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Vertigo? Maybe not - ENT says maybe seizures?

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Unread 01-15-2012, 01:47 AM   #1
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Confused Vertigo? Maybe not - ENT says maybe seizures?

I'll try to quickly summarize what has brought me to joining and posting here. I'm stressed, so I might not do a great job of explaining everything (or remembering everything either ). I have a post in the New Member Introduction area that might be worth reading if anyone is interested in reading more.

I have been having what I thought were vertigo attacks chronically for the last 18 mos.. After an ear infection and feeling like my ear "re-filled" with pressure I had an audiology exam, and an ENT exam. My hearing is "excellent", but after I described what I've been experiencing with these "spells" he was concerned that I was having some sort of a seizure and not true vertigo.

I can only describe these as a overwhelming feeling of sudden and VERY extreme dizziness (rarely preceded by something that feels and I perceive as a "threatened" attack - this has also happened when I am standing or walking several times since the first). Here's the thing about it though... I don't see the room spin, nor do I sense my whole body spinning. Instead what I feel is a sensation that my brain is moving in a circular motion inside my skull. It moves in a vertical and clockwise ovalish pattern.

I still have control somewhat of my balance, and I am usually sitting when it hits strongest... I usually put my head forward into my hands and shut my eyes when it starts as if I try to look at anything then it seems my eyes start to follow the pattern of movement my brain is making (as if I was following it with my eyes). These perceptions are also accompanied by a severe and immediate nauseous feeling. (I have only gotten extremely close to vomiting once, just gagging.) In order to get through these spells I find I'm comforted most by "climbing" out of my chair to the ground, laying on my back with my knees raised, my eyes closed, and just trying to concentrate on my breathing making sure it's even and I don't panic.

I don't think these are panic attacks as I'm not particularly stressed when they happen, and having had panic attacks in the past this is definitely an entirely different experience. I'm very uneasy and sick feeling, but not really scared. They only last for about 2-3 minutes (not sure), I don't lose consciousness, and afterwards I'm usually not nauseous or dizzy.

I have been noticing a tendency to favor getting to bed more regularly and being able to sleep longer at least for the last 12 months. My anxiety, and irritation level has definitely been bugging me more without any extreme external stimuli, or intense emotional happenings in my life.

The only thing I can pinpoint that has really changed for me is that my migraines (which I've had since I was 13) no longer seem to hit as hard. I've had regular tension headaches now and again which I feel worse on my right side, but I don't think I've had a painful migraine since the first time I had these spells.

I have done some research over the last 5 days since my ENT mentioned the word "seizure" and my symptoms ( if these are indeed seizures ) might be related to the numerous injuries I've had over the years from a variety of sports and "play" accidents and some moderate physical abuse when I was a child. I think I may have hurt my head pretty badly about 9 1/2 years ago as it seems things got a lot worse and I've had some strange symptoms since trying to recover from my injuries and mental stress ever since that time.

I have been on various medications in the past for my migraines. For the last 6 years or so I've been on medications for my chronic depression (Zoloft at 200 mg/day for several years), GAD (currently on Clonidine @ .1mg 2xs/day as needed - no change in "spells" since starting new med, but anxiety is much more manageable and I feel much better than I have in quite a long time). I also have PTSD, but thankfully most of those symptoms haven't been as bad lately. I do have some history of benefiting from therapy once in a while, and I've had periods where I'm extremely emotional, but it seems to be directly in relation to dealing with some pretty traumatic things happening, and there is definitely something that can be tied to things getting worse in those ways.

This is such a long post already, and I've got so much on my mind that I could write for pages, it seems. I'm sorry to "spill" so much in one post. I've been extra anxious the last few days, and I'm driving my DH nuts talking about this all the time (I feel bad for him, but also wish he could be more supportive - I can understand that 10 years is a long time to deal with my issues. I know he loves me, but he's got his own issues to deal with too and we both get frustrated with each other. Today he was like that, so it wasn't a great day around here - nothing too bad mind you, just irritated with each other when we got time alone with the kids gone all day which is a rare occasion for us, so that's depressing, too).

