Josh (the blog)

Hey there. I’m Josh, a SydneyCanberra-based maker of Internets. I don’t update this very often.


@joahua

Migraine predictor

Bejeweled is cool and all, but it’s become compulsive already. Just to contextualise this a bit, Aaron half-seriously asked if I were autistic a few weeks back after I asked if a TV displaying/playing nothing (black screen) could be turned off because of the noise the tube made. Also, I get pretty bad migraines sometimes (there’s one coming now, but I want to blog this before I forget and twenty minutes will hardly make a difference).

When I’m in significant pain (be that massive headaches/migraines w/ various assoc. symptoms, or general other illness… vomiting etc., or specific physical pain) my first motive to “alleviate” it is simply distraction. I’ll start by hopping between thoughts as rapidly as possible because every thought I land on somehow I manage to link back to the problem at hand (i.e. pain), and I can only avoid coming back to that by randomly jumping between thoughts before following them to their “logical” (read: present circumstantial) conclusion. This is, inevitably, pretty useless… and when I finally give up on finding disconnected thoughts I settle for patterns. If it’s not a headache (i.e. I don’t mind my eyes being open) I’ll trace lines on whatever surfaces I can see, or, if I can’t see (/don’t want to open eyes), I’ll invent patterns/logical problems. Which I can never remember afterwards but am aware occurred. And proceed to solve compulsively until the pain disappears (generally where replaced with sleep).

The thing is, these are usually strategies I semi-consciously employ after recognising pain. Today it was different.

I would close my eyes at work, trying to focus on an aspect of a rather gnarly CSS situation (web-geek stuff, to demystify/ungeek this post) , and suddenly the various symbols in the game would be re-arranging themselves (or, I would be controlling them but without even thinking of the game) in my [perceived field-of-view? is there a word for imagined vision once you close your eyes? I take it that’s normal… it’s not imagination and it’s not synesthesia, so… I think that it’s normal]. Normally I can feel headaches coming, but sometimes I’ll just have a really dull one from staring at a screen for too long… it doesn’t particularly bug me and, if anything, I was pretty good with screen-time-focus today. Anyway, I leave work and go to bible study at Ant and Sarah’s flat, and am completely fine (if remarkably full of food following dinner and Ant’s, err, “21st” cake) until we’re praying… at which point I shut my eyes again and am completely unable to concentrate on what’s going on around me. I’m more aware of a headache when I open my eyes again, but it’s not significant.

Later, Gem is driving back home (for which I’m so thankful, because, as will become clear, I really shouldn’t have been driving) and I shut my eyes for a moment — you know that moment, as a passenger at night where you can just lean your head back and enjoy darkness, momentary rest? Then, by the time I open them again (two seconds later, max), everything is that much worse. I really want to go back to puzzles in my head to distract from (now apparently oncoming) migraine.

This is all really strange. These things aren’t meant to happen on their own, its some weird reflex that’s meant to happen when you’re allowed to shut your eyes and clench your teeth to respond to headaches, not before… time to crash. Speaking of which, that’s what I’m going to do now. *rearranges puzzles/sleeps*