Saturday, June 07, 2014

3952 Research, Relax

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I read some more stuff about optical migraines and TIAs.  Of course, I can't find the precise websites now, but here's a synopsis.

Optic migraine and classic migraine come from the same cause, which "they think" is likely constriction of blood vessels in the brain.  Up to several days before a migraine, you can get hints that it's coming, usually a feeling of tenseness, or depression, or nausea, or constipation ... buncha stuff.

For the past two weeks I've had a feeling of impending doom, and I didn't go to the country house on Thursday as planned because I didn't feel right in my belly.

Next you get the aura.  Various kinds.  An optical migraine is the enlarging jagged flashing in the visual field.

The migraine starts from the constriction of blood vessels.  With me it's all aura, no pain.  The flashing is not in my eyes - it's in my brain.

This is followed by the next phase, when the blood vessels release and dilate, which can cause other symptoms and a throbbing headache.  Those "other" symptoms are interesting.  They can include physical weakness, difficulty speaking, difficulty understanding language, memory problems, and so on.

That can look exactly like a TIA (mini-stroke)!

The whole thing, for an optical migraine, shouldn't take more than an hour or two, with no lasting deficits.  My episode was less than an hour altogether, and the scary garbled speech and blanking on names was maybe a half hour tops.  No headache after.

Then after it's all over, you feel wonderful, light and healthy.

And I did, no remaining impending doom of the previous two weeks, I felt fantastic, energetic, EVEN THOUGH I was afraid I'd just maybe had a bit of a stroke.

So, my conclusion is that if you experience the symptoms of a stroke or TIA but have NOT experienced any kind of migraine in conjunction, then take an aspirin and go to the ER immediately.

If you experience the symptoms with or after a migraine, classic or optic, then see your doctor and get checked out, because who knows.   Maybe it was coincidence.  Maybe not, especially if strokes run in your bloodlines.


I am not aware of experiencing any garbled speech or memory problems after any other ocular migraine I've had, but then again, for most of them, I was alone.  I very well might not have noticed, not having done anything to expose or test it.   Reading once the jagged flashes were gone didn't seem to be a problem.

Friday, June 06, 2014

3951 Migraine

Friday, June 6, 2014

Just for the record, I just started an optic (or ocular) migraine about a minute ago.  It's spreading, and soon I won't be able to see anything.  No pain, no danger, this is just so I can look up a record of how often I have them. (I'm glad I'm not driving.)


I looked up the past ocular migraines:


The above was about 12/30 pm today.  When it started I was reading an article about WWII American soldiers in England, and the article mentioned Hyde Park, in England.  That sounded familiar, like there's a Hyde Park in New York state, but I couldn't remember where.  I tried to bring up Google maps to look it up, but I couldn't remember how to get to a website.  I was very frustrated, but finally figured it out.  Hyde Park, NY, is the next town south of Rhinebeck, which is south of the country house.  I know it well.  Have to drive through it to get to Poughkeepie.  I was very confused.  How could I not remember where Hyde Park is?  Within a few minutes the ocular migraine had spread to most of my field of vision and I was unable to read the laptop screen, so I gave up and went upstairs to take a bath.

I was soaking in the tub trying to read a book (the visual disturbance had pretty much dissipated by then), and I came across a reference to Franklin Roosevelt.  I couldn't remember who he was.  Then I couldn't remember my daughter's name.  I could remember the Nugget's first name, but not her middle or last name.  I panicked.  I worked very hard, and was able to come up with some names that sounded right.  I tried to say them out loud, and what came out was garbled.  I knew what I wanted to say, I could make the right sounds in my head, but what came out of my mouth was a mess.

Finally I said them right.  I ran through some other names, like Piper's, the Hairless Hunk, The Man.  It was very difficult to remember them, especially their last names, and even when I thought I had them I wasn't sure it was right.  Over the period of maybe 15 minutes it got better.  I could remember names and I could say them out loud.  Within 20 minutes I was not only 100% ok, but I even feel good, better than I have in the past two weeks..

So, maybe this was a TIA (a.k.a. mini-stroke).  Perhaps a tiny blood clot that dissolved quickly.  Or maybe a blood vessel spasm (I've had those in my legs).  I called the doctor I have been assigned by my new insurance, but his Friday hours are 8 to noon.  I refuse to go to the ER.

My history regarding names is poor.  I've had problems remembering names all my life.  One time when Daughter was in high school I called the office to tell them I would be picking her up early for an appointment - and I couldn't remember her name!  I had to hang up and look her name up.  Not being able to remember names is for me normal.  Sometimes I completely blank out.  What was not normal was not being able to speak. 

Whatever it was, it was over quickly, but I guess I should have some tests.  Bleck.  I'll call the doctor Monday.  I am not happy about that.

I didn't want to, but I went over to Daughter's house about 4:45 and told her what had happened, and that for the next two days or so I will call her every two (waking) hours, and if I don't she should check on me.  Naturally, she freaked out.  So she insisted that I accompany her and the Nugget to the grocery store.

I didn't keel over dead or say anything weird, so she seems to have relaxed a bit.

