Posted by: zhak39 | May 1, 2009

I Told You So

Believe it or not, this is a phrase that I actually like to hear.

I am fully in that stage of life that Mark Twain described so aptly (though with equal rights you may change father to mother)–

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in 7 years.

The kids range in age from 14 to almost 18.  It is a little different for us because they still think that I know something or other and they only question my processing abilities when it’s convenient for them.  Still, I love to have them question me.  It means that they are giving credit to themselves as thinkers.  It means that they are motivated to make decisions that effect their activities and lives.  It’s a form of taking responsibility.

I spent a lot of time laying the groundwork so that they could make informed decisions.  Several years ago I recognized that they were being bombarded with information.  They did not need to learn how to find resources.  They needed to learn how to discern the difference between credible information and hooey.  They needed to develop their bullshit detectors.  This process has been challenging and interesting, amusing and sometimes frustrating.

The other night Helen came to me and described a phenomenon she was experiencing.  She was slowly losing the peripheral vision in her left eye.  She saw a dot and a sguiggly line.  She watched sparkles and her sight grew dim.  I held up a book.  Looking straight on she could see the right margin but not the left.  She saw colors.  She said that this had happened twice before in the last year and it lasted about 20 minutes.  I told her that I used to have something similar when I was pregnant but my lightshow was all black and silver.  I told her we needed to see a doctor.

Helen was not keen.  I made an appointment for a couple days later.  When I picked her up from school she said it was a waste of time and money.  I countered that we were just ruling out the really bad stuff, a tumor on the optic nerve, a torn retina.  It was worth the money and time.  It was not a big deal.

Helen said, “it’s an acelphagic migraine.  Nothing to get up over.”

“We’ll see.”

The opthalmologist is a nice man, the husband of one of my former colleagues.  He tested her vision, measured this, looked at that.  He didn’t once stick a needle in her eye to draw out aqueous humor.  He asked her some questions, she answered simply and directly.

“Her eye structure is perfect.  She’s having acelphagic migraines,” he told us.

Helen waited until we were outside to say it.

So you know, acelphagic migraines are also called silent migraines.  They are migraines without the headache part.  She has no nausea or dizziness.  Every once in a while she gets to enjoy a sparkly light show and then it goes away.  If you have to have migraines I highly recommend this particular kind.

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