So Much for that Plan

There was a tractor cade going through our town on Monday. That’s where some tractor enthusiasts get together and drive their tractors from small town to small town. YES, I know it’s a little hokey. But I do live in the Midwest and the Midwest is filled with retired farmers or sons of farmers who collect and enjoy showing off their restored tractors.

Well, my daughters were all going to have their kids come to my house. We were all going to go to my son Karl’s house, four houses away, and sit on his lawn and watch the tractors as they drove through town. Karl’s house was on the route, that’s why the plan was to sit on his lawn.

I expected to write a lovely blog post filled with happy pictures of the grandkids waving to the tractors as they passed. Pictures like these…

But these pictures aren’t mine. I got them from the town’s Facebook page. I ended up doing something entirely different on Monday. Let me explain.

I had company from Friday morning until Sunday morning. Kayla and Jasper had left. I sat down to write some blog posts. I was way behind and tried to get some written before I headed out to the neighboring town to watch my grandson Carver’s ball game.

It was about a half hour before I was to leave. I was at the computer and my left eye did this funky thing. In my peripheral vision, there were flashing colors like a disco ball and then they all were pixelated. It didn’t go away right away. I even thought for a second that maybe I shouldn’t drive…but after five minutes I was normal.

I went to the game and told my nurse daughter Kalissa about the incident with my eye. Well, that was the end of anything I had planned. She wanted me to go to the ER and get it checked out. Apparently, weird eye things like that can be a precursor to a stroke….and of course, I’m a prime candidate for a stroke.
-overweight
-diabetic
-cholesterol issues
-blood pressure issues
-family history

I told her I didn’t think I needed to go. She said she would compromise. I would need to message my doctor.

We did.

Monday morning the grandkids and my adult kids started coming for the tractor cade. We had company stop by. Things were a normal hum of hectic but nothing terrible. I was busy making cinnamon rolls and cookies…Gannon was being my helper.


Company came and while they were at my house, I had another episode. UGH.

My doctor’s nurse called. My doctor was out but the other doctor who was in was looking at my case. She wanted me to go see my eye doctor and if they had no explanation for it, I was to go see the doctor in the afternoon. We had to leave all the kids with Kayla as the nurse told me no driving until we know if this was something. So Kelli drove me. Kayla stayed with the kids. UGH.

The eye doctor determined that my eyes were all good. No issues. If nothing else was found with the doctor, this might be classified as an optic migraine. I didn’t understand that as there was zero pain.

The doctor did some basic tests. Everything checked out okay. She decided to have a head CT done the next day.

Kelli took me home and we told Kalissa what happened at the doctor’s. Kalissa wanted an ultrasound done on my carotid artery. I was compliant and told her if you want it, you can call the doctor. She did. So Tuesday we added another appointment to the list.

Monday evening Kelli, Kayla, and I sat around and stitched while the kiddos played.


Tuesday Kalissa drove me to all of my appointments.

Everything turned out okay.

I have no idea what it was. It wasn’t painful. I was just weird. I’ve not had another incident since Monday morning. We are going with optic migraine for now…

I wasn’t going to even write about this but I know many of you reading are my age and older. I know many of you are also at risk for a stroke. I wanted to make sure you were aware that a weird eye thing can be a precursor to a stroke. The doctor took me totally seriously and wanted testing to see if I could be in danger. Luckily I wasn’t.

If something like this should happen to you, please take it seriously as well.

Just as I was wrapping up writing this, Kayla sent some pictures to me. Apparently, she took pictures of the grandkids when she took them to see the tractor cade. The neighbors were so nice and helped wrangle the kiddos. She had all seven of them there by herself. A HUGE shout out to great hometown neighbors!! I HUGE shout out to Kayla as well.

My Monday and Tuesday were nothing as I expected…but in the end, it was all good news and I’m so thankful for family who cares for me and doctors who are on top of things.



31 thoughts on “So Much for that Plan”

  1. I had the same thing happen to me and I was also told optic migraine. It was like I could see the northern lights and it didn’t matter if my eye was open or closed i could still see it. I had no pain. It was so strange. Hasn’t happened since.

  2. Jo, I also have the weird eye aura with no pain. I have been told it sometime comes before a migraine, but I never get the migraine. It usually lasts about 20 minutes and goes away with no problems. Just wanted to let you know
    it might be that. Glad it didn’t cause any other problems.

