My brain hurts!


“Get to ze choppah!” — oh, wait, wrong film

As though it’s bad enough that getting my life on track coincides with the entire world going to Hell in a handbasket (exhibit A: Trump), now I’m worried I might have a serious health issue… or at the very least, be worrying about nothing, and thus causing myself a serious health issue, a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy!

It started on Wednesday, the day after my last post (hey, it’s nearly Christmas, I’m writing more than once every few weeks as my gift to you!), as I was walking into work with music filling my ears.  I recently put all my music on rotation, instead of limiting myself to Gwar and Iron Maiden, though it was the former’s “Endless Apocalypse” that was on just as I came near to my workplace, and I had a bout of what I call “mind static”…

Actually, let’s start further back in time — the end of May 2015 — and the Saturday morning I was calmly watching Star Trek while sucking on throat lozenges during one of my many colds, when I suddenly had a rush of what I can only describe as quasi-memories flooding my brain, with no apparent cause (other than that I’d watched the episode many times before, including back in my university days), and with no clear memory of what I’d remembered afterwards!  It was a bit like the headrushes I’d had after doing the deadlift with my personal trainer a week or so before, but this time happened while at rest, rather than following physical exertion, and involved no visual artefacts.

I’ve had similar bouts of “mind static” since then, each time making me think I’ve suddenly remembered, perhaps, a song of some kind, but after the “rush” is over, I can never recall a single clear detail about what happened, and everything around me seems strangely unreal for up to a minute afterwards.  However, except one morning when I was lying in bed ready to go home to Worthing, each time has been isolated — until this week, when it happened several times a day, and coincided with an ongoing headache that’s only gradually gotten better, and never responded to painkillers!

I’ve been trying to keep a log of the weirdness this week; fortunately nothing’s happened today (Saturday), but it happened several times at work on Wednesday (as well as at Tesco and sitting in front of my computer afterwards), a few times on Thursday when I was at home (and also while personal training and at Winter Wonderland with “best mate”), and a couple of times on Friday (once or twice at work, once in Debenhams buying my grandmother’s Christmas present, and once when I’d just finished making dinner at home).

They seemed to happen no less than an hour apart each time, rather than one after another, but in completely random circumstances: I could be at home, at work or in an unfamiliar place; alone or talking to someone familiar or strange; sitting down, walking around, resting during exercise, or even lying down while listening to music, with my glasses off!  They haven’t occurred while I’ve been sleeping (or trying to sleep), though I do tend to wake up in the middle of the night.  If I’m with someone, their voice will sound different for a short time, and I’ll find it hard to understand them, almost as though they’re speaking a foreign language that I can only understand if I concentrate — and weird things may start happening (like my personal trainer playing keepy-uppy with a half-deflated balloon!).

It’s felt like each bout of “mind static” this week has involved the same, or similar, quasi-memories coursing through my brain, starting with spoken lyrics (possibly rap?  Is Eminem doing this to me?), moving through something that may be song, and finishing with some kind of story or narration — but like I said, trying to keep hold of anything but the vaguest sensations is like trying to keep hold of the soap in the bath!

I thought it might be memories of songs I’ve heard recently, including those being played on Radio 2 in the mornings by Chris Evans as well as those in my music collection, but listening again to “I’ve Been Thinking About You” by Londonbeat, “Rainbow Valley” by Love Affair, “Bowtie” by OutKast, “Who Am I (What’s My Name)” by Snoop Dogg and “You Can Make It If You Try” by Sly and the Family Stone haven’t sparked any recognition in me, even if some of the specific aspects seem to resemble what I’ve been quasi-remembering (including the high-pitched “All together now!” from the latter song).  Thinking about the song I was listening to at the start of it, “Endless Apocalypse”, seemed to trigger a bout on Friday evening, but it hasn’t again (so it’s not the Scumdogs messing with my head, or no more than usual).

beavis_crappucinoThe most likely explanation seems to be malnutrition, as I’ve had a lot of caffeine lately (partly thanks to working at the weekend), and this combined with stress, not eating right and a lack of sleep could mean I’m having the equivalent of “waking dreams” every so often.  Having not had tea with breakfast this morning, after an early night and during the stress-free weekend, I think I’m over the worst — I’ve felt a little dizzy, and felt like a bout of “mind static” might be imminent, but so far I’ve not been at the mercy of my memory.

