Migraine in the news in Chicago

The Chicago Cubs baseball team (our perenially bad team’s unofficial slogan: “any team can have a bad century”) had a scare yesterday. The third baseman, Jeff Baker, lost vision in his right eye for the first time in his life. He was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with an ocular migraine - and headache has not been mentioned in news accounts of this episode. His vision did return. But now he joins the migraineur club.

So maybe people (at least in the Chicago area) may start to get the idea that migraine does not always equal headache. And that migraine does some scary things to you. In fact, “scary” is exactly how this young athlete described his experience. Many of us have felt quite scared, even if our migraine experience doesn’t involve loss of eyesight.

Hi Mary Alice,

I agree. Not that we’d wish migraine on anyone but it’s good to have its profile raised - for symptoms other than “headache”. The sensory symptoms, like changes in or loss of vision are really really awful and scary if the sufferer doesn’t know what’s at play.

I have a colleague (male) who suffered horrific migraines in his teens and early 20s which then just sort of petered out as he got older. He would have them for days at a time, would lose vision completely in one eye as well as a blinding headace (he said he used to want to cut off his head and even contemplated suicide they were so unbearable) and would be so sensitive to anything on his skin he’d strip off and lie on the bathroom floor.


That kind of migraine sounds beyond awful: multi-day horrible headache AND vision loss in one eye AND skin sensitivity, with suicidal thoughts too. Yikes!

I guess it’s time to count my blessings!!

As for the Chicago Cubs player, I did a little more research on this, and found a video of the play that happened before he was taken out of the game. It was stunning to see. If you’re not familiar with baseball, if a ball is hit low and near an infielder (Jeff Baker was playing a position in the infield), the nearest player tries to catch the ball before it can get to the outflield. It went right by him, not very far at all, and he was clearly in a position to make a play, but he didn’t even move out of the ready position. As if nothing had just happened. I could see where people might have thought he’d had a mini-stroke or something. But he was having vision loss in one eye, and maybe with monovision it went by too fast for him to see it with his good eye - I don’t know why he didn’t react at all, but it looks like he didn’t even flinch. And a batted ball comes toward you at a high rate of speed.

It was very strange to see a professional at that level not even make a move toward a ball hit so close to him. As one writer said, thank goodness it wasn’t hit straight at his head because he wouldn’t have been able to make a defensive move.

At least maybe now some more people know that migraine doesn’t ONLY cause headaches!