  3. Jo The optic changes are considered a symptom of an optic migraine My doctor called it a silent migraine . Kayla was absolutely right, it’s not great to self diagnose and the carotid ultrasound was also an excellent idea. Strokes are time sensitive and the quicker a person receives treatment the better. Better outcomes happen if people are treated within the first 45 minutes. My description to my mom was that she was bargaining with God if she didn go to be seen in the ER.. Yes. I’m a nurse too! I know you’ve got incredible faith but remember that God also helps those who help themselves. I apologize for being preachy! Please take good care of yourself. We always want the best for you. Cheryl

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    The things that can be told about us via our eyes is amazing! I get vibrating strings of light in my vision as an aura of a migraine…be glad you don’t get the pain! My mom got black spots in her field of vision which was her retina detaching…she ended up blind in that eye after 4 unsuccessful surgeries. BTW, your final post on Come to the Garden is coming up as code…love that piece and really want to see it!

  5. My husband and I both get the optic migraines. I never have pain with mine, but he always does. Strange…
    But, my dad did have a stroke that affected his vision. He lost all peripheral vision in both eyes. It was a strange thing…he had a chiropractic adjustment that morning, and a blood clot came loose from some damage that had been done to his neck years ago. It went away, but he no longer has manual adjustments to his neck, and he has been on aspirin since. Our bodies are so bizarre sometimes. Glad yours was just the pain free migraine.

  6. Glad the eye thing turned out okay for you, Jo. What lovely neighbours you have, helping Kayla with the children.

  7. I have optic migraines without the actual migraine, so do 2 of my daughters. Ours doesn’t affect the peripheral vision, it covers the whole field of vision. It is a very disturbing feeling for sure.

  8. My first optic migraine came right after I had my son. I thought I was going blind. I was so scared my husband at the time had to come home from work as I could not see the baby. My doctor explained it was brought on by stress and lack of sleep. With a newborn that is totally reasonable. If I look at a glare of light sometimes they start. I take an Advil right away and it’s gone within a few minutes. If I don’t take a pill, they can last for 20 or more. Glad you had it checked out. Hopefully you won’t have them often.

  9. I have had ocular migraines popping off at times- no clear prediction. I fear if it happens when I am driving because the vision is so impaired. It zigzags and covers over as a big C shape. I do get the headache afterwards- severe. It is very disconcerting. However, I want to warn your readers- if something like this happens- immediately seek help. I have known people and family that lost vision due to a retina detachment because it was not caught in enough time to reattach.

  10. I also have optic migraines with no pain or nausea. The first one sent me flying to the ophthalmologist, since I thought it might be a detached retina. (It wasn’t.)
    Wiggles turn into checkerboards, which turn into pinwheels, which start to spin, and soon I can’t see through them. OTC migraine meds work, but I only have about five minutes from onset to not being able to function. I go NOWHERE without a couple of those pills. It’s not scary now that I know what’s happening, but I do need to pay attention.
    If they continue, you might want to discuss meds with your doctor. Mine said the OTC ones work for most people, but please don’t self-medicate! Anybody!

  11. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Wow! Scary stuff! So glad it turned out well. So glad your daughters were there to give you such good advice, and push you to take that advice! Eager to see the post about Come to the Garden; I’m sure it will be resolved soon. I don’t get posts from you in a timely manner. It used to be two a day like clockwork. This morning I got 4 from the last few days. Technology is great, except when it isn’t, then it’s frustrating! So glad your optic migraine was just a blip in your day!

  12. I also get optical migraines besides regular migraines. Both are horrid! The former can last for several hours just to let you know.

  13. Sorry you missed the tractor cade, but such good news about your eye. I had never heard of such but from reading the readers’ posts it sounds like something that is more common than not. How fun for the kiddos to get to watch the tractors. Our village had so many tractors in our Memorial Day parade that I said it should be called the tractor parade and I liked seeing them.

  14. I have had that happen before and ended up with a migraine. I have a problem with my not only are they dry but am losing eye pigment so eyes are checked every 6 months. During a visit, the Dr found I have a tear in my retina if it doesn’t get any bigger then I will go only once a year instead of twice but will continue with my regular eye Dr twice a year.I have had cataract and lasik surgery which effected my eyesight terribly. I would never had lasik if I had known the side effects but just regular cataract and continue to wear glasses. Hope your eye problems are just a fluke and nothing more serious.

