A week ago I had a brain event. That’s what I’m calling it. It’s
probably not medically correct or whatever, but I went from having a very bad headache to double vision.
I’ve never had double vision before and it took me a while to figure out what exactly was wrong. I thought I was just having a hard time focusing. In fact, it wasn’t until I was driving home and realized that I was seeing 4 sets of stoplights instead of 2 that I understood the magnitude of what was wrong.
Closing one eye, I was able to see clearly. Any single eye had vision, but my eyes weren’t working together anymore and it was terrifying. Because I was so panicked, I did something utterly ridiculous. I drove myself to the ER.
Don’t get me wrong, going to the ER? Totally the right move. Driving? That was ridiculous and taking that curb getting in was a final reminder to me that it was dangerous.
In my usual understated way, I told the ER person that I had “a headache and vision problems.” So I cooled my heels trying to decipher Wheel of Fortune (letters aren’t very double-vision friendly) while my husband got to the ER.
Once the nurse tested my vision, the problem became clear. I had my first MRI and discovered that I am, in fact, claustrophobic. Just thinking about it sets my heart racing again, but after they dosed me with Valium, I was pretty okay with it. Miracle of modern medicine.
Luckily, there was nothing obvious wrong with my brain and outside of some outstanding autoimmune bloodwork, the neurologist who followed up believes it’s a rare manifestation of a migraine.
All of that was fine and I was really relieved. They gave me some steroids to arrest the double vision and some Imitrex and I felt pretty okay. I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally difficult it was going to be to come back to work today, though. I just want to cry. I never suffered migraines before I came here. This job is so awful on levels that I just don’t even let myself feel.
And I feel stupid saying that because it is a job. It pays decently for what it is. Things could always be a thousand times worse. I remind myself of that over and over like a mantra and yet, I feel the seeds of a new headache. Everything I look at, I wonder, “Is that a flash? Am I seeing two of those? Am I okay?”
No. I don’t think I’m okay. I’m not okay at all. Physically, I’m fine, but emotionally I feel like a wreck. Perhaps it’s just too raw right now and I need to give it some time. In a couple of days maybe I’ll wonder wonder what my problem is.
But probably not. I don’t know. I’m going to force myself to post this as a marker, as a moment in time, as representative of the ten thousand posts I don’t make whining about my life because I get it. I do. In the game of trauma poker, I will lose every time. I am so fucking privileged and yet that thought brings little comfort when my vision splits in two. Holding back isn’t helping anyone. And maybe it isn’t my job. Maybe this is just the inevitability of my DNA or just part of the grand plan, a life I chose to learn some greater truth. Or maybe it’s just one of those things that happens. Shit often does.