Known Johnson

June 2, 2006

Aura 5/30

Filed under: General — Tom @ 1:39 pm

I awoke a couple nights back with this filling my head:


It’s hard to describe the confusion when you “see” something so vivid and strange even when your eyes are closed, in the middle of the night. I wasn’t so much scared as amazed – it’s really quite beautiful in way, and I knew this had to be some new migraine aura that I’ve never encountered before, and I can only attribute it to starting (the drug I take for my migraines which begins in “Top” and ends in “amax,” written this way because of damn bots spamming my comments) two weeks ago. It must have shifted from the typical scintillating kind of visual migraine symptoms I’ve shown you before. There was no pain – it was just brilliant colors and shapes filling my field of vision. The spiral shapes you see above were undulating, fading in and out a bit, almost as if the whole thing was underwater. I didn’t let myself contemplate this too long – I knew I only had a small window in which to take my abortive medicine (the drug that starts with “Max” and ends with “alt,” written this way to fend off bots that want to spam my comments) so I had to act quickly.

I grabbed my first-ever dose, tore open the aluminum pouch to find a smaller blister pack inside, pulled the tab off the back, and then attempted to pop the pill into my mouth. When it wouldn’t “pop,” I tried pushing it out via the clear plastic blister, but the pill only fractured as it bulged upward. I quickly shoved what I could of the 1/4″ pill into my mouth, but found a significant amount remained in the bottom of the package. I grew frantic as I attempted to get the very tip of my tongue into the bottom of the very small blister – I could feel the (drug that starts with “Max” and ends with “alt,” again) tablet had quickly turned to a thin, foamy liquid on the back of my tongue and ran down my throat. Moments later enough saliva had apparently collected in the blister to loosen the remaining pill portion for it to break free and it too liquified in seconds.

I returned to bed not knowing what to expect – the doctor said it would be fast-acting, but not what it would actually do. I laid there and waited, and within just a few minutes things got shaky. The spirals began to lose their solidity and their colors began to fade. Another few minutes and there seemed to be a shape spinning in the center of my vision, darker than everything around it, but occasionally glinting in spots. Quickly it expanded to a diamond shape that took up about half my vision and then . . . disappeared. I looked around, I closed my eyes . . . nothing. I looked at the clock and about 15 minutes total had passed. Every sign that I was getting a migraine was gone and I was left feeling like absolutely nothing had happened. And then I went to sleep, waking in the morning refreshed and feeling good.

For those wondering about the image, that was created over two days in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I tried to remain as true to what I “saw” as possible, not edit it to make it more artistically appealing. I may end up doing just that at some point, because I’m pretty intrigued with the colors and shapes and how they play together.



  1. wow, this is kind of amazing. back when i had migraines (i stopped getting them a few years after turning 30…which i’m slowly conflating with when i got’s not actually true, but it is funny) i never had any of the aura effects. the only thing that happened to me was extreme light sensitiviy. i had to go into a darkened room and put a pillow over my head.

    or get a divorce! 😉

    Comment by Mark Saleski — June 4, 2006 @ 8:18 am | Reply

  2. Somehow I have a feeling Alissa might not like that solution (and it would probably give me a bunch of new headaches!)

    Comment by Tom — June 4, 2006 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  3. that’s some beautiful spirally
    my oh my
    powerful drugs 🙂

    Comment by danner — June 5, 2006 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  4. Nice illustration! Ive had my first aura 2 years ago and only had about 8 up to this day. I am very happy that I dont see them 10x a month as some people on here do…out of the 8 times Ive had them, it seems about5 of them came after running about 10 miles. Does exercise trigger them? Sometimes I dont run because I am too scared of it happening again


    Comment by Anthony R. — August 28, 2007 @ 12:42 am | Reply

  5. […] interesting geometric patterns twisting and turning against each other for a few minutes, which is occasionally an interesting thing. Last night it was literally math symbols – pluses, minuses, etc. Very […]

    Pingback by Stuff and nonsense — January 4, 2008 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

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