I appreciate very much when the timing of my reading a particular book seems to tie in most serendipitously with goings-on in my life and the world around me, especially when it happens to be a book not recently published, … Continue reading
I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting this blog! I’ve been so busy, it’s been pretty much nonstop since Christmas, which I guess is a good thing. Better busy than idle! So, what have I been up to in the new year? … Continue reading
My final night at the Marqueen Hotel. My coworkers are telling me the internet reviews say it’s haunted, but after indulging in morbid curiosity on my lunch break (“Why would you DO that??” one of my coworkers wants to know), … Continue reading
After a full day at the office I have plenty of work to do when I get back to my hotel room. I don’t know if it’s just the off-season, but I never see anyone in the halls. It’s a … Continue reading
My work flew me back to Seattle for a few days so I could present my report and analysis on this latest project I’ve been working on the past few months. Lots of meetings and training and helping out with … Continue reading
T just left for Abu Dhabi yesterday, so I’m spending Saturday here by myself before I leave for my little business trip tomorrow. I stocked the fridge yesterday, so there’s been no reason to go out in the rain. It’s … Continue reading
As I’m beginning to explore the fine art of cooking, I wanted to provide something tasty for my family’s Thanksgiving spread to demonstrate this newfound interest. And I wanted to create something not out of some recipe book, test my … Continue reading
I can’t remember if I mentioned here already, but I very recently acquired a copy of The Joy of Cooking with the hope of varying up our dinner fare and gaining in the cooking skillz department. This week I got … Continue reading
I was visiting my grandfather yesterday, a treasured source of seemingly endless knowledge. My grandmother, mother and some aunts and a cousin were there as well. In the course of conversation, Granddad suddenly with much gravity wished to impart something … Continue reading
About a month ago T and I decided to give Toastmasters a try. T has his own career reasons, and I’ve decided it’s probably a smart move for me as well. Granted I don’t plan on finding myself on stage … Continue reading
It’s been difficult to find time to get out for proper adventuring in SF, though I’ve been fortunate with my dread maintenance to have hit it off with K, who’s been taking me, over these past few months, from black … Continue reading
I’m learning the wonder of SF Sunday brunch. Last time was omelettes and bottomless bloody mary’s atop the second floor of an establishment crammed with fellow Sunday brunch-goers, my friend and I gazing down at girls in floppy sun dresses, … Continue reading
Yesterday T and I made plans to meet up after work at this cool Art Deco style bar we discovered not too long ago. He surprised me down at the train stop on the way there when I encountered him … Continue reading
Yesterday I experienced my first scintillating scotoma, and it was more than a little freaky.
It came out of nowhere. I’d clocked out to make myself some lunch, and as I sat back down in front of the computer I noticed a flickering splotch of color and light in my vision. It was relatively small and just a little to the right of the center of my vision. I thought at first it was the afterimage of a light burned onto my eye, but I looked around and realized there wasn’t any light source that matched the shape. And it wasn’t behaving like a normal afterimage.
I clocked in and realized that the shape wasn’t going away, and it was hanging out right in the middle of my vision, making it difficult to read text on the screen. This made me think remember the term “scotoma”, which I knew was some sort of malfunction in the brain causing an abnormality in the field of vision. I’d read about scotomas in the book “Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind” by V.S. Ramachandran. It had been a fascinating book, but it had dealt almost exclusively with findings observed in patients with brain injury, ie. stroke.
So I got scared, checked wikipedia for info on scotomas. I scrolled down on the page until I saw scintillating scotoma, clicked the appropriate link, and I was delivered to a picture that depicted pretty much exactly what I was seeing. So I began taking notes.
11:58am scintillating scotoma appears; both eyes but a little brighter in right eye; expanding;
By this time the abnormality had expanded from the size of a cheerio to something like a decent sand dollar. I found it very difficult to read things on the screen and more than a little difficult to think properly. I felt alarmed by the experience but also curious, hence the note-taking.
According to wikipedia, this was the precursor to a migraine. I’ve experienced a grand variety of migraines over the past 12 years that I’ve been having them, but I’ve never seen a light show like this. I felt slightly altered, but otherwise relatively cheery about it, and there was no pain, so I attempted to get back to work.
