Photophobia: So that happens.

Photophobia was one of the ‘phobia vocab words in my social psychology class. Years later I ran into the word on a list of rare migraine symptoms. Again I just zoomed past it. I shouldn’t have.

I tried to find blogs of personal experiences of severe episodes like mine. I couldn’t find anyone who had shared. I am going to share what happened. Not my internal dialogue or anything too deep. That day still scares me.

Photophobia is an episode. The person suffers an irrational fear of light of varying degrees for a period of time. It is a, ER-worthy, sensitivity to light. The episode is connected to another medical issue. This is a medical condition. The psychological condition is heliophobia. Photophobia can lead to heliophobia. (My doctor,, webMD and other places)

An aura woke me up. I was seeing bright lights in my sleep. I woke up and the auras were still there. And so were the bits of light that get through the blackout curtains. It was a nightmare. I didn’t know I was screaming.

Have you ever hit a 10 on the pain scale and it not matter? Not a single bit? I did. I was too scared to care. I was terrified. Light is everywhere. Even in a room with no windows with the door shut and hallway light off and blocked out. Auras are bright.

Bright lights and loud noises (like screams) aren’t good for me. We talked to a nurse. Good to know it’s a medical emergency–which is not in the literature. Mom had to drag me to the car and then into the ER. A nice man saw her trouble and ran out with a wheelchair.

Screaming person gets in quickly but not treated quickly. I’m still a female migraine patient with all of the prejudices that go along with it. I was also a difficult patient. I was left in the bright hallway and mom threw a blanket over me. I didn’t want to come out. I had gone horse so they didn’t have to hear me scream. I do have to say that after I finally saw the doctor the nurse was literally right next to him to give me the medicine.

I know that the intense fear was caused by the pain because after the medicine kicked in I started to calm down. I wasn’t completely contented until the next morning when my pain level was back to normal.

The doctor seriously considered admitted me. He thought I should be observed overnight. I didn’t do so hot on his neurological tests. He thought it would be better if I was already in the hospital if the episode continued after the meds wore off. I used some bad logic. I don’t feel good so I want to go home. Mom and the doctor had a conversation and I got to go home.

On the way out I heard a woman yell at a nurse. The woman had arrived at the ER sometime before me and saw me be admitted right away. She asked why ‘that girl’ got to go right in. The nurse was short with her, we have to perform triage and the woman had an actual emergency. I realized two things. First, I was cuddling a large teddy bear. Second, there is a fine line between a migraine being dismissed and being an “actual emergency” in the ER. OOoo I also learned that

OOoo I also learned that injured cops and culprits are bumped to the top regardless the injury. I heard a nurse say I might have been treated faster if the cop and robber didn’t show.


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