I had an attack of Acephalgic Migraine today. I have been free of any incident since my last episode (and subsequent blog about it) back on the 26th July this year so this time I felt it worthy of documenting - not just for my own benefit but also for the scientific interest surrounding this mysterious condition.
Today, at about 11.30am, I became aware of the central ‘sparkle’, just to the right of my centre of vision. With an outstretched arm it was about the size of my thumbnail and grew in size over the next fifteen minutes to occupy a space the size of my spread palm, again at arm’s length.
By noon it was in full force and filled the whole of the lower right quarter of my vision but by ten past it was largely a peripheral awareness. The visual lightshow usually lasts about forty minutes and by half past twelve I had a dull ache at the base of my skull. This ‘heaviness’ was accompanied with a tight sensation which by 1.00pm had become similar to an external or muscular tension throughout the back of my neck and lower head.
By 1.25, nearly a half hour afterwards (and two hours since the onset) the feeling was not unlike a hangover with a tight ‘banding’ sensation across my forehead which became a cold sensation on the crown of my head. This persisted until about 3.00pm by which time it had receded to be merely a stiff neck and a ‘distant’ sensation - similar to having just awoken.
Usually, this is about all that happens but today something new emerged. By 5.00pm I was having another onset, which has never happened before. This time it began evolving in the left side of my vision. The ‘Stargate’ lights moved larger and larger, once again lasting about forty minutes but this time; rather than observe I resorted to taking two paracetamol (which stemmed the heavy feeling but not the muscular ache).
I have tried to replicate the visual effect in the following animation but it doesn’t come close to visualising the intensity of brightness of the white areas nor the colour. Similarly, it is almost impossible to recreate the movement (which seems to pulse at about four or five cycles per second). Not only that but every colour appears to shimmer and be in a constant state of rapid and jagged movement.
When looking at this image, imagine it to be your computer desktop and do NOT look at the moving colours. To get the effect, try to be aware of them as you concentrate on the Tellytubby at the centre of the image.
At half past twelve today, 24th September (just two days later), I had another onset. This time the lights spread out from the very centre of my vision and lasted for about half an hour and was not followed by headache. This is the first time I have had a recurrence so quickly after a previous one. Also noteworthy, on both occasions I had drunk between four and five very strong cups of coffee just prior to the incident.