Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Something going on in my head . . . please help

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: prattguy
  • August 26, 2010
  • 00:14 PM

36 y.o male, no history of any major conditions. 6'2", 215, BP: 118/80, TC: 200, LDL: 120

I need some help with what may be multiple conditions that have showed up. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

A few (~8) years ago I was accidentally hit in the head which resulted in BPPV. The audiologist said mine was perhaps the most intense rotatory nystagmus she had seen. Canalith repositioning solved that. A couple of months later I woke up one morning and was very dizzy. My right ear felt plugged, yet was clear. I eventually had two MRI's (one from GP, one from a neuro) which both came back negative. I had about a year where I would get headaches to varying degrees, along with little flashing yellow specks when I looked at bright objects, moreseo when my head was tilted upwards. I also noticed that every once in a while I would see small swirling circles with a little tail behind them. These symptoms eventually subsided, and no cause/diagnosis was ever given. However my right ear has randomly been plugged off an on since the original event.

That background is to set up the following. One Monday afternoon in November I remember turning my head and feeling a little "strange". About an hour later I was nauseous and experiencing vertigo. I sat in a chair, and eventually it subsided about two hours later. The following Sunday (no symptoms in between) I woke up in the middle of the night with severe rotatory nystagmus (I couldn't even read my cell phone), and an inability to walk due to lack of balance. I noticed that if I turned my head, there was "dragging" feeling that seemed to occur, and my neck muscles would give out, resulting in my head falling back. I laid in bed, and about two hours later I vomited. Then I feel back asleep, and when I woke up I felt much better, but was in a bit of a "fog" for a day or so.

The same attack happened the following Sunday, the next Monday, and the next Monday (i.e. one week apart). Symptoms always came in the same order if I was awake to notice them: a strange feeling, dizziness, vertigo, profuse sweating, eventual vomiting or dry heaves, then an urge to take a nap. When I woke up, everything had subsided. The attacks always lasted about 2-2.5 hours. Then the attacks just stopped near mid December.

In February I was standing up, then had this strange warming/pressure sensation in the middle of my chest. It worked its way up, then the normal progression of symptoms started consistent with the previous "attacks". This one overall wasn't that bad, but definitely the same symptoms. After taking a nap, all was back to normal mostly.

Over July 4th weekend, I was looking down at my dog, then turned. I got a little dizzy, then went in side to sit down for a bit. The symptoms (sweating, vertigo) started, but no vomiting. I fell asleep in the chair and 15 minutes later was back to normal. I did feel a bit "foggy" the next day.

Three weeks ago, with no symptoms since that episode on the 4th, I was laying on my back in bed. I turned on my side, then the room kind of "whipped" to the side in my vision. I got up on my knees in bed, then waited a couple of minutes. This time it started with nausea, followed by vomiting all my dinner out over the course of the next couple hours. Profuse sweating for at least two hours, which scared me that I was going to dehydrate. All of the usual symptoms were again present. However, I never felt any feeling in my chest to precede the episode.

On Monday of this week, I was sitting at a stoplight looking down at my cell phone. Suddenly I had this intense warm pressure in my chest, which again worked its way up as well as working down along the top of my thighs as well as an intense yet brief bout of tunnel vision. Within five seconds I was shaking and sweaty, and my vision was "bouncing". I drove into a parking lot and waiting about 10 minutes. It actually seemed to improve so I started driving to work. About 10 minutes later the bouncing vision switched to vertigo, and I noticed that I was leaning to the right in the car seat. I kept driving, vomited a couple times, then made it home where I laid in bed. It lasted about 2 hours, after which I was in a fog for a day.

On Tuesday, nothing happened.

On Wednesday, I was driving to work. Sitting at a stoplight I had another, smaller sensation in my chest. It wasn't nearly as bad as the one on Monday, and didn't have any lasting effects. But about 5 minutes later I had another one. Then throughout the day I've had these little "blips" of dizziness that last about a quarter of a second, which seem to make me refocus my attention. Then, when driving home I had another little attack which seemed to be more of a warmness that occurred along my back. Once almost home, I was stuck behind some traffic at a red light. Suddently I had this intense "antsy" feeling like I had to immediately shift my whole body. Kind of reminded me of the feeling you have immediately after barely avoiding a car accident. I also noticed that my right ear was suddenly plugged, and the right side of my head felt kind of congested, although I'm in no way sick. When I got to my girlfriend's house she said that my voice made it sound like I was sick as well.

Then last night I went to bed after getting very sleepy. Just after falling asleep I had this "BAM" sensation in my head along with a metallic taste in my mouth. That proceeded to get me very awake. Then I noticed I started having them repeatedly to a lesser degree. Or I would get this "warming" feeling over my arms and legs. Each time I would immediately open my eyes and realize I wasn't even remotely tired despite being very sleepy when I went to bed. So despite going to bed very tired I only ended up getting about an hour of sleep all night. Once I woke up and my neck was kind of "sore", which makes me think I had another "bam" episode but was asleep for it.

