Once in awhile when I'm under extreme stress (like when I suddenly realize my teaching clock is acting like it's the beginning of April when school actually ends in two weeks) I get migraines. My best friend had one when we taught together and but for her I would never have known what was going on when they came about. Since 2000 I've had about 4 of them, and I seem to remember having one when I was young--3rd or 4th grade.
It happens like this: I'll be sitting at my desk reading The Fountainhead and furiously taking notes to go over with my class the next period and I will suddenly notice that the words are incomplete--they're missing letters. My vision gets splotchy so when I move my eyes across the page,
al t e w rds lo k l ke th s.
And then I'll rub my eyes and try to figure out what's wrong, if I have crap in my eye or if I looked at a light too long or what. Then I'll try to soldier on, because who has time for this?? The tip of my pen disappears. Then I start switching the letter "d" for the letter "g." My words start to space out weirdly because the splotchiness spreads. My periferal vision completely disappears. After it disappears, it will come back in the form of waviness, almost like vapor from a fire, and that will last for way too long a time. It is usually around this time that I'm wondering if it's a migraine or an anurysm.
Eventually things come back to normal and I'm left with a mother of a headache that won't go away for the rest of the night, and pain that gets worse rather than better when I close my eyes.