gardens of light

Tuesday, was mumbling over a review of some art books I was writing when I noticed holes in my vision ... sounds weird, but that was the feeling. Parts of the screen were missing from my visual field, especially the left visual field. Wasn't much point in proceeding so I left the screen to look at a draft print out in the next room. Same deal, bits of words were missing, though if I scanned up or down or sideways, I could recover them. Had some shopping to do so that's what I did. Was feeling normal (apart from the visual glitch) until I stepped outside. It was a blue day, hot and dry, about 11 am. In that bright glare I could see a series of pale coloured zig-zags, red-yellow-orange-green-blue-indigo-violet, swarming in my left visual field. Kind of like what you see if you tilt a CD, bottom up, to the light. Things looked strange, with the other-worldly, hyper-real intensity that precedes a faint (I used to faint quite often when I was a child). In the Supermarket I saw Mark Mordue, a local writer, whom I've met once but never conversed with. Been meaning to bowl up and have a chat next time I see him, but I was feeling too strange. He was examining the fine print on some packet or other in aisle 5. I made the check-out and accomplished my purchases without alarming anyone, but still couldn't shake the pre-syncope feeling. Kept thinking of a word, scotoma. Did I have a scotoma? What is a scotoma? When I got back home, I took a couple of panadol and wondered if I should lie down for a bit. Didn't seem possible that I could drive a cab in this state but, half an hour or so later, I was back to normal. Later, during my shift, I noticed the intermittent pain I get in my left ear was back and realised I'd suffered another bout of the infection I picked up on Flores in late 2004. This was completely disabling at the time, for two or three days, and took another week or so before I recovered. I've had a couple of other, milder repeats since then, usually when I've been exhausted or run down; this, I guess, was a third, even milder and not accompanied by the main symptom on the other occasions, loss of balance. And, no, I don't think it was a scotoma. The visual effect, though not associated with pain, was more like the fortification illusion migraine sufferers get. Or the Garden of Light.

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