I've looked online for a lot of things. One related item seems to be Meniere's, yet neither I, a balance specialist (PhD), nor my doctor seem to think I have Menieres. Yet, I have many similar symptoms such as a 2-3 hour attack followed by an urge to sleep, rotatory nystagmus, and sudden yet random onset. I've read that controlling your sugar, salt, and caffeine intakes as well as staying hydrated can somewhat control Menieres. However, I've had attacks under various combinations of those factors.

My doctor wants me to first see a cardiologist because of the sensation I get in my chest. However I'm not sure that's an issue since the sensation does not always occur, and last night I noticed that the sensations in my head occurred w/o any change in my pulse. I have no real stress in my life, and definitely wasn't anxious prior to those attacks in which I had the sensation in my chest. In other words, I don't think it's anxiety. I'm more interested in seeing an ENT, but my doctor wants to prioritize the diagnosis from the most serious (potential cardiac) down to the less serious. Therefore he said if the cardiologist doesn't find anything the next trip will be to a neurologist. I have no family history of anything like MS or cancer.

Therefore I'm looking for any helpful input possible which may help me figure out what is going on. I'm quite worried that I'll go to all these doctors and they'll keep saying "everything looks good", yet it's psychologically killing me because I'm worried I'll have these issues forever. I'm not even sure if there is a connection between the plugged ear, the vertigo attacks, the chest sensation, and the strange feeling that occurs in my head. Any help you can give which may explain these events would be appreciated.

