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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board


Brain & Nervous System Disorders Board Index


Hello, I have been feeling unwell for almost 8 years now and things are getting to the point where I feel like I am dying. I do not know what is going on with me, so I am posting with the hopes that someone will recognize some of my symptoms and possibly identify what I might be going through. I am desperate and appreciate any and all comments.

In the beginning when this whole thing started I was having problems sleeping at night and spent most of the days in a complete fog and almost disoriented from the lack of sleep I believe. I was put on Ativan for a week to relax me and help me sleep. After I caught up on my sleep I remember still experiencing the daily brain fog and spaced out feeling all the time. Felt as though my eyes would just wonder off in a daze.

It wasn’t too long after that I again was having problems with sleep and not able to get another prescription for Ativan I turned to alcohol as a way to relax me enough to sleep. Eventually I needed to drink more and more to do the trick… eventually I was consuming 6-10 drinks in an hour or two before bed. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that I had a problem.

I didn’t have a problem sleeping anymore, but I now had a problem with anxiety during the day… sometimes going for a drink on my lunch break to kind of take the edge off. I was finally able to get a doctor to look after me. He put me on Ativan for the anxiety which I took during the day and I would still drink during the night before bed. This is how I spent the next 4 or 5 years of my life, Ativan during the Day, Alcohol during the night. I quit drinking a few times because I felt so horrible all the time and when I did I would take sleeping pills at night.

All during this time I had problems with feeling spaced out all the time, fatigued, off balance feeling, stomache problems, and fast heart rate. Who wouldn’t have these problems after doing all that stuff to their body. Ohh, I almost forgot… I smoked for about 10 years as well. I was put on a beta blocker to help reduce my heart rate. I remember needing to take my beta blocker before having a cigarette otherwise my heart rate would get so high I would almost pass out. I knew I was on the path to destroying my life.

I quit smoking about 4 years ago and I can now count on two hands the number of drinks I have had in about 2 years. A couple of years ago I started having daily panic attacks, was feeling uptight and nervous all the time, was getting very short of breath… couldn’t even do simple chores anymore without feeling like I was going to pass out or die.

In February of 2010 things started to get worse for me. I got really dizzy for about 2 months straight… felt really funny… the floor even felt like it was moving when I walked. I went to the hospital a couple of times and they said it was Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and Allergies. I ended up going to a Chiropractor who adjusted my neck. I know that didn’t help immediately but the constant dizziness finally went away, however I all of a sudden started developing a huge number of floaters. I have never had a floater before ever but over the last year they have multiplied a lot. They are all of the transparent kind which I can see in great detail. I see the individual cells that make up the body of the floater, I can’t even count how many I see because it’s like a cob-web of them. I do notice a ton more when I squint my eyes looking out at the sky as well as wavy lines. In March I got another Sinus cold and developed tinnitus which was in one ear. This has gotten worse and I can’t say that it’s in any ear… it sounds just like a buzzing noise somewhere in my head.

In April I was fed up with how I was feeling so I did some research on Benzodiazapines which is what Ativan is and realized that it can cause all types of problems so I tapered myself off that ending it completely in July. I was hoping that it was the Ativan which was causing all my problems but I have been off of it for 7 months now and I can’t say that I notice any improvement. Actually things have gotten worse since being off of it. I know there is a pretty cruel withdrawal that can last a long time… but not convinced that that’s what is going on. I can say that I don’t have panic attacks anymore and I no longer need to take a beta blocker for my heart rate.

Here’s a list of symptoms that I am experiencing on a daily basis now

• Dizzy, wozziness, off balance feeling
• Feeling spaced out all the time, like my eyes are in a daze
• Concentration is terrible, brain fog all the time
• Feeling of pressure in my head
• Eyes feel unfocused
• Eye floaters
• Eye pain (they feel strained and tension like headache across my forehead and into temple area)
• Light sensitivity
• After images (especially when reading off a computer screen… if I look away I will see the text faintly on the wall for example)
• Tinnitus
• Dull ear ache feeling off and on
• Ears sometimes feel like they need to pop
• No energy at all, feeling fatigued all the time, yawning all day long
• Very gassy, mainly burping, and heart palpatations… even if I just drink water

Not sure if these are related or not

• Chronic nasal stuffiness, always clearing my throat
• Chronic stomache problems, inflamed, feeling nauseated all the time, tender when I push on it

Other symptoms which aren’t always present

• Headaches at base of skull which I believed to be Occipital Neuralgia (was getting these daily but now only get them maybe once a week)
• Muscles feel weak and heavy, legs feel jelley like
• When walking I sometimes feel resistance as if someone is pushing downward on my head
• I developed a twitch in my right eyelid which lasted 24/7 for 2 months
• Have had 5 or 6 sinus colds in the last year
• When I use an elevator now and get off I still feel like I am moving for a couple of minutes
• Pins and needles type feeling in my feet when I cross my legs

I would like to point out that the vision issues, dizziness, spaced out feelings get 10x worse when I am in a public place with bright lighting, turning my head a lot or any kind of exercise… even simple chores.

