Last night I could not read
November 13, 2017 10:16 PM   Subscribe

I lost the ability to read last night, shortly before beginning a food-poisoning induced toilet hugging session. What was going on?

Last night I spent a chunk of time hugging the toilet bowl while my stomach emptied into it. I guess I had food poisoning. I felt immediately better afterwards.

Before that I noticed problems recognising words, even with significant concentration. Forming them into sentences or understanding anything I was seeing was even more difficult. But today all is good again. What happened?

(I read somewhere that low salt could lead to something similar)
posted by bergnotburg to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Neurological deficits + nausea = not necessarily food poisoning. Get thee to thine MD.
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on November 13, 2017 [19 favorites]

A neuro consult would be a good idea. It could also be a form of migraine. I've had a fair number if severe food poisonings and never had symptoms like what you described. I also have had some severe migraines of the Classical variety and had language issues and visual disturbances and many people also get bad nausea. Regardless of what it is, seeing a doctor ASAP is a good idea.
posted by quince at 10:52 PM on November 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

That combo may also indicate that you had a small stroke. Definitely touch base with your PCP soon just in case. I am glad you are feeling better now.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:09 PM on November 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

A dear friend has had neurological problems and it all started one Saturday morning when he called me to go get the CSA box even though it was his week, because he'd woken up and couldn't read his email. Please go to your doctor.
posted by sldownard at 11:28 PM on November 13, 2017

Doctor ASAP. Similar things happened to a friend who has a brain tumor. I don't want to completely freak you out - it also sounds like migraine symptoms, which can be brought on by allergies/poisoning - but you should not ignore this and pretend it didn't happen.
posted by Mizu at 2:07 AM on November 14, 2017

Looks like it was a migraine. I would have let it go without the prompts. Thanks all.
posted by bergnotburg at 2:17 AM on November 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

This is pretty similar to what I experience with migraines. The cognitive stuff, especially. But if this is your first migraine, or if it's different to what previous migraines have been like, please check in with a doctor to be sure. Even though my doctor knows I have migraines they're still very stern with me that any new or unusual symptoms need to be evaluated ASAP.
posted by embrangled at 3:06 AM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is it cognitive or visual? I think I've had ocular migranes twice in the last year, in which I couldn't see (text) right in my direct line of sight but could recognize words but not focus on them well enough to recognize them in my periphery.

Still, get a proper medical opinion.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Motion sickness in a car or on a train or boat is evidently significantly exacerbated by attempting to read, and there is at least one, ah... somewhat unconventional Doctor out there with a thriving practice who treats dyslexia exclusively as if it were a clinical or subclinical manifestation of inner ear problems:
The first and only medical treatment for dyslexia resulted from Dr. Levinson's discovery that this disorder was of inner-ear, or CVS, origin. Since the antimotion-sickness and related medications were known to improve the balance/coordination/rhythmic and related vertigo and motion-sickness symptoms characterizing inner-ear dysfunction, it seemed reasonable for Dr. Levinson to anticipate that these very same medications might be helpful for also improving many similar and related symptoms found characterizing the dyslexia syndrome. Fortunately for countless millions, this assumption was proven valid!
So I think it's quite possible what you experienced is due to the dizziness and vertigo poisoning often induces.

The actual mechanism would be something like your brain making it impossible for you to read as the food poisoning begins to make you dizzy in order to damp down the response until it becomes certain that it's not a false alarm.

However, I expected other people to chime in with experiences like yours, and no one did, so I'd think this was a better answer if you had a history of ear/balance problems.
posted by jamjam at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2017

I have had migraines where I've lost the ability to read. Not because of a problem with my vision. I simply couldn't recognize the words. I've also had migraines that affected my ability to speak in that I couldn't recall the correct words. Definitely see a doctor but it isn't necessarily anything more than a migraine.
posted by Carbolic at 9:58 PM on November 14, 2017

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