Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Just a Migraine

The only warning it spares me is a slight jolt of imbalance. My centre of gravity is thrown off a fraction of a very little bit because a penny-sized space on the vista of my vision has gone blank. I have to glance here and there and here and there to see if the blankness remains. My hands—I always go to my reliable, familiar hands to see if parts of them are missing—to see if I am seeing the aura.

Aura...what a beautiful word, and what a mysterious word, and what a fearful word.

My heart rolls over and then quickly gets back to pumping, a bit faster now. I never know how to announce it, in order to excuse myself from whatever I'm doing. Words can never describe the foreboding intensity. “Oh no, I’m getting a migraine” are just flat words in comparison to the havoc my brain is starting to contend with.

The blank spot moves as my eyes move. In the mirror, half of my face fades away, so I look away. Everything I look at slowly fades away. To see something in its fullness, I need to look all the way around it instead of directly at it.

My fragmented reflection in the mirror is a fairly accurate representation of the fracture in my thoughts, the fissure in my sense of existence. Now the aura has become a distressingly-beautiful streak across all I sort-of-see, a streak altogether full of black and white and sharp bits of moving light and nothing. A slice of silent sound, a sunset of disconcerting incapacity.

The aura denies me both thought and action. It has stopped me in my tracks, leaving me with no choice but to turn myself off and expect nothing of myself for a little while. Sometimes the aura recedes behind my peripheral vision, idling there, only to throw her sparkling, silent, violent streak of blankness across my vision once again, and again, as though I did something to anger her and she is lashing out at me in a personal, vindictive way.

Is Aura a mystic? Surely there’s something more to it than just constricted blood vessels and a sensation spreading across my brain causing sensory confusion. Surely there’s something more than just the science of it. What is she trying to tell me? What is she trying to do to me? As much as I try to contemplate these complexities, she cripples my powers of reasoning. The aura always eventually dissolves, but though I know this, she always delivers a dose of panic from the edges of her glimmer.

When that sharp, jagged streak of the aura’s horizon recedes, I am left with the dust and ashes of her mysterious fury. The aftermath that the aura leaves me with varies, but it can range from a shiny, golden box with a nail inside, which is figuratively hammered into my temple, shattering my thoughts with exploding pain, or an assorted basket filled with blurred vision, unclear thoughts and difficulty articulating words (which delivers a fresh dose of panic because these types of symptoms are consistent with those of a stroke), or perhaps she decides to leave me with a small bag that when opened, reveals a blinding light that my eyes are so sensitive to that I can’t help but hate the sun. The aura may even migrate the visual streak of black-and-white-and-light-filled nothing to my teeth and tongue, my hands, my ears, my left thigh—the nothingness feeling numb and the sharp bits of moving light tingling my skin.

I am spent, I do not fully know how these constricted brain blood vessels have affected my overall health, I have lost time, it will take some time to recover back into myself, I do not know when this aura will blot out a spot of my sight again, or where I will be when it happens, or exactly why, and now for some time, my heart will do a somersault whenever I look at a bright car headlight and then look away and see a flash of nothing, mimicking the aura, and my blood will run cold whenever a dividing line such as a cell in Excel or a line on the pavement fades or comes to an abrupt stop, and my stomach will lurch whenever the light starts to divide objects in my sight into dark and bright momentarily, and I will feel a punch of panic when my balance has the tiniest of hiccups—all because of the debilitating mystery of migraine and his most dangerous offensive attacker, Aura.