I was aware that procedures involving a trans-septal puncture sometimes result in patients getting a migraine aura; as an occasional migraine sufferer, I was prepared for this. During my lie flat recovery period I noticed that I was getting a dull area of vision in the centre of my field of view and if I looked at a bright part of the ceiling, just off centre, I could see wavy lines that looked a little like floating cells. I assumed that this must have been the aura phenomenon people talk about.
My migraine auras look nothing like this. For me a migraine starts with a blind spot in the dead centre of my vision. A few minutes afterwards the sight there returns and I get a visual disturbance just to the right and below centre. I know that if I take a couple of paracetamol before this appears I can avoid the migraine.
My migraine aura is difficult to describe, but it is a little like a jagged teardrop on its side, filled with little square boxes. Each box is filled with lines, some vertical and some horizontal, like a TV test card. The lines are alternately very black and dazzling white but sometimes give an impression of being blue or red. Each line flashes, with the black and white changing places a couple of times a second.
I had dozed throughout the day on the effects of General anaesthetic, but had had a deep sleep between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. At 2:00 a.m. I was awake and suddenly noticed a vision disturbance; there was a tiny black cross in the centre of my field of vision. After a short while, this had disappeared and was replaced by something similar to my migraine aura. It was the same as far as the flashing boxes of lines were concerned, but instead of the small teardrop there were two long lines spreading from the bottom right hand corner of my vision going two thirds of the way across and up my field of view. This lasted two hours before going back to normal; it didn’t result in a migraine headache.
I was fine with this as I had read about it and knew roughly what to expect, but I imagine it could be terrifying to someone unaware of it.