haver here. Mine are not nearly as severe as yours and, luckily, not accompanied by headaches. But they are… strange. They are not confined to just one eye — in fact they don’t seem to have anything to do with eyes.

    Glad to hear the youngun is doing better, but it’s tough if she has to deal with serious pain throughout her life. I can think of a few people I wouldn’t mind cursing with that symptom but none of them is a 9-year-old kid.

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