Also, since the headache could be caused by eyestrain, I’m going to get an eye test done on Sunday (one of the health benefits my work pays for — I do love my job!), and see if I need new glasses.  In the past I’ve had patterns of lights in front of my eyes for a split second, which opticians have said is a normal symptom of stress, so maybe this is just another manifestation (and another warning that I really need to chill out).

However, there are other possibilities — and just as I solved the Word crashes at work, and the wmiprvse.exe crashes on my own PC, I’m damned well gonna figure out why my own brain, the best computer I own, keeps BSoD-ing.  Here are my alternate explanations, in no particular order:

  • Not enough blood getting to the back of my cranium, thanks to sleeping wrong on my pillow and/or tying my scarf too tightly (it’s not exactly autoerotic asphyxiation, is it?), perhaps combined with how awkwardly I sit when I’m at home, limiting my blood flow.  It’s worth noting I had a bout one morning during the summer, when I was watching South Park on the Tube while the Sun shone on the back of my neck;
  • A virus that my American friend accidentally sent me in that package I mentioned last time.  I’ve not got any other significant symptoms, apart from the headache, but if this is the case, I just need to recover from the fever;
  • Some effect of those liquorice-flavoured throat sweets (which I mentioned before in the context of joint pain), either messing with my electrolytes, or giving me hallucinations when I have too many of them;
  • A brain tumour, which has been developing since at least 2015, and is “pushing” on part of my brain, occasionally causing certain synapses to fire, hence the current bouts all seeming similar in nature but having no intrinsic meaning.  Obviously this is a scary prospect, as even if it were operable, I’d be in for a world of hurt;
  • CJD prions slowly destroying my brain from within, thanks to “mad cow disease”.  This would of course be incurable (despite Jack Bauer surviving season 7 of 24), so I’m really hoping this isn’t the case;
  • Someone, alive or dead, trying to contact me telepathically, but I can’t understand them.  Much as I’d love for the paranormal to be true, this seems the least likely explanation, even if it would indicate why I get impressions rather than coherent thoughts;
  • My memory reaching its limit, and dumping old memories to make room for the stuff I’m trying to take in: not surprising, seeing as how I’m reading tech support “war stories” at work, a book about the paranormal at home, and the works of Stephen King on the Tube, as well as watching Futurama and The Twilight Zone, and learning new things all the time;
  • Repressed memories trying to “come back”, but too fast for me to understand them.  This seems unlikely, as none of the apparent triggers are in any way “new” to me, and they didn’t trigger something when I heard them before;
  • Lingering madness after replaying the classic game Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth recently.  Well, they warn you about the possibility in the game’s opening screen!

(And hey, what if the Yithians from 250 million years ago are trying to mind-swap with me, hence the language issues… or already did previously, and that’s what I’m subconsciously trying to remember?  Or could the headaches mean I’m turning into a Deep One?  And so on… if H.P. Lovecraft is reading, I can only apologise!)

Of course, if I’ve sorted myself out by relaxing this weekend (just been to see Rogue One with “best mate” before he went back to Ireland), sleeping properly, eating reasonably well and — perhaps most importantly — drinking enough water, then this’ll just be another case of me worrying about nothing, and another excuse for a blog entry.  I’ll have an early night again tonight (how galling, Saturday night is normally when I stay up late watching horror movies!), and see how I feel tomorrow morning — but for now, I’m optimistic, as nothing strange happened today.

I have to hope it’s nothing serious, and especially not life-threatening — I have too much to live for at the moment (aside from having a good job and believing I’ll meet someone eventually, there’s a new Call of Cthulhu game coming out next year), and I don’t want something pitiful like a brain tumour to bring me down when I’m in my prime.  Suffice it to say:

Dave-ros is determined to go on living!

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