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Old 01-07-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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Carl T HB User
lasting symptoms after cocaine

Hi everyone,
This is my first post here. I came to try to find any answers to my problem or similar cases.
Ever since I did cocaine for the last time of my life (March 2011) I have never felt the same again. The symptom that really bothers me and gets in the way of my well being is feeling lightheaded all the time. I don't know if dizziness is the right definition, but I certainly feel unsteady and uneasy in many situations. Many times it comes with a weird throbbing/pulsating sensation on the left top of my head.
I also noticed a change in vision. 90% of the stuff I do is in front of a screen (computer at work, at home, TV and videogames) and I noticed it is uncomfortable to focus on one point, track moving objects or simply reading. I even started using glasses for greater comfort (even though I'm not shortsighted). It's as if my eyes are not as "smart" as before.
This and the unsteadiness/disorientation are really limiting my quality of life.
There are occasions when I do feel a bit anxious and edgy.

I went to see loads of doctors (neurologists, specialists in labirynth, psychiatrist) but none seemed to have nailed it down and help me really get better.
It's really frustrating because I have always told them the whole extent of my problem - that I used drugs. Total disclosure, and it was supposed to be a good thing, but sometimes it made them jump to conclusions: suddenly some of those docs were treating me like an addict, and as if I were in denial.
Just to clear things up, I really don't think I could be described as an addict. If I did, I'd have no problems admitting it. But the fact is that I made the decision to stop using coke and never got any real cravings and have never gotten even close to using it again. That is, I quit it far too easily, it cannot be addiction. I've been almost 10 months clean and didn't have major problems. Also, my whole history with the drug suggests that it cannot be so: I used 3 times in the space of 1 month in 2011. In 2010 I used once, in 2009 once, and before that only sporadic use in 2006, 2005 and 2004, when it was my first time.
Having said that, it's frustrating when they want to me to go to rehabs, undertake crazy treatments for anxiety or take antidepressants.
Of all of those things, I did take antidepressants (SSRIs) in the form of Setraline (Zoloft) for 4 months. But it didn't really help, I kept feeling all weird and lightheaded.
My depression, if anything, is very mild. That is not my concern. What really gets on my nerves is feeling lightheaded and weird constantly and fearing the possibility of having to endure this for the rest of my life. This is terrifying.

I fear the doctors could be overlooking a much more serious problem, not psychological disorder, but an actual physical problem. Something to do with my brain vessels... constricting of the vessels is one of the drug's characteristics, so I could have done something that is making my brain receive less blood.
I want to go down this path of investigation, but doctors aren't inclined to requesting brain scans and angiotomography. It's been really frustrating and I just try and get on with it... but sometimes I break down when I think of the prospect of being spoilt like this forever...

Well, thats my story, sorry for writing so much and thanks to whoever reads it. If anyone has being unfortunate enough to experience the same, please do share your thoughts. Will be much appreciated.

Cheers

 
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: lasting symptoms after cocaine

Hello Carl

I have no experience or knowledge about cocaine. However, I just couldn't ignore your post when it is plain to see the distress you feel. It is certainly understandable.

This is probably a longshot here, but the first thought that came to my mind while reading your post was sinus. Has any doctor checked out your sinus system? Perhaps some of the problem lies there.

I wish you well as you fight to get to the bottom of this. Have you ever seen an adiction specialist? Perhaps this kind of doctor would have some insight, some knowledge gained from working with patients.

Don't give up. Keep trying to get doctors to order more tests. If dizziness is a constant symptom, it seems to me that a brain scan is more than in order.

Please keep us update
reach

 
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Carl T (01-08-2012)
Old 01-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Carl T HB User
Re: lasting symptoms after cocaine

Thank you for your kind words. Yes it is very distressful being up against something completely unknown.
It is one interesting path to go down, checking sinus. When I was 7 or 8 years old I had severe sinusitis. It was too long ago to remember if I felt lightheaded like this, but I do remember suffering from horrible headaches.
However, now I don't feel headaches. And the "dizziness" is not spinning vertigo, it's more like lightheadedness, feeling unsteady and getting those throbbing sensations in my head.
Nevertheless, I will try to get a doctor to check my sinus. Do you know if a case of untreated sinus can really last for 10 months?

Also, from every source I read it seems to be connected with depression and anxiety, so I am aware that it might be contributing to my state.

To make matters worse, my GP seems not to give a damn about my problem. It's been almost a month I went there and he didn't request any exams, didn't prescribe medicines... just said he was to speak to a colleague psychiatrist before calling me back... and he never called! Almost 1 month...
The way I see it, the GP is just getting in my way towards proper specialist/treatment.

As for addiction specialists, I'd love to speak to one and maybe find some answers. I just wonder if they see patients who aren't in rehab programs or just want a one off appointment?

Thanks,
C

 
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