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Old 10-05-2003, 08:38 PM   #1
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Question Mysterious Illness Possibly Epilepsy?

This is quite a long story, but if you think you might be able to help me out, please read, thank you.

Hi, I've had a mysterious illness on and off for the past four months. It started off four months ago with extreme nausea, and then SEVERE vertigo that landed me in the hospital because I was freaking out because the floor was flipping around and spinning. I saw my regualr physician and he said that it sounded like a viral infection of my inner ears. He prescribed an extremely stong dosage of antibiotics, which made me feel even worse, and Antivert for the vertigo and nausea. Meclizine helped a LITTLE bit with the vertigo and somewhat with the nausea. The antibiotics made me extremely sick to my stomach anytime that I didn't have Antivert in my system. Eventually, in about three weeks, the severe vertigo went away but I was left being completely off balance most of the time, with mini-vertigo attacks throughout the day. I was still nauseous almost constantly. This went on for about two months, and I started to feel a little bit better. The only thing that was left was an even more extreme sensitivity to odors, which I already had, and I was skinnier than I've ever been, due to not wanting to eat very much while nauseous and having a fast metabolism to begin with. Although I wasn't spinning like crazy all day anymore, I felt sickly now because I basically had malnutrition. I already lost 50 pounds during the previous year from getting off of antidepressants, and I was already slightly underweight before the vertigo started. I had all the classic symptoms of hypoglycemia. I felt HORRIBLE if I didn't eat, and I would tremble violently if I went too long without meals. The thing was, it was hard for me eat still with some motion sickeness. I started making myself eat frequently, and I had bloating, stomach pains, excessive gas, excessive phlegm, and even more nausea. I immediately thought "food allergies" because I had bad allergies as it was and I always felt like that after I ate. Slowly, I started the process of elimination of foods until I figured out that wheat definitely bothered me, as well as some dairy. The food allergy thing went on for another month before I figured it out. I eliminated wheat, replaced it with other kinds of breads and pasta, and started drinking soy milk. Throughout this entire time, I was really struggling. I'm only 18 years old, and although very life-experienced, I was trying with all my might to get my life on track as I dropped out of high school due to extreme panic attacks and a tranquilizer addiction (that I kicked) a year and a half before. So, I finally elimated wheat and most dairy, ate more frequently, and felt a lot better. I was trying really hard to deal with life without medication. I was prescribed tranquilizers since the age of 13, and I never really learned how to deal with anything in life. I had anxiety and depression that was worsening due to the stress of the illness, and I was starting to get symptoms of OCD, but made myself get a job. I worked for three weeks and worked myself to the bone. I was more stressed out than I've ever been in my entire life, but I was proud and had hope that I could someday function like a "normal" adult, without excessive anxiety. After the third week of work, I got a really bad cold. It turned into bronchitis and all of a sudden, the vertigo came back. It was worse than the first episode when I had it, and lasted for a week straight. The only thing that took most of the vertigo away was Valium, which I was reluctant to take due to the addiction I had to it. Meclizine did nothing for me this time and I truly thought I was going to die. Like the last time, I had severe nausea, severe vertigo to the point of hysteria, a fast pulse rate, extreme sweating, and tremors. It made no sense to me. I took the Valium ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for about a week, until the vertigo subsided enough to where I was still really suffering, but not in hysterics about it. I just recently went for an MRI and am currently in the process of trying to find a neurologist because of my wide range of other symptoms such as a spacey feeling before a vertigo attack with olfactory (smell) hallucinations, severe light sensitivity before a vertigo attack, the left side of my tongue being numb for a couple of weeks on end, and twitching in my jaw. I have state insurance and it's horrible, so I'll probably have to travel really far to find a neurologist. Also, I didn't mention in my story above, I also had another weird "attack." About a month after the first vertigo episode, I was shopping in Wal-Mart with my mom and suddenly the lights were too bright for me to handle, I felt nausous, and basic malaise. I went to tell my mom and I just fell completely out of it. I could barely speak and could barely walk I was so disoriented. This is how I feel before I have vertigo, but this time there was no vertigo. I felt as though I was just going "out." My mom was scared when she realized that I wasn't just being panicky, and walked me out of the store. In about 10 minutes, it went away. Still, to this day, I'll have periods where I'll be extremely disoriented and feel unwell, and I thought it was related to my dizziness, but now I'm not so sure. It sounds to me a little bit like epilepsy but I'm not sure. I was just wondering if please, anyone has any insight. My mom, who is VERY supportive, is even getting sick of my complaining and is starting to think I'm crazy. I am SOOO overwhelmed by this and so beside myself I can't even describe it. I'm terrified to be by myself for fear of an "attack" et I don't hang out with any friends because I never know when this is going to occur. I am constantly worried, anxious, and agitated because nobody knows what's going on. Please, if anyone has any clue as to what this MAY be, please respond. Thank you to those who read this as this was a very long post

*Also, a symptom I didn't mention in my story is that I have frequent attacks where I won't feel vertigo, but I'll feel disoriented and "out of it." *Sometimes* I'll also have odor hallucinations of smelling barbecue chicken, rubber, Mexican food, etc. I also have some numbess in my tongue, I not sure if I mentioned that or not.

