New blog address: kaffeemitkraehen.wordpress.com > Kaffee mit Krähen (Coffee with Crows). Come visit me! This is a little note to the followers of Thee Caffeinated Crow: I am bidding this blog adieu, but fear not, I have started a new … Continue reading
I’ll miss the ravens the most when I go. I’ll miss the way they approach me, mouths open like baby birds. I’ll miss the sound of big black wings husking around me as I walk by the ocean. I’ll miss … Continue reading
We were a little too optimistic at first about what we’d be able to take with us, so when the movers came to survey our possessions a couple of weeks ago, we included a lot of items like the two … Continue reading
Two Christmases ago T and I took a trip to visit his brother’s family, and while we were there, he and his brother’s wife looked through some of his mother’s jewelry. He showed me some of the pieces he selected … Continue reading
Well, just as we’re starting to find our legs here in San Francisco’s idyllic and esoteric Outer Sunset neighborhood, it looks like we’ll be charging off on a new tangent and new adventure as T has accepted a most exciting … Continue reading
Cab driver: “Where to?” Me: “Um … the Quad.” Cab driver: “Ah yes, the old Imperial Palace.” Me: “Oh, so is there a new Imperial Palace?” Cab driver: “No.” T and I booked our hotel for Def Con a few … Continue reading
I usually cut through the edge of the park on my way to Safeway. It’s an ever-so-slight shortcut down some steps and a long a little gravel path that takes me past the windmill and deposits me at the crosswalk … Continue reading
Merle came by this morning. We threw out some extra peanuts for him. He’s pretty easy to spot, the way he hops around, his messed-up leg at a terrible angle, and his missing tail feathers are his signature. But the … Continue reading
We tried again for a nighttime stroll on the beach. As with last time, we had only to get away from the street and the streetlamps, near to the top of the dune, and our night-blind eyes registered only a … Continue reading
At last we can breathe a tiny sigh of relief: we have a new place to live. We’re in a 2-bedroom apartment that’s easily 2-3 times bigger than the tiny shoebox we’ve been living in the past year. We’re only … Continue reading
I so appreciate when the timing of the reading of 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
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
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 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
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
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