My Ocular Migraine I

Let’s start off with this statement…I never get headaches. Never.  Never. So for the last 2 years I have had this achiness around my left eyeball.  It wasn’t sharp stabbing pain.  Visual disruption is not associated.  Nothing to worry about.  I started noticing it after a conference in Ariozona.  I decided to drive the 6 hrs.  I don’t know why I did the driving but nevertheless, I thought it would be okay. 

The day of the conference, I was getting out of the car, leaned in, reached and grabbed my bag of books.  The load was unexpected and I felt a tweak in my neck.  During the conference, as I was paired up with wonderful doctors who have years of clinical experience, I was not quite right.  I had so much respect for these doctors but they were able to do only little with the weird pains and sensations I was dealing with.  I have to say, they were severely handicapped by the situation.  I and my strains are new to each, and I can not expect  them to figure me out completely within 10minutes.

Last year, I was in my last trimester with my second baby and I did a bad thing.  I was in a “nesting” frenzy and I got up on a ladder and yanked down old crown molding.  That wasn’t so bad so I squatted and yanked out old baseboards.  That really did something bad and the next day, boy did I feel it.  My back did not feel right but that L eyeball achiness popped up again.  I went to a friend to get treatment and he was oh so close.  I thought I might sleep like a baby tonight…Nope…I had a mini eyeball headache that night and the following night everything settled down.

Four months later, I go to another conference and I met a 5yrs new doctor.  He was an engineer in his prior career.  Then at the age of 50yrs, he quit and went to DO school.  Didn’t want to be an MD.  Quit just to do this hands on osteopathic stuff.  He was amazing.  He checked my head and felt this vector from my R head zing straight over to the L area around my eyeball!  Man, this was the only doctor who got that close to my eyeball headache.

So this thing kept going on and off for two whole years.  One day, I am driving and the eyeball is soooo…achy.  While driving I decide to try and exercise the muscles of the eye.  They felt so weak but doing the exercises did not make much of a difference.  I seriously thought to myself, “Self, should I go and get my eyes checked?  This is my good eye.  I should not ignore this.  It has been going on too long.  I thought who am I going to go to see?  My ophthomologist friend wouldn’t know, because this was extrinsic to the eye, and the tissues around the eye.  Should I go see an optometrist that I know who does vision therapy (exercises for the muscles of the eyes)?  Or should I go to my DO friend?

[ADDENDUM (7/29/11):  since this post, there have been others search ocular migraines while driving.  it suddenly occured to me that the “migraines” flare up mostly when the eyes are active, searching and focusing; what does this imply?  very simply that an “ocular migraine” is soft tissue and muscular strain of the eye.]

I did none of these things and continued to intermittently suffer with my weird “ocular migraine.”  Then one morning an epiphany happened and I ended up treating myself.  My eyeball feels great now. No achiness.  I no longer have to worry about going to another doctor, ophthomologist, optometrist and not even another DO.  I am now completely free!  My ocular migraine, it turns out, is/was a pure mechanical strain.  Here is how I figured it out…

One evening, Regan, my baby was cranky and fussy.  I decided to take her into bed with us and nurse her the whole night.  She has been teething lately and I missed us sleeping together.  Big mistake.  She flopped around and was very restless.  I was afraid that if I moved, I would wake her up.  So I layed on my right side the whole night.  The next morning I was stiff.  It was not healthy…I will finish with my cure for my ocular migraine in a future post…read on…

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