Friday, April 29, 2011

A Startling Conclusion.

So I've had the occasional migraine since I was a teenager. Over time, I've had them with lessening frequency and severity, but damn if they can't still knock me on my ass for a day or so. In the last 6 months, they've suddenly changed to these lovely things that are called, I'm told, ocular migraines. Significantly less pain (THANK GOD), but with the addition of visual hallucinations. Imagine having a wandering blind spot and a strand or two of multi-colored Christmas lights across your field of vision, and you're pretty close to what I see for anywhere from an hour to the better part of a day. I've identified and removed some of the triggers, but they still happen. Good times, right? I mean, what better way to kill a day of productivity?
(Thank you, Chris, for sending me that pic; artist credit is on the pic)

Also, for whatever reason, they keep happening while I'm in restaurants. Four times now, at four separate establishments, I've been sitting at a table, reading a menu and drinking my soda or complimentary ice water, and started getting the wandering blind spot and Christmas lights. Weird, right? Remember this little tidbit as you read the rest of this.

The reason I bring this up now is I had one last night. I'm still "hungover" from it, but it really wasn't that bad, all things considered. Once my eyes can focus properly, I'll get back to work. In the meantime, it got me thinking.

No, really. It got me thinking. There isn't much I can do during these things except lie down in the dark. With ocular migraines, since they don't hurt as much as what I used to get (though believe me, they hurt), I can still think. Fairly clearly, actually. I just can't see. And when my mind wanders, it always wanders right into my stories. For whatever reason, though, when it wanders through the migraine haze, it never ends up in the story I'm currently working on. Usually it's one that I've set aside, or have loosely outlined, or just had tucked in the back of my mind as a "Hmm, this could be interesting, but I'll get to it later" idea. Later is, evidently, now.

The last three times I've been down for the count with one of these eyeball-melting things, I've not only thought about my waiting-in-the-wings stories, I've managed to untangle plot problems that were keeping me from outlining, writing, or finishing them in the first place. Last night? I figured out how to set up and wrap up the third books in two separate series. Three nights ago, when I had another migraine, I worked out how to tie together a couple of subplots in a semi-trunked book and connected a few loose ends in a not-quite-outlined story.

So. To recap.

I keep getting migraines in restaurants.

During these migraines, I sort out plot problems that have been giving me grief.

This leads me to one conclusion.

It's obvious, really. Don't know how I didn't think of it before.

Clearly... muse is poisoning me.


  1. O.O

    I get regular old migraines, but a shot and a short nap usually takes care of them. So far!

  2. Also, I think I'd be afraid of restaurants by now if I was you!

  3. You might try to see if your episodes are in any way connected to tech consumption (computers, tv, etc.) I got terrible headaches with blind spots about an hour after my math class and they had. It turned out it had something to do with the settings the teacher used on the projector. In any event start chart when the migraines happens, how long they occur, and you might track down the source.

  4. Bummers. While early in his Army career, my husband experienced something he called "floaters." When he made mention of it during an eye exam and how it interfered with his studies (he was taking a microbiology class) the doctor just dismissed it and sent him on his way. Well, it took a couple of years to evolve but he went through a phase of pretty hellacious migraines years later. I think the two things are definitely related. He got on triptans and that helped but wiped him out. Then abruptly, they stopped. We don't really know why.
    Creativity experts describe something called being in the flow. Atheletes call it being in the zone. Maybe when you have your migraines, the byproduct is this clear-mindedness that has helped you map out plot problems. Sort of a concilliatory, "Sorry about that, here's a piece of candy." kind of thing. Curious.
    As for the restaurants, I'm baffled. Odd coincidence? Type of food? Husband never did figure out what triggered them, aside from general fatigue. Which the migraines also caused. Go figure.
    P.S. Sorry for the rambling post. :)