Pesky Auras

The Logical Heart Knows Best

I ventured out for groceries today and on the drive over I began to have the telltale visual disturbances called an aura. I’d already taken ibuprofen before I left because of the sinus congestion causing pain. I told myself, that it would go away by the time I got to the store, mind over matter. I deep breathed as the jagged-edged blurry spot in my visual field began to grow larger, like a strange amoeba in my eyes. I am legally blind in my left eye, so I get a bit panicky when my right eye is impaired by the aura.

As I drove the left half of the road appeared watery like it had been cut and pasted and superimposed, not quite lining up. I kept deep breathing and made it to the parking lot, donned my homemade mask, and strode inside. An employee offered me a freshly disinfected cart. My vision was still wonky. I was determined to get it done though.

Wearing the mask and having funky vision made for an unusual sensory experience. I didn’t notice there were taped arrows on the floor to show which direction we were supposed to be flowing until a man came barreling down an aisle like we were on a one-way street and I was going the wrong way. He was nice though and said, he hadn’t seen the arrows at first either, that’s when I looked down and saw what he meant. I said oh, I didn’t see them either, and thanks.

I had to squint and strain to make out the words on my shopping list. The mask sucking in and out as I mouth breathed, I felt like I was in a fog and faraway due to the sensory impairment. And people were not keeping their distance, it seems now that we’re wearing masks they feel protected. I couldn’t avoid them but tried my best.

There were even more vacant shelves than before. Less fresh vegetables, but they had more frozen veggies than last time so I could substitute. Managed to find most of the items. I was disciplined and did not buy candy or chips, but did get the new flavor of Oreos, tiramisu, heh.

I made it home and as I was unloading the bags from my trunk, my vision improved back to baseline. Whew. I don’t have to go out again until next week. Yay.

I debated if I wanted to try for a walk. I gauged the snow cover and it’d mostly melted so I figured we could maintain distance without trampling in the snow. I tried to talk myself out of it though because I felt yucky still. I tried to check in with my body, with my intuition to decide if I should rest or walk. Sometimes I push myself too hard and it gets me into trouble, the mind over matter thing becomes more like me shooting myself in the foot, lol. I’m not stubborn at all.

I went for it and was glad I did though I had a shorter walk than usual. I masked up again though most others did not have masks. The snowstorm was blowing in, the sky angry, haunted grey clouds and the wind whisking up so I had to angle my head to keep my cap from blowing off. The sun was still shining above the foothills about to be devoured by the snow clouds. My moist warm breath escaped the edges of the mask fogging up my shades intermittently.

I listened to Parable of the Sower, there were few people out, I was thankful. I made sure to try and stay out of jogger’s airstreams, read about how cootie particles can travel far that way, omg, I need to stop reading so much news, or not? Maybe it’s helping me be responsible by adjusting my behavior accordingly. It’s better to be overly cautious under these circumstances don’t you think?

I ate like an average human today, no noshing like a hobbit for a while, I am intending to make it so. I wish I had something valuable to impart, but I’m meh and uninspired. What did I learn today? I learned that I’m stronger than I think. I didn’t let my physical glitches stop me from living my life. I adapted and carried on, kept my cool, made healthy choices like eating reasonably, and went for a walk. I also managed to do some course work, reading, cooking, and chores. I didn’t push myself into overexertion because I listened to my body, I compromised to strike a balance.

There are some unanticipated constraints and limitations we encounter where it’s important to be flexible, reasonable, and adaptable. I didn’t get overly concerned, frustrated, or angry. I didn’t resist it. I cooperated with whatever happened at the moment and kept going. I remained rational, yet also made sure to check in more deeply to be certain I honored myself.

I guess that’s what we’re all trying to do these days.

It helped that I was already familiar with having these auras. The first time they happened which was about 30 years ago, it was scary for me. Now I know that it’s temporary and I’m kind of used to it, though it had been years since I’ve last had them, I can’t even recall when I had them last prior to this December when it started up again. Pesky body, it’s misbehaving, lol.

While we may not have control over what challenges we face, we do have some measure of control over how we handle ourselves and how we relate to what’s happening. We can pause and decide what’s the best we can do at any given moment.

This takes practice, at least for me it has. I’ve learned that I may have my initial reaction, like the panic when I can’t see out of my good eye, which is to be expected, naturally. But over time I’ve adapted and know that if I stay calm and go about my business, it eventually gets back to normal. It’s not as much of a catastrophe as I thought it would be.

I’ve found that this applies across the board of life. My reaction, the way I respond can make or break a situation, and my experience of life. Everything is filtered through me and my perspective shades everything. I have that power to choose in my mind. Some days I can keep it together like today. Other days, not so much and it’s okay. I start again the next day.

Hoping we adapt well to the challenges we’re facing.

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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