I picked up a few books at the second hand store the other day, for my science teacher collection. I was looking for my own copy of The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, which I’m listening to on audio as I run errands, and The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, a few highly recommended works by Mary Roach, and Worms Eat my Garbage by Mary Appelhof. I found Meditations of John Muir, An Anthropologist on Mars by Sacks, and The Parrot’s Lament by Eugene Linden. I started reading the Sacks book this morning, and was on the first story, of an artist whose head injury caused him to lose all ability to see color, when I became aware of a small, flashing arc around the right side of my peripheral vision. I was glad to have had some experience with this before, which told me to was an ocular migraine and nothing to worry about. After trying to get a better look at the thing–always impossible, as it’s peripheral by nature, I looked for images online that matched what was seeing, and found something similar:My arc is thinner, less regular in shape, and a mirror image of this one. What the picture can’t capture is the way it pulsates and flashes. It slowly expands, and then disappears.
Connected with the ocular migraine is a phenomenon called a complex migraine, which messes with other brain functions such as speech. Both types can precede a painful migraine, though I have never had one, and seldom have headaches at all except when fighting an infection.