Jeeze!  Am I ever going to get up to the country house?  This is getting ridiculous.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

3950 Dead AOL id comes back to life!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I have Jay's old email id on AOL.  I haven't used it in something like eight years, because we went through a period where on every AOL update I lost all my saved mail.  I don't even remember the password.  Back when I set up my Gmail account, I set AOL to forward all email to Gmail.  Over the years I've been getting fewer and fewer bits of email forwarded from AOL, mostly ads from cruise lines.  AOL, for all its faults, does a fairly good job of filtering out spam.

Suddenly I'm getting loads of crap forwarded from AOL, all unsolicited spam ads.  It all seems to be coming through some kind of bulk mailer called "iBuilder".

Where the heck did they get that email address?  How do I stop it?

(I may have shot myself in the foot.  It's possible that something somewhere, like a local store I was shopping in, insisted that I give them an email address, and I shrugged and gave them the AOL id without even thinking about it.)


Bonus rant:
Alexander Fleming DID NOT "discover" penicillin.   He merely named it and gave it a medical stamp of approval, and made it possible to make money on it.  People had been strapping moldy bread to injuries for centuries before he came along.

3949 Turtle

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This snapping turtle was in my back yard yesterday.

Other turtles in other years have tried to lay eggs in my yard, but had been unable to dig more than an inch or two into the solid clay.  This lady was perhaps a little smarter.  She made four attempts right up next to the foundation.  The dirt (I refuse to call it soil) is likely to be a little looser there, having been backfilled and not having been packed by heavy equipment running over it.  Still, she dug four holes.  She didn't bother to refill the first three shallow holes so I assume there are no eggs there.  She did fill the fourth (right next to the air conditioner units), so maybe she got deep enough to actually lay eggs there.

This snapper is pretty small, about the size of a standard dinner plate.  Previous visitors have been almost turkey platter sized, and covered with moss.  They come up from the little stream/ditch at the end of my yard, that feeds into the lake just down the road.

3848 Poison of the Vipers

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The following is a comment on an article on from whom Malia Obama will be learning to drive.   The comments on almost all articles of any type concerning the Obamas are vicious.  I've never seen so much vitriol.  This particular commenter says what I am thinking better than I ever could.

The article in question:

The comment (emphasis mine):
Yowza  •  
Two points here:

1. Since at least the days of the Kennedy administration, pretty much anything the First Family does has been a media topic either when it happens or when the media otherwise learn about it.

Historically, the First Family has always been the closest thing we have to royalty here in the States, so the ready comparison/analogy is the continuous media attention likewise accorded the royal family in the U.K.. And the American people sui generis have also come to expect that our Presidents and First Ladies will make themselves available to the media, and will make public appearances at events and/or on news programs, on essentially a daily basis, even when they are otherwise on vacation.

And even though neither you nor I may have voted for this particular president, or any given one or more of his predecessors, in each and every instance the majority of those casting ballots in the pertinent presidential election did so.

2. As someone who was an officer of my high school civics club, and who was an officer of my college's Young Republicans club, and an officer in my collegiate state's Young Republican organization, and a delegate to 2 Young Republican national conventions, I've been an active follower of both federal elections and administrations for almost 55 years now.

And as a First Family, the Kennedys were derided, and/or despised and/or mocked by many, and especially Republicans until the very day of his assassination, and likewise the Johnsons during both of his administrations, as were in turn the Nixons during both of his administrations (mostly by Democrats, but also later by many Republicans after the Watergate scandal), the Fords not so much (though Jerry was often ridiculed for his mental and physical 'ineptness', but with Carter the derision and despise bloomed anew once again, particularly about the Iran hostage situation and the botched first Special Forces attempted rescue. Reagan mostly got a pass though he was nevertheless criticized openly and frequently for the corruption in both his administrations and seriously called out for his "secret war" in Nicaragua...and George H.W. was likewise mostly given a pass, though he was nevertheless criticized heavily for the undue influence the military-industrial complex exerted on his administration...and for failing to take down Hussein after his invasion of Kuwait. And presumably pretty much everyone knows about all the Clinton 'situations' (Whitewater, Lewinsky and the ultimately failed attempt to impeach him),and of course W. and his administrations were pretty vigorously criticized by the Demos for a variety of things, after an early temporary "pass" after 9/11.

However, in my experience and opinion, none of the attacks and criticisms leveled at any of those past presidents and/or their administrations have ever been even remotely anywhere near as highly vitriolic and toxic, or as continuous, or as all-pervasive/encompassing as those that have been directed against Obama and his administrations...and no other First Lady in/over the last 50+ years been as openly, overtly and frequently attacked/criticized as Michelle Obama has been over the last 5+ years...even Hilary while she was First Lady...and I'm not sure that Michelle hasn't been subject to more direct attacks/criticisms than all of last 8 previous First Ladies combined.

Maybe I'm just "old school" and a bit old-fashioned, but where and the way I was brought up it was pretty much expected/accepted that a woman would stand by, and stand up for, her was also always a given that you didn't attack or criticize her for doing so, nor were you supposed to openly insult or slur another man's wife no matter how much you disliked or despised either her or her husband...not only was it otherwise socially unacceptable to do so, but it was regarded as both being fundamentally uncouth/boorish and a matter of dishonor