12:14pm expanded from small slightly off center to peripheral right, less bright in left eye;
12:18pm no longer in left eye
12:22pm no more scotoma but right eye feels “veiled”
The sense of bemused bewilderment increased, and even though I still didn’t feel a headache coming on, I could tell all was not well with my head. I let a coworker know via chat that something very weird was going on with my eyes and that I thought a migraine was on the way. And even as I was saying that, a part of me was doubting. It was kind of like an eerie calm, a haunted feeling that I was trying to talk myself out of. The confusion was actually so profound I didn’t even think to take one of the Maxalt tablets until 12:45pm when a weird stuffy head feeling began to set in.
1:00pm pain getting bad; nauseous; going to lie down;
I took a good bit of aspirin and tylenol on top of the Maxalt and went to lie down, but I was still feeling agitated and didn’t want to sleep, so I attempted to read more about the scintillating scotoma.
So the lights aren’t in the eye, of course. They’re caused by a malfunction in the occipital cortex at the back of the brain, in my case seems like the right occipital cortex since significant pain began to manifest in my left temple.
1:10pm left eye aching;
1:17pm spreading up left side of face above eyebrow to hairline
1:33pm second Maxalt tablet
I went to sleep for a while and had typical struggling migraine dreams, woke in terrible aching pain and sank into a weird depressive malaise for a good ten or fifteen minutes, lost in sad thoughts. When you’re in the throes of a major migraine and your eye feels too big for your face, it’s pretty easy to convince yourself you have a brain tumor. Just sayin.
And then I got restless again, and washing dishes seemed to help for whatever reason. I watched the aquarium for a long while and that seemed to center me a bit more emotionally. My eye still hurt and I felt heavy.
5:03pm third Maxalt tablet
I laid back down for another 45 minutes and then, feeling restless again, decided to sweep the floors and boil eggs. After taking the trash out, my blood sugar tanked, and I sat in front of the aquarium eating almond butter out of the jar.
By the time T got home I was starting to thaw out of that intensely fuzzed sick place. What a roller coaster of a day! Who knew a squiggly glow worm in your eye could be the harbinger of such destruction!
Oh, and T brought me a cookie from work, how funny. In my migraine hallucinations earlier in the afternoon I’d actually semi-dreamed about one of those cookies, the big sugar cookie kind that’s dipped half in white chocolate. And in that moment of dreaming I told myself that was ridiculous: he wouldn’t buy a cookie now when he’s on post- oral surgery soft food diet. But he did!
A few months ago we got a Greenbanded Goby, and we called him Tiny Fish because, well, because he was so tiny. Tiny Fish was good-natured and sweet but mostly kept to himself. Sometimes if the Blennies were in a … Continue reading
A little black and grey dog, probably a Corgi mix because he was low to the ground and barrel shaped, was having a nice pee on the gate of a shop and looking at me while he did so. One of his hind legs was rigged up in an intricate black brace.
I thought it was interesting he still cocked the other leg to pee, placing his hind weight on the leg in the brace. The ease with which the dog moved with the brace, the lack of hindrance by the seeming awkwardness of the brace, made me think that maybe he was very accustomed to wearing it.
He wasn’t leashed, and on first glance there seemed to be only similarly unattached pedestrians moving along the sidewalk. Not a stray, because our neighborhood is too upscale for strays, and besides he was too well groomed, too alert, too purposeful. And stray dogs didn’t have fancy leg braces.
The dog kept watching me as I passed, looking at me with all the audacious scrutiny of a creature of superior intelligence, part animal, part mechanical. He was processing calculations behind those black eyes. The pee puddle beside the gate was a pheromone marker, a collection of data, an encrypted message waiting for another creature to decode it.
“Not this creature,” the dog was thinking of me as I moved past, my shoulder burning under the strap of a too-heavy grocery bag.
So Day 2 Black Hat Keynote Interview with Neal Stephenson was one of the main reasons I wanted to go this year (besides being there with T to see more of his crazy world!) I’ve been trying to fly through … Continue reading
Las Vegas is jarring enough in the best circumstances, but throw in a mega migraine and it becomes a sort of comedy of errors. I got up early with T in order to catch the Day 1 Black Hat Keynote, … Continue reading
Well I guess it has! T has been in Vegas since last Thursday getting started on this year’s Black Hat event at Caesar’s Palace. Just like last year I headed there again to check out both days’ Keynote, most notably … Continue reading
T is out of town the next few days and I’m trying to eat healthy and to not use this as an excuse to nom everything my little heart wants, so I made this lentil soup this afternoon. I made … Continue reading