I Spy…Something Shiny?


Photo by Flickr user “NIthI Anand.”

The first time my peripheral vision went blurry, I’d had a beer and it was way past my bedtime, so the occurrence kind of made sense. My eyes are just tired. Shit, I’m just tired. As I prepared for bed, it was like the surface of a pond was dancing way off to my right. No, more like a desert mirage. And what the hell was one of those doing in San Diego?

The next morning seemed to confirm my hypothesis. My vision was fine. I was still a little tired, but it was nothing a mocha and a trip to the theater to see Star Trek Beyond (and eat lots of buttered popcorn!) couldn’t fix.

That afternoon, as Bryan and I were watching “The Great British Bake-off,” it was back. That oozy, reflective jelly, completely reminiscent of the puddle Larisa Oleynik used to morph into in “The Secret World of Alex Mack.” And this time, a headache set it, so I stumbled to bed. An hour later, I woke up, my sight was normal, and my headache was gone.

On Monday morning at work, the Blob came to visit again, and he brought along his friend, Bright Light Between Your Eyes.

Now, before anyone gets too worried, none of these experiences affected my ability to do anything. I felt fine walking around and navigating my office. I could read my computer screen. I felt altogether…fine. Nothing was subtracted from my vision; I’m just the lucky girl who had things added to her sight.

So, nothing super worrying, but very random and disconcerting, because, you know, your eyes are important.

After a call to my fiancé, we decided it was time to visit an opthamologist. Of course, worst case scenarios are running through my head at this point: Are my retinas going rogue? Your vision can be impaired when you have a small stroke, right? Is there an alien in my brain? Because that would be bad.

After examining my eyes with all the whirligigs and magnifiers, the grand diagnoses is…ocular migraines. Like, my eyes are having migraines. They’re that pissed off.

I guess I have some dry eye and allergies going on, too, so I guess I’d be agitated…

Apparently, ocular migraines are harmless (from a neurological and greater health perspective – unless they get worse, of course). They are triggered by the same things that generally trigger migraines – caffeine, chocolate, MSG, stress, and the chemical makeup of birth control pills. The sight disturbances can manifest with or without a headache. They usually resolve within 20-30 minutes, and you can take ibuprofen, migraine meds, or a good dose of caffeine to banish them. Yes, caffeine is both a cause and a cure. Go figure.

I go through the checklist and realize…yeah, I need to change some things. I drink a cup of coffee every day, and I like it strong. Chocolate is one of my favorite things on this planet. MSG is sneaky and can creep into lots of foods. Stress – what’s that? There’s no stress here with a new job, a writing deadline, a wedding to plan, a dog who might have a UTI, California living expenses, and a slight cold as I plan to escape for a bachelorette party in Phoenix this weekend. No sir, no stress here. And the birth control? Well, some things you can’t eliminate.

Yesterday was my first caffeine-free, chocolate-free, trying to be super healthy day. Of course, it’s also the day our CEO, fresh back from a trip to Costa Rica, leaves out chocolate-covered coffee beans, coffee candies, and a bag of gorgeous whole beans next to our in-office, high-tech coffee machine. I may have drooled a bit, but I resisted.

Today is day two, and I’m trying to figure out if my slight headache this morning was random or perhaps caffeine withdrawal-related.

In any case, it’s worth it. As much as I loved “The Secret World of Alex Mack,” that puddle of sludge can’t stay far enough away from my eyeballs, thank you very much.