Judging by the number of hits for Monday’s post, there’s a lot of reader interest in figuring out what could have caused an otherwise ace correspondent to start babbling about “burtations.” So, in the interest of closure, here you go: In her own words, Serene Branson takes CNN moment-by-moment through America’s most famous migraine episode. More than one reader chimed in after the original post to say that they suffered from migraines too and had had similar episodes of incoherence, but they’re rare and random enough that scientists actually seem jazzed to have finally caught one on tape to study. The good news, per one of the doctors interviewed, is that complex migraines aren’t a serious health risk unless they start to recur, indicating a deeper neurological problem. Branson says this was the very first migraine she’s ever had, so hopefully she’s out of the woods now.
Two clips for you, the first of the interview and the second of Glenn Beck and crew chortling guiltily over the original audio now that they know she didn’t have a stroke. (Beck himself suffered from migraines for years.) I’m not sure how public ethics about laughing at another’s health issue shake out in an episode like this. Laughing about a stroke would obviously be horrible. Laughing about someone stubbing their toe and hopping around in pain is probably A-OK. Where does “complex migraine that didn’t do any damage but seemed darned scary at the time yet produced a memorable viral video” fall on that spectrum? So much nuance, my friends. Click the second image to watch.