Reply Flag this Discussion

3 Replies:

  • I have some new symptoms. When I was at the cardiologist, I laid flat on a hard table. When I was looking up at the ceiling I noticed that my vision started "swimming". So I turned my head to the right, which relieved it. When the nurse asked me a question, I quickly looked to my left, and I had an electric jolt in my neck muscles. When I sat up though, everything was fine . . .
    prattguy 1 Replies
    • August 30, 2010
    • 02:22 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • 36 y.o male, no history of any major conditions. 6'2", 215, BP: 118/80, TC: 200, LDL: 120 I need some help with what may be multiple conditions that have showed up. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. A few (~8) years ago I was accidentally hit in the head which resulted in BPPV. The audiologist said mine was perhaps the most intense rotatory nystagmus she had seen. Canalith repositioning solved that. A couple of months later I woke up one morning and was very dizzy. My right ear felt plugged, yet was clear. I eventually had two MRI's (one from GP, one from a neuro) which both came back negative. I had about a year where I would get headaches to varying degrees, along with little flashing yellow specks when I looked at bright objects, moreseo when my head was tilted upwards. I also noticed that every once in a while I would see small swirling circles with a little tail behind them. These symptoms eventually subsided, and no cause/diagnosis was ever given. However my right ear has randomly been plugged off an on since the original event. That background is to set up the following. One Monday afternoon in November I remember turning my head and feeling a little "strange". About an hour later I was nauseous and experiencing vertigo. I sat in a chair, and eventually it subsided about two hours later. The following Sunday (no symptoms in between) I woke up in the middle of the night with severe rotatory nystagmus (I couldn't even read my cell phone), and an inability to walk due to lack of balance. I noticed that if I turned my head, there was "dragging" feeling that seemed to occur, and my neck muscles would give out, resulting in my head falling back. I laid in bed, and about two hours later I vomited. Then I feel back asleep, and when I woke up I felt much better, but was in a bit of a "fog" for a day or so. The same attack happened the following Sunday, the next Monday, and the next Monday (i.e. one week apart). Symptoms always came in the same order if I was awake to notice them: a strange feeling, dizziness, vertigo, profuse sweating, eventual vomiting or dry heaves, then an urge to take a nap. When I woke up, everything had subsided. The attacks always lasted about 2-2.5 hours. Then the attacks just stopped near mid December. In February I was standing up, then had this strange warming/pressure sensation in the middle of my chest. It worked its way up, then the normal progression of symptoms started consistent with the previous "attacks". This one overall wasn't that bad, but definitely the same symptoms. After taking a nap, all was back to normal mostly. Over July 4th weekend, I was looking down at my dog, then turned. I got a little dizzy, then went in side to sit down for a bit. The symptoms (sweating, vertigo) started, but no vomiting. I fell asleep in the chair and 15 minutes later was back to normal. I did feel a bit "foggy" the next day. Three weeks ago, with no symptoms since that episode on the 4th, I was laying on my back in bed. I turned on my side, then the room kind of "whipped" to the side in my vision. I got up on my knees in bed, then waited a couple of minutes. This time it started with nausea, followed by vomiting all my dinner out over the course of the next couple hours. Profuse sweating for at least two hours, which scared me that I was going to dehydrate. All of the usual symptoms were again present. However, I never felt any feeling in my chest to precede the episode. On Monday of this week, I was sitting at a stoplight looking down at my cell phone. Suddenly I had this intense warm pressure in my chest, which again worked its way up as well as working down along the top of my thighs as well as an intense yet brief bout of tunnel vision. Within five seconds I was shaking and sweaty, and my vision was "bouncing". I drove into a parking lot and waiting about 10 minutes. It actually seemed to improve so I started driving to work. About 10 minutes later the bouncing vision switched to vertigo, and I noticed that I was leaning to the right in the car seat. I kept driving, vomited a couple times, then made it home where I laid in bed. It lasted about 2 hours, after which I was in a fog for a day. On Tuesday, nothing happened. On Wednesday, I was driving to work. Sitting at a stoplight I had another, smaller sensation in my chest. It wasn't nearly as bad as the one on Monday, and didn't have any lasting effects. But about 5 minutes later I had another one. Then throughout the day I've had these little "blips" of dizziness that last about a quarter of a second, which seem to make me refocus my attention. Then, when driving home I had another little attack which seemed to be more of a warmness that occurred along my back. Once almost home, I was stuck behind some traffic at a red light. Suddently I had this intense "antsy" feeling like I had to immediately shift my whole body. Kind of reminded me of the feeling you have immediately after barely avoiding a car accident. I also noticed that my right ear was suddenly plugged, and the right side of my head felt kind of congested, although I'm in no way sick. When I got to my girlfriend's house she said that my voice made it sound like I was sick as well. Then last night I went to bed after getting very sleepy. Just after falling asleep I had this "BAM" sensation in my head along with a metallic taste in my mouth. That proceeded to get me very awake. Then I noticed I started having them repeatedly to a lesser degree. Or I would get this "warming" feeling over my arms and legs. Each time I would immediately open my eyes and realize I wasn't even remotely tired despite being very sleepy when I went to bed. So despite going to bed very tired I only ended up getting about an hour of sleep all night. Once I woke up and my neck was kind of "sore", which makes me think I had another "bam" episode but was asleep for it. I've looked online for a lot of things. One related item seems to be Meniere's, yet neither I, a balance specialist (PhD), nor my doctor seem to think I have Menieres. Yet, I have many similar symptoms such as a 2-3 hour attack followed by an urge to sleep, rotatory nystagmus, and sudden yet random onset. I've read that controlling your sugar, salt, and caffeine intakes as well as staying hydrated can somewhat control Menieres. However, I've had attacks under various combinations of those factors. My doctor wants me to first see a cardiologist because of the sensation I get in my chest. However I'm not sure that's an issue since the sensation does not always occur, and last night I noticed that the sensations in my head occurred w/o any change in my pulse. I have no real stress in my life, and definitely wasn't anxious prior to those attacks in which I had the sensation in my chest. In other words, I don't think it's anxiety. I'm more interested in seeing an ENT, but my doctor wants to prioritize the diagnosis from the most serious (potential cardiac) down to the less serious. Therefore he said if the cardiologist doesn't find anything the next trip will be to a neurologist. I have no family history of anything like MS or cancer. Therefore I'm looking for any helpful input possible which may help me figure out what is going on. I'm quite worried that I'll go to all these doctors and they'll keep saying "everything looks good", yet it's psychologically killing me because I'm worried I'll have these issues forever. I'm not even sure if there is a connection between the plugged ear, the vertigo attacks, the chest sensation, and the strange feeling that occurs in my head. Any help you can give which may explain these events would be appreciated.Next to prayer (afteryou accept *****t in your hart) I suggest you visit famous MAYO Clinic. I have BCBS PPO insurance and I pain only a couple of$ . All was covered. They are amazingly knowledgable and will give you all neccessary time. There are 3 Clinics; one in Arizona, Miami and Minnesota.I pray that you get to the bottom of this strange symptoms.Blessings to you
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 31, 2010
    • 03:46 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello there, From what you describe about your ear and other head symptoms, this sure sounds like Ménière’s disease.What are the symptoms of Ménière’s disease?The symptoms of Ménière’s disease occur suddenly and can arise daily or as infrequently as once a year. Vertigo, often the most debilitating symptom of Ménière’s disease, typically involves a whirling dizziness that forces the sufferer to lie down. Vertigo attacks can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, and sweating and often come with little or no warning.Some individuals with Ménière’s disease have attacks that start with tinnitus (ear noises), a loss of hearing, or a full feeling or pressure in the affected ear. It is important to remember that all of these symptoms are unpredictable. Typically, the attack is characterized by a combination of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss lasting several hours. People experience these discomforts at varying frequencies, durations, and intensities. Some may feel slight vertigo a few times a year. Others may be occasionally disturbed by intense, uncontrollable tinnitus while sleeping. Ménière’s disease sufferers may also notice a hearing loss and feel unsteady all day long for prolonged periods. Other occasional symptoms of Ménière’s disease include headaches, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. A person’s hearing tends to recover between attacks but over time becomes worse.I hope this helps and if anything, I would at least have an ENT, Ear, Nose and Throat doctor look at this and rule it out, if this is not the problem. Best of luck,David J.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 3, 2010
    • 07:10 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.