Blurred

This week, I thought my studying brought on some weird hypochondriasis.

I was being the cool cat that I am studying neuroanatomy and neurology stuff and feeling like I am finally starting to make some progress in my figuring out where certain presentations originate in the central nervous system, when this image of the brain seemed out of focus.

So did some of the side margin boxes.  And the next picture of a brain.

I stared at it confused.

Then I looked around the room.

I have complex migraines, that can  include a slight diplopia (double vision) and other symptoms (unilateral facial paresthesias, scotoma) so getting a slight amount of altered vision from time to time isn’t the most crazy thing to happen.  The issue is that it didn’t feel like my usual aura and when I looked up, the vision change went away.

I looked back down and it was still weird looking.

It isn’t like I was studying for a long time (this particular episode… If you factor in my million years of schooling, then it is obvious I have ben studying for a long time).

Then, it hit me.

I was having a stroke.

No.  That was definitely not it, although strangely enough that was the topic of this particular chapter – cerebral bloodflow and stroke presentations.

There was some sort of printing error in my book.  As a result, a few images were blurred.  Not enough to make them useless, but enough to make the reader crazy.

This doesn't quite give justice to the blurred sensation the pictures give when looking at them in person.  From "Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

This doesn’t quite give justice to the blurred sensation the pictures give when looking at them in person.
From “Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

I showed Patrick to confirm and he has the same confused reaction.

From "Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

From “Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

It makes me wonder how people can exist with the changes in function due to a stroke and not report to medical attention.  I mean, if you can’t see right, something must be wrong?

My mind has been blown on this service by the number of people with acute stroke who chill at home waiting for things to get better. Even when it isn’t their first stroke.  Time=brain, people!

And yet, I get it.  Because in this case, there was something else to blame.  We look for that something.  Anything that is less scary even if, at times, it is less plausible.  We hope the problem just goes away.  Sometimes we make it worse when we wait on things like that.

The scary part is that I used this same textbook to study neuro in med school and I only very vaguely remember this problem.  I think I realized the pages were blurry because of printing, but it isn’t a clear memory.

The highlights are proof that I did read these pages before.  Again, the picture takes away from the blurriness that is experienced in person. From "Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

The highlights are proof that I did read these pages before. Again, the picture takes away from the blurriness that is experienced in person.
From “Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases by Blumenfeld (2002).

In retrospect, that was before my migraines were controlled, so it wasn’t unusual for me to have an aura in which I couldn’t see proprerly, so maybe I just chaulked it up to my weird brain.  Or maybe I blamed it on too much reading.  Or maybe I just wasn’t paying that much attention (although the highlighting on the page tells me otherwise).

Clearly, I need to learn my own lesson and pay attention both to my body and my books.

This also brings to mind a song that was popular this summer that I quite disliked, except for this version by Jimmy Fallon and The Roots…

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4 thoughts on “Blurred

  1. I just love Jimmy Fallon’s rendition of anything! Oh it’s not crazy to want to wait something out. I thought I was having a heart attach this past summer. I told my husband to check on me in the morning to see if I was still alive. Turned out to be indigestion but no one wants to go to the ER!

    • It makes many things better.
      Wow. I’m glad it was just indigestion. I get why you want to wait it out. I hate the ER too, but that still makes me nervous. My Grandfather was famed for pulling the make sure I’m alive after my nap or in the morning thing. Made the rest of us crazy.

  2. When I first started reading this, I thought you were going to say that the author intentionally made it blurry so as the reader could see what it was like to have a stroke! LOL!

    • That sounds like a great idea. Maybe that is why they sent the books out despite the printing error. I messaged one of my friends from med school and her book had the same flaw in it, so it clearly was a bad batch.

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