Friday, October 10, 2008


I didn't post yesterday because I could feel a migraine coming on and I had a whole bunch of computer-type work to do. So I did nothing but work until I physically couldn't stand looking at the computer. Then I crashed for 4 hours.

I have friends who get aura migraines. I tell them, "that sounds like fun" because what I get are nausea migraines. Yep, exquisite sensitivity to light, aching eyeballs, and the need to crawl off and die in a very dark, very quiet room. Oh, and I also feel like I need to throw up the whole time.

My problem in this sort of situation is that I am pretty much unable to throw up. It seems to me that I would feel a lot better if I could just get things over with, but the only times I've ever vomited have been when I got a norwalk-type stomach bug and, um, when I did a scientific study of how it would feel to be really drunk and I didn't take into account the fact that alcohol doesn't impact your system immediately. In both cases, my body was saying "this is something you're not screwing around with. Puke or die."

I am fortunate in that I have never gotten a full-blown migraine while in the field (I have occasionally developed them at the end of the day) but I'm pretty careful to prevent them. My field bag always has a container of pain medication, a big old-lady hat, and sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are key. I put them on when I step out the door in the morning and they don't come off until I get home that night. The silly-looking hat keeps my head from burning and keeps glare from sneaking over the top of the sunglasses.

I'm a lot more prone to migraines in the office, especially when I'm refering to a paper document (as in editing) while glancing back toward the computer screen. My old office had a library, and a couple times I would sneak in, close the door, turn off the lights, and have a little power nap with my face buried in my arm. Usually 20 minutes would be enough to keep me functional if I had to be there, or worst case, drive home.

You know what else triggers migraines? Long seminars or presentations with spindly black text (like times new roman) on an all-white background in a dark room. That glare kills me. I'm preparing a presentation right now, and it has a neutral backround (not too dark) and sort of off-white tables and graphs. It's sort of my "signature" color scheme, but I'm a little worried that non stark white tables and graphs look "unprofessional" for the venue it will be seen in. I'm sending it off today and I'll see what my advisor thinks. Anybody else have a favorite background/typeface combination?


Elli said...

When giving a talk, the background is supposed to be darker and the script lighter in color according to those who tell us what is easier to actually read. After a week of GSA talks, I would actually tend to agree cause that white background is just so glaringly white in a darkened room. My personal choice is usually dark blue background with a creamy white script. Some people like to use pictures as a background, but you have to be very careful that the script will still stand out against all the sections of the background.

A Life Long Scholar said...

White text on a dark blue background, because that is my favourite colour combination!

EcoGeoFemme said...

I don't necessarily have a preference for presentations as long as there's enough contrast. For blogs, however, the really dark background with light text just goes all squiggly on me.

Sorry you get migraines. I can't imagine how much that would suck.