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Old 10-06-2003, 04:10 AM   #2
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Hi, I don't think epilepsy is an "illness." It is a neurological condition or disorder. You could have simple partial seizures, but I don't think those are related to the feeling of vertigo or that you feel nauseous BEFORE the seizure. Not sure, though. You will have to wait for info from others on that.

Because you don't mention headaches, paralysis or tremors, I'm not sure if it's a neurologist you need to see.

Are you sure your vertigo doesn't stem from anxiety or stress? You have a history of panic attacks, and you say, yourself, that you haven't had experience dealing with things in life. Your symptoms may not be the cause of your anxiety. Your anxiety could well be the cause of your symptoms. It's amazing how the mind can affect the rest of the body.

 
Old 10-06-2003, 06:40 AM   #3
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noelwr,

I don't agree with you. I have PC seizures and have had the vertigo feelings before. I have never had the nausia before but I do know that before I "go out" the aura is enough to scare you so bad you feel sick. Not the same thing I know but that is one way of looking at it. Her nausia could be her aura. My seizures started out as the auras are now. I get deja vu and then extreme fear followed by a very strange feeling that is indescribable (sp?) and then I go "out". The smelling of strange things like rubber, BBQ Chicken, Mexican food and such is a form of aura. I have read that on many epilepsy sites.

Oh, Epilepsy is not an illness. It is a disorder but it is best described as a disease.

Hopes this helps. Any questions let me know.

God Bless,
KittyMom

------------------
Mother of 3 beautiful kids and wife to a Great husband! I love helping others...it helps me grow!

 
Old 10-06-2003, 06:44 AM   #4
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Have you had the intensive tests for diabetes? This is where you have a IV in and they feed you sugar water to see how you handle the carbs. Usually, before the test you need to eat a lot of carbohydrates. My husband had that when they first checked to see if he had E. He also gets a numb tongue if he has a GM seizure at night. DOes it appear to be bitten when it is numb? And do you discover it in the morning? I'd have the doctor look into both E and diabetes for sure. Don't give up. Write your symptoms and questions down before the doctor's appointment. They respond far better if you're organzied and that way you don't forget anything, especially when they rush you. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:19 PM   #5
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Hi, thank you so much for your responses. I actually didn't mean to refer to epilepsy as a illness, so I apologize profusely if I offended anyone. It does sound like anxiety could be a possibly cause for someone else looking at what's going on, but I KNOW that it's not. Sometimes, when I'm very upset, I'll get psychosomatic nausea, but this is different. It's extreme rising and falling of nausea and FEELS different. I feel as sick as a dog, and when it's completely over, I am back to my old self again. It's attacks of some sort, but definitely not panic or anxiety. I do have a history of both and still have anxiety, but I'm doing better with that and learned how to completely control my panic attacks. And I guess I did fail to mention quite an important symptom. I DO actually have tremors. They usually start a little while after the "strange feeling" that I get. I was seeing an ear, nose, and throat specialist and I just got the results of my MRI today. The MRI was completely normal, as in showing nothing wrong with my ears, since inner ear imbalance was the original theory on this whole thing. He strongly suggests that I still see a neurologist, and the diabetes testing also sounds like a wonderful idea. I also found out that I have impacted, very infected wisdom teeth (periconronitis) and I have to get them extracted. Another possible theory is that my teeth may be hitting nerves or something, but I'm sure that would've showed up on the MRI, so I'm going to make an appointment with a neurologist, get a complete blood sugar check, and meanwhile get those teeth out. Thank you all so very much for reading such a lengthy post and replying, I really, really appreciate it
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Last edited by Solstice1221; 11-20-2003 at 09:21 AM.

 
Old 10-07-2003, 07:51 AM   #6
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Solstice:

I had a friend who had a really badly infected tooth, and she was told to get it treated immediately because not only could she get blood poisioning, very bad infections may cause seizures as can high fevers which you can have from infections. Are these symtoms new or worse since the infection? I'd get that done immediately. Your dentist should have put you on antibiodics immediately. Don't wait a tooth infection because of the proximity to the brain can be very, very serious. Good luck!
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