Exploding Head Syndrome

I think I had a lovely little case of EHS last night, but I’m not wholly sure, as I wasn’t completely conscious.

I have a lot of dreams and complicated stuff going around in my head all night long, so I can’t really guess at what point during the night it occurred, but I know that I was dreaming, when suddenly there was a horrible, loud noise, one that’s familiarly the sound of an explosion, but not like one of those cinematic “boom”s when there’s flames and a mushroom cloud. It was like a very tight, very dry sound, resembling a “blam”, I suppose. I can’t remember if there was light. I do associate that memory with a pale color yellow now. And I distinctly remember thinking afterward, in the confused soup of a half-conscious moment, something along the lines of “that must have been Exploding Head Syndrome”, except when I’m sleepy, I put different words in the wrong places, so I could have known what I meant to say, but I may have actually said something completely different to myself. I could have said “waffle ear” and still meant “exploding head syndrome”. Maybe I said “manatee intestines” or “walrus toes”. But it all meant the same thing.

Then I fell back to sleep and proceeded to dream about a weird camp, pasta, and “All Along the Watchtower” (Battlestar Galactica version).

It kind of reminded me of a thing that happens when I am awake–how when it’s relatively quiet and there’s a uniform sound in the background, like a washing machine or AC–my thoughts get uncomfortably quiet and distant, and suddenly super hard/harsh-sounding and loud and uncomfortable, and I have to fix it with either music or talking very audibly to myself, with a variety of changes in pitch. It’s like when, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hal ejects Frank, except with thoughts and sound and it’s all in your head. I imagine it’s the result of an idle brain with low-level stimulation, getting bored and messing with me. It’s not particularly fun, but it’s sort of like awake EHS. They feel greatly similar, even though there’s no BLAM!

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