  15. I know what you went through was scary! I had my first ocular migraine many years ago and went right away to my eye doctor. He explained that they really didn’t know what caused them and I might have them again or I might never have another one. I have one occasionally; they are weird and last about 20 minutes but I rest and close my eyes. Luckily I don’t get a migraine headache. I think stress or bright lights can bring them on. Our eyes are so very important to what we do so we must take care of them! Glad you got checked out: better safe than sorry!

  16. Chiming into say that I have these silent migraines also…doesn’t last long at all and no pain…just a vibrating aura and blurry vision…maybe a minute or two. Glad you’re okay, Jo!

  17. Donette Kurtz

    It can be a retina issues. I had happen a few years ago. If a curtain falls down your eye go to the doctor asap. You could loose vision if your retina rips. Mine thank goodness healed itself. It’s fun getting old.

  18. Jo, I get ocular migraines also. I have dry eyes due to auto immune issues and mine seem to occur when I am stressed and forget to use my eye drops as often as needed. With allergies so bad this year, I had more of them. And the first one was very frightening! Regular check ups every year very important too. Wishing you well!

  19. The flashing lights sounded like my experience, twice, with tears in the retina. An immediate and thorough eye exam diagnosed it, and followed by laser treatment to “tack” the test in place and stabilize the area . Time was important to the success of the treatment. Readers, don’t self diagnose! Jo, thank you for sharing your experience! And glad it turned out well.

  20. Wow, it sounds rather scary, so glad that you got it checked out. I learn a lot reading this blog and I know that finding nothing is the best news of all. Love tractor parades and all the implements one sees in a small farming town parade. So glad the grandkids got to go, and everything went well.

  21. Jo,
    I had been having some vision issues in my eyes but chalked it up to working in a dusty environment. Then one day, my eyes changed like I had a new RX and was stepping different since I couldn’t see the ground the same. After several different doctor visits, it was determined that I did indeed have a mini stroke in the top of my brain on the right side. By the time we figured it out, I was back to normal. But as others have said, get to the doctor or ER asap if you have vision problems. My outcome could have been a whole lot worse. Take care.

  22. Shirley from Calmar

    Always get those things checked. Better feel awkward for not having issues, than to have permanent damage or worse. I have had the torn retina with similar symptoms. More importantly I have had the auras followed by the severe migraines. But 4 years ago I had a similar experience but of a a little different. I became speechless and numb on one side. Of course it was a stroke. Thanks to my daughters quick response. I have minimal left over damage. They do not know if migraines were the warning of impending or not. Some people with these symptoms eventually have strokes and some don’t. The body is a strange creature. If I am worried, I always start with the “FAST” test. The weird thing, since my stroke and being put on aspirin, I have had no more migraines. Side note, my dogs were extremely clingy and would not leave my side when I had my stroke. I had just told my daughter that about 10 minutes before my stroke. Glad you took the advice of your daughter.

  23. I’m honestly surprised to hear how many of us get the migraine with aura. I never did until recent stressors. They are strange for sure. And a signal from my body to RELAX! Like that happens hahaha! Blessings everyone.

  24. Years ago I had flashing light in the peripheral vision in my left eye. It was diagnosed as a visual migraine. I had no headache. I had another mild one about two weeks later and it has never happened again. That was 30 years ago.

  25. And with all that going on, my auction item was still received in the mail on Thursday! Thank You, it’s adorable and I thing GD will love it.

    I’ve had those eye migraines, they are quite disconcerting the first couple of times. Mine take the form of black and white zig zags (look up dazzle camouflage on ships) that slowly spread, no pain. Sometimes it takes over most of my vision in one eye, sometimes a small area is affected then it disappears. Luckily they’ve never happened while driving yet. I’m not sure I’d want to drive while one was going on, between the distraction and vision interference.

  26. I, too, have had those optic migraines. They can be frightening the first time but they get to be routine. I had my first one while driving my 3 year old granddaughter and it scared the bejeeses out of me. Now I know to try to relax when I have them and they go away, leaving only a mild headache and fatigue. I hope you never have one again but if you do, that it’s a mild one.

  27. I’ve had these migraines for decades. I always called then eye prism migraines. I saw an ophthalmologist and he said they were harmless. I rarely have any discomfort except for an achy eye and I can’t see well enough to work or sew or read. They last 10 to 60 minutes. For me they seem to come in clusters, several in a day or week and then none for a few weeks. I’m glad your daughter’s take such good care of you.

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