First of all, thank you so much to all of the people who gave me advice when I lost my peripheral vision on Friday night (and posted about it Saturday morning). I kind of thought everyone would be like "pffshh you're making a big deal about nothing" and the result was the OPPOSITE, and I'm glad, because it got me in the ER when I probably wouldn't have gone. I went to the optometrist, and like everyone in the comments said, he was not a doctor, so he was basically like "well, you don't need glasses! You should see a doctor." So I went.
Like a lot of you suspected, the person in the ER said it was a migraine of some kind - an atypical one because I didn't have much of a headache, and also atypical because it should have only lasted 30 minutes and I was having lingering effects 16 hours later, but she gave me some migraine meds and sent me home. Told me not to read or watch TV. It was difficult. For people who get ocular migraines or migraines with aura, do they last a long time for you? Is there anything you do to shorten them or make them worse? I have an appointment with my family doc coming up to talk about seeing an ophthalmologist (again off your recommendations!).
I think that helped me realize how incredibly stressed I've been. I couldn't really handle not doing anything. I slept a lot Saturday night. Sunday things got somewhat back to normal, although I still had to avoid TV and reading.
Sunday night while I was sleeping, I scratched the shit out of my scalp, and it still hurts. Monday morning around 6am I woke up in a panic about this wedding present that I wanted to make for my friend, who's getting married in a month. I started thinking that she wouldn't love me if I didn't get it right (wtf?). I worried about the cost. I got up and went to my computer to Google cost and DIYing and try to find coupons. I stressed about how much time it would take. I started crying. Hysterically. I woke up my boyfriend and he calmed me down. Then I started worrying about Christmas cards. And what will happen when I get married (I am nowhere near engaged). And how behind I am on school. I eventually took a lorazepam from a Rx I got for a panic attack two years ago. Eventually I slept, but my whole day yesterday was like this - I was on the verge of tears, and spiraling whenever I thought of all the work I have to do. I emailed my friend to expect a lame present from me because I just can't handle what I had planned, and she was MORTIFIED that I was so stressed about her present, and obviously doesn't care what she gets. I cried again in the freaking library when I got her kind message telling me to take care of myself. I tried to do some of my work, and my vision started to kind of splinter into these bright lines, and I gave up and wrote this semi-dramatic (woops) email to my committee saying "here is my 8 page draft (of a 25 page paper), I can't work on this any more right now by vision is going". And then I cried some more, still in the library.
Through all of this, my grandmother posted something nice on my Facebook status. She is this warm and fuzzy love hippie kind of woman. She lives in a small... place... commune? idk... in Colorado. My sister is going to visit her in two weeks. I spontaneously decided to go with her. My grandmother is amazing. Her commune is in the middle of nature. They have meditation walks and no cell service and talk about being one with the Earth. I think this will be really good for me.
Now I'm stressing about the details. I can afford to be gone for that time span - it works perfectly with my schedule, actually - and I can pay for it on my credit card, which will get more than covered with scholarship money I'll receive in a month. So, while it's expensive, in 3 weeks I could afford this without blinking, so paying for it on credit and paying it off in October shouldn't be a big deal. But as you may know if you got through all of this, my stress doesn't make sense. So I'm worried about the details, I'm worried this is a stupid thing to spend money on, I'm worried that I am not making a good decision. I'm worried that my self care isn't worth the cost (even though I really will be able to afford it come October 3rd). Bah.
Wow, sorry, that was really long! If you made it this far (or skipped to the end, no shame!) do you have any thoughts or advice? Reflections on your own experiences with self care and stress? Advice for a migraine newbie? I still don't feel normal - if I focus for a long time my head hurts and the world loses focus, and it's been days now. Gah!
For your patience and wonderfulness, here is a reward: a tip on ER triage from my ER nurse friend!
Tl;dr: If you bring McDonald's into an ER waiting room, you won't be seen as quickly!
ETA: I have made an appointment with a campus counsellor to talk about what happened this weekend (and less extremely, over the past weeks and months) - I didn't really think of it as anxiety, but now I will make sure we talk about that. Thank you!