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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board

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In all honesty, in over 13 or 14 years I have not felt "normal".

When I was 20 years old I led a life of smoking, drinking, doing drugs and so-called "partying" until one day I was getting high and something didn't feel right. Suddenly I wasn't high anymore, I just felt strange. Things didn't look right, I felt pressure in my head and just out of it. Anyways, the pot wore off but the strange feeling didn't. I lived with pressure in my head, ringing in my ears, blacking out of my vision in one eye when I bent over, inability to communicate with people or look people in the eyes, headaches, and so on until after my son was born in 1992 I was diagnosed with Pseudo Tumor Cerebri. This was after having a clean MRI, a lumbar puncture with a high pressure, and I also had papilladema. I never had the severe headaches that people talk about with Pseudo Tumor Cerebri. I just felt strange. Over the years I have learned to deal with a lot of the PTC symptoms. The pressure in my head and blacking out of my vision went away. But I have always felt different.

Now I am 35 years old and last month in January I began to feel dizzy and it has not gone away. It is not a vertigo/spinning type of dizziness, but a heavy-headed off balance type of dizziness. My hearing - everything sounds LOUD. My vision - I have trouble reading, driving and especially being in large open spaces or in the grocery store where I have to try to look at things on the shelves. Occasionally, I have tingling in my feet and lips. I have not worked in 5 weeks. I'm scared to go back to work because I don't know how I will deal with things feeling the way I do. At home I can always lay down or just sit when I am overwhelmed. At work I have to be alert and constantly moving around (I work in a very busy Police Department in Records).

I have been seeing my PCP and she thinks I have Vertigo. She has run blood tests and everything seems normal except I was anemic (not now since I have been taking iron supplements) and my throid function test is out of range (and has been since last August when I had a physical). She is not concerned with the thyroid results and told me to come back in two months and have the tests done again. I am scheduled for a no contrast MRI of my brain on March 1st.

Has anyone ever felt this constant dizziness? Also what about the strange vision problems? Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you, Heather
HI all, Wow, all sounds so familiar to me. I have the constant 24/7 off balance, bouncy feeling and also at times I will get a thrusting feeling come over me like some unknown force is pushing me inside of myself. It feels like it comes from my eyes but I also have a terrible tension/pressure in the back of my neck and head that feels like it could explode any minute. Sometimes my hearing will fluctuate in and out too, other times I feel shakey, disoriented, out of it. My legs ache and neck sometimes which I think is from my body trying to compensate to keep me upright. It is an awful feeling, one I get all of the time, it comes over my quickly or sometimes is always there for no apparent reason. I have had all the tests you could imagine. I have been in 2 accidents in the past where now looking back I think I suffered whiplash but my neuro otologist dosnt think this is playing the major role in all of this. He said my rotational chair test showed an abnormality where the signals from my eyes and ears isnt't getting to my brain. So I guess its brain damage in some form. All I know is that it really sucks and is destroying my life. As to all of the visual stuff I too have that consistently 24 hrs a day. Flashes, floaters, specks, colors popping up, shimmering in the distance. He has diagnosed my with something called MAV(migraine assoc. vertigo) and I have to take Topamax, xanax and go to vestibular rehab to try to get my brain to compensate for this. I tried the whole gammut of meds, antidepressants, trycyclic antidepressants, beta blockers but I am extemely sensitive and had bad reactions to these. I am hoping that this "migraine" that has been with me 24/7, 365 will finally break, the funny thing is rarely do I have the true migraine just a headache but he said that dosn't matter. I am skeptical but will try anything as this has ruined my life and created quite a bit of panic for me. I am still working however which has been the hardest thing for me, I am an RN and it is hard to maintain myself in that fluorescent lit, crazy place it really sets me off big time. Hope some of this helps and so you know you are not alone. It is a mysery though for sure.
Best wishes to you,

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