Why the Existential Rip?

This site was started in June 2015 when I was daily having earth shattering migraine auras that ripped reality apart. These same auras also at times ripped my life apart. This led to the natural leap to the name “Existential Rip”. Migraine aura and other brain diseases have this ability to shred our perception of the world, and leave us disabled.

We also often take the same medications, though there is little research into why the same medications work for all of us. There needs to be more research and advocacy when it comes to many neurological disorders. Anti-convulsants are used for Epilepsy (duh it’s even in the name of the class), Mood Disorders, and Migraine; just to name a few. Anti-depressants are used for everything from Depression, Migraine, and Neuropathic pain.

If you read the current research we are on the precipice of having a much better understanding of what makes many of these conditions tick, and thus better treatment options. Though studies on humans are expensive and complicated, especially when that pesky blood brain barrier gets in the way. Calling more attention to the science and our experiences can help push the science forward.

Why the Special Interest in Migraine with Aura?

This is simple, because your lovely admin has a complex form of migraine aura, at times known as Basilar aura. This type of aura causes lovely things like erratic heart rate and angina, speech loss, alice in wonderland syndrome, loss of fine muscle control, noetic experiences, and a complete shutdown of concepts like right and left essentially everything loses context.

My migraine actually extends through over five generations, likely more, with over 80 family members experiencing some form of migraine with aura. There’s also some Epilepsy running through my family’s genome. For the complete actual family history please check out the journal, I have family trees, Grandma’s journal, along with my own accounts. The only relief I have found from my aura’s is Lamictal, and at times my medical situation is enough to overwhelm it. It has been a lot of self advocacy and research to get to where I am in terms of treatment.

Between my own recognition for more advocacy and the fact that my family might be responsible for your auras, I had to create a space that put aura in the forefront. Also, it is important to note that there is research that shows that Migraine with Aura is worth paying attention to, such as Cortical Spreading Depression.

Why Meniere’s Disease isn’t that an ear thing?

Meniere’s Disease in the end impacts the VIIIth cranial nerve, which plugs right into the brainstem. The inner ear is a direct part of the nervous system with two parts that feed into the VIII cranial nerve. There is the Labyrinth which is involved in balance, and the Cochlea which is involved in hearing. The swelling and/or compression that occurs in the inner ear when one has Meniere’s Disease impacts the functioning of both the Labyrinth and Cochlea.

Meniere’s is really a syndrome, and not a disease. We do not know the cause of Meniere’s and in fact the evidence points to there being multiple etiologies (causes) of Meniere’s. Sometimes it seems to be a severe form of TMJ, and in others it is a direct autoimmune attack on the inner ear (me!). So the direct involvement of the brain and nervous system is variable in Meniere’s. No matter what a lot of very important nerves are involved so it get’s a place here.