Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things to do while you are temporarily blind.

This picture will make sense if you
continue reading.
This afternoon, as my field of vision was slowly consumed by a migraine-induced growing blind spot, ringed by kaleidoscopic rays, I got bored.

Sure, the first 15 times or so, it was interesting. Well, after it stopped being scary, that is.

For a while, I would close my eyes and "watch" the light show. Often the aura was not even followed by a headache, so it really was nothing more than a 20-minute visual interlude.

However, they have become so frequent - every five to 15 days - that I've simply lost patience with them. Also the other effects (nausea, headache, stupidity) are becoming increasingly troublesome. And they are inconveniently boring.

I would imagine that people with progressive permanent blindness have ways of coping with the impairment. And I can't imagine the mental anguish that comes with permanently losing your sight.

For the few of us who experience temporary or recurrent episodes of blindness, as I do with migraines, it presents a slightly different challenge.

So, today I consulted a few of my fellow temporary-blindness sufferers and asked them what were their "go-to tactics" for (1) relieving boredom and (2) calming anxiety when afflicted. Here are their tidbits, along with my own.

Relieving boredom: 
  • Listen to music. (satellite radio or iPod/MP3)
  • Snuggle with pets or loved ones.
  • Daydream! (Something we rarely get to do!)
  • Listen to audio fiction, if you want to rest your brain.
  • Listen to audio non-fiction if you want to exercise your brain. "I miss the exchange of ideas that happens when you're young and in college. And when I read now, I tend to want a break from seriousness, but the few times I listen to "Ideas" on CBC Radio 1 I find myself remembering what it was like to learn new things!"
  • Eat. (Coincidentally, I had just picked up some soup and fresh fruit for lunch; easy enough to eat without a full field of vision). Possibly not the best tactic for me to use every time my brain hiccups.
  • Sleep - if you can and are in the right place.
  • Get a facial, massage, manicure or pedicure - if you have the time, and if you don't have to drive. (I seriously considered this today, but had just gotten my nails done on the weekend. And I don't like massages.)
Calming anxiety:
  • Sing. "I sing "my favorite things" from The Sound of Music to myself."
  • Snuggle with pets or loved ones
  • Take a bath
  • Sleep
  • Talk with someone
  • Get a massage, if you're into that.
There must be other ideas we've missed . . .  Share your ideas.


  1. What about meditate or practice mindfulness? I have a deep relaxation CD that takes about 20 min. Or do a few gentle yoga poses? Those are relaxing and stress relieving and things we too often "don't have [make] time for" but really should.

  2. Great suggestions! (The notification about your comment got stuck in my spam folder.)


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