I'm going to be calling my Psychiatrist's PA and schedule an appointment as the clonidine doesn't seem to be working as well now that have this extra stress and commotion going on. It's all exacerbated by knowing that the cause of some of these problems might be when I've been hurt by my Dad, and by a stranger as an adult. Also, the injury I had when I was in about 3rd grade from gymnastics I think hurt my head bad as well - I wasn't taken to the doctor and still have neck problems now some 30 years later... It's frustrating to realize I may have had a bad head injury and not "daydreaming", but getting in trouble in school anyway.

Sorry again for rambling... Like I said - just so much to think about and examine again in light of these new possibilities. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read, or even skim this "novel post". Hopefully sometime I'll "get it all out" and not have so much to say - I'm sure my family would be happy about that!

Thanks in advance for any advice, or pure commiserating with me. I am appreciative of your time in helping me figure all of this out. I know there are answers, but I sure don't have them right now! LOL Feel free to ask questions if you feel like it - I'm sure there are things I've left out or forgotten.

- Redhead72
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Unread 01-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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Hi Redhead,

Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry to hear that you've been having some problems. Years ago I started having migraines when I was a kid and that led into epileptic seizures for me. Trauma can cause seizures for a person even if something happened yrs. ago. Stress and lack of sleep are the 2 main causes of seizures plus taking antidepressents will not help at all.
When you get dizzy and get a sick feeling in your stomach this could be a sign of a aura seizure also known as a simple partial seizure. If I may ask to you feel tired, or confused after this possible seizure and do you have a headache? These are all signs that a person has after a seizure.

My best advice to you is to see an Epileptologist (Dr. specialzing in epilepsy) you can find these Drs. at an Epilepsy Center which are usual at University Hospitals or really big hospitals. You will have to have your family Dr. refer you to an Epileptologist.
Another thing you should do is get a calendar and write down what time this possible seizure happens and when you start and stop your monthly cycle. Be doing this the Dr. may see a pattern in your possible seizures. I often get them the beginning of each month, or if I'm under a lot of stress.
You can also see a neuropsychologist at an epilepsy Center these Drs. will test you and can find out what is triggering your possible seizures. Cut back on the starch foods and foods with carbs because they in turn can trigger seizures. Also stay away from nutra sweet because that fires up the neurons in the brain and triggers seizures. Start taking vitamin B12 1000 mcg. once a day and this should help you. The Drs. will want to do a e.e.g., MRI, and other tests on you to find out what's going on. I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

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Redhead72 (01-15-2012)
Unread 01-17-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
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Wink Hello & Welcome!!

Hello and welcome, happy to see you have come to be with us, it a great place to be.

Sue gave you some excellent advice on some causes and also some things to take to help prevent them. I feel everyone has different ways a seizure. May I ask what if any medicine you are on for your seizures. One times my doctor had me on a med in which after I got a large amount in my system caused me to have dizziness for about 5 minutes. This would occur a little while after I had taken the med.

Again welcome, looking forward to seeing you around. My thoughts and prayers are with you.



"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point.
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Redhead72 (01-26-2012)
Unread 01-26-2012, 02:16 AM   #4
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Sorry I haven't responded - I appreciate your replies! I promised my anxiety doc that I wouldn't do much posting or research until after I go to my neurologist because I was driving myself and my family crazy! LOL I didn't want to wait too long before checking back in and at least letting everyone know I was doing OK, so that's what this message is!

I'm doing well for now, trying not to obsess over things, and trying to wait patiently to get my medical history packet from my new neurologist's office. I will return soon though - when I'm sure I can stop my brain from obsessing about my brain and I have some (hopefully) more solid answers, or at least some test results!

Thanks so much for the welcome. I REALLY appreciate it! My best to all of you, and if not sooner I'll definitely be back here on the 31st or the 1st to update everyone on how my first Neurologist Appt. went.

Take care, everyone!
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Darlene (01-26-2012)

chronic pain, nausea, possible head injury, seizures, vertigo

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