Tests that I have had done

Echocardiogram – which showed a leaky valve (doctor didn’t indicate any concern)
EKG – showed tachycardia
Endoscopy – no problems (done in 2007)
CT of Cervical spine – indicated a cyst or abnormal blood vessel (requested an MRI)
MRI of Cervical spine – confirmed abnormal (large) blood vessel and degeneration (doctor didn’t indicate any concern)
MRI of head – normal
EEG – results not back yet
Blood – has shown in the past borderline low thyroid levels
Lyme Disease – tested negative
Candida – I believe this is controversial
Autoimmune Disease of some sort

I have seen an ENT who did a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum… absolutely no improvement. He then said my ENT issues were allergy related.

I had allergy testing done and they showed I was allergic to dust and maple trees. Antihistamines and allergy shots had no impact at all.

I have also seen an Optometrist 3x who confirmed that there are no problems with my eyes

I am scheduled to see a Neurologist who I am praying will finally be able to put an end to this.

Things I have considered to be wrong

• MAV – Migraine Associated Vertigo
• TMJ Disorder
• Inner Ear problems
• Neck problems
• Lyme Disease – even though the blood test was negative
• Anxiety disorder? (although I think my anxiety is caused by not knowing what is going on)
• H-Plyori – currently awaiting a test for this in March

I know most people will say to stop worrying about things so much but the truth is I’m not really worried… I feel more relaxed now than I have the last 8 years of my life… however I can tell there is physically something wrong with my body and can feel myself slowly fading away. I know there is something wrong that hasn’t been identified yet. If I have to live with this stuff the rest of my life then I can deal with it, I just want to know what’s going on. If anyone has any comments please let me know. I feel like I am slowly dying.

Thanks in advance.
After reading your most recent post it sounds even more to me like TMJ. You certainly would not notice yourself clenching and grinding at night because you are asleep. The fact that your teeth are losing enamel and shortening should be proof that this is in fact taking place. Another would be if you feel very 'stuffed' and achy in the morning (due to the fact you've been bruxing away all night long".

I too have TMJ and do not have pain in my jaw. IF you have TMJ, and it developed from all of the clenching and grinding, this is what happens...
your teeth are not the same as they were before. The way that your teeth come together (your lower and upper jaw) is known as occlusion and when that is not in the correct position, everything gets thrown out of wack. Since your teeth are now shorter, your upper and lower jaw are now meeting in the incorrect place when your teeth come together (everytime you chew, swallow, sleep, etc.) and this puts unnecessary strain on all of the surrounding muscles. Do you get stiff/sore muscles of the neck and shoulders?

This is the reason that your tinnitus is not just occurring during TMJ 'flares' but rather all the time. Because until you can have that relationship fixed where your jaws are meeting correctly and your muscles are working in harmony, you will always have this problem and most likely it will get worse. I urge you to check out the TMJ forums on this board and read some of the other posts and see if it resonates with your problem at all.

Good luck.

This is pulled from one of the sticky posts on that forum.

The Kinnie-Funt Visual Index of Head, Neck and Facial Pain and TMJ Dysfuction:

Eye Pain and Eye Problems:
- eye pain above, below, behind
- bloodshot eyes
- blurring of vision
- bulging appearance
- pressure behind the eyes
- light sensitivity
- watering of the eyes
- drooping of the eye lid

Head Pain, Headache Problems, Facial Pain:
- forehead pain
- temporal pain
- "migraine" type headache
- "cluster-type" headache
- sinus headache under the eyes
- posterior headaches, back of head, with or without shooting pains
- hair and/or scalp painful to touch

Mouth, Face, Cheek, and Chin Problems:
- discomfort or pain to any of these areas
- limited opening
- inability to open the jaw smoothly or evenly
- jaw deviates to one side when opening
- inability to "find bite" with teeth

Teeth and Gum Problems:
- clenching or grinding at night
- looseness and or soreness of back teeth
- tooth pain

Jaw and Jaw Joint Problems:
- clicking, popping jaw joints
- grating sounds
- jaw locking opened or closed
- pain in cheek muscles
- uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements

Ear Pain, Ear Problems, and Postural Imbalances:
- hissing, buzzing, ringing, or roaring sounds
- diminished hearing
- ear pain - without infection
- clogged, stuffy, "itchy" ears, feeling of fullness
- balance problems, "vertigo", dizziness, or disequilibrium

Throat Problems:
- swallowing difficulties
- tightness of throat
- sore throat without infection
- voice fluctuations
- laryngitis
- frequent coughing or constant clearing of throat
- feeling of foreign object in throat
- tongue pain
- salivation (intense)
- pain of the hard palate in the mouth

Neck and Shoulder Problems:
- lack of mobility - reduced range of movement
- stiffness
- neck pain
- tired, sore neck muscles
- shoulder aches
- back pain upper and lower
- arm and finger tingling, numbness and or pain





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