head pulsations, pressure in the head, light headed, spaced out - 4 months!
Hi everyone, happy to have found this forum! I'm 28 from Montreal, Canada.
It all started at the end of April 2012. I just woke up on a normal Saturday and felt some kind of a pressure all over my head, I got up and simply couldn't process what exactly what was going on. Had weird pulsations as well in the head. It just didn't feel like it was myself anymore. It felt like a very bad hangover. At first I thought that its due the 2 - 3 drinks I took the night before, so I decided to support it and resume my day with 2 Tylenols. A few hours in wasn't getting better and I was literally feeling that I'm about to pass out... I was in the house and twice within the hour I was sure I'm about to pass out, I run to my bed and lie down. Being in bed felt very good - symptoms weren't as present.
The next day, same symptoms... I was basically a zombie. I seemed fine from the exterior but deep inside I wasn't really there. It's as if I was seeing life through a fish bowl, could literally stare at a wall for hours.... pulsations in the head, pressure around the head... around the eyes, sometime pressure around the nose.... I can honestly say that I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy. I felt completely light headed and floating in a very weird way. I had very poor balance, couldn't stand for long periods of time...forget about driving a car or even being present in a car... couldn't even stand for very long or enter a retail store... I was going nuts. Actually while standing it was the worst.... I also sometime felt some pressure around the ears - as if I was taking taking off in a plane.... but the most unpleasant was having this pression in the head - mostly in the back of the head -... it felt like im floating... totally light headed... not totally present or myself.
Awful feel. Feels like a migraine, sometime headache, light headed, sometime some sinus infection, sometime I can't even describe it. I know that after browsing the forums, it seems that allot of people had similar experiences for months...
I started having some panic attacks due this state... let me tell you that Google searches didn't help much... it was just creating crazy anxiety. It tells you the worst of the worst.
I tried taking a glass of wine, I felt that it helped me a little... then I took a second one and perhaps it was mental but it's as if it froze the head pressure for a while...but not for long.... Once the alcohol effect left, it was the same - sometime worst.
I've decided to go see a general doctor about 2 weeks later, he diagnosed me with labyrinthitis - inner ear infection and prescribed me with an ANTI-VERTIGO drug that unfortunately didn't do anything at all. The symptoms kept on going and going - The doctor said that a Scan is not required and this type of virus can last for weeks - sometime 2 - 3 months.... just try to be patient and relax.. avoid stress... He apparently diagnosed quite a few cases similar to mine over the years.
I couldn't function for work... it was torture. It's not that it was hurting, it was as If I was living with a helmet on my head..a very heavy and tight one.... the worst was explaining to people what is wrong with you. You seem totally fine from the exterior.
WEEK 3 , WEEK 4... it wasn't getting better. Seen another doctor for a second opinion.... same diagnosis..probably labyrinthitis and a scan is not required... they told me to relax.... I was going nuts! pulsations, head pressure always present. Felt like passing out very often.. scary.
The worst is not really knowing what is going on with you... and reading GOOGLE searches about a possible tumor, etc...
WEEK 5 - Started to have better days once in a while... some gave me hope that I'm actually getting better.... but pulsations, head pressures still very much present - Felt like a zombie still... feeling that I will faint still present.. especially when entering big stores or standing up for long period of times.
WEEK 6- started to feel better... became positive. However after a little celebration and a few drinks one night, the next day I had a complete come back. Let me tell you that this specific day was probably one of the worst of my life.... I had a panic attack anxiety and started thinking that this curse would never go away.... I decided to stay away from any alcohol. It's as if everything came back to DAY 1.
WEEK 7 - Same feeling - real torture - Everything came back. No more alcohol for me after.
WEEK 8 - started to feel slightly better. however symptoms still present, just not as bad.
WEEK 9 - started having better days for longer periods... but some were as bad... very random.
WEEK 10 - some days I almost felt cured, some it was coming back out of nowhere for no special reason.
Still the same symptoms pretty much just a lighter level most of the time.
WEEK 11 - WEEK 12 - It slowly started feeling better with good days lasting for a few days. little head pression - pulsations present most of days but nothing compared to what I had to suffer weeks ago.
It was indeed going better.
WEEK 13 - I almost felt cured... most of the days I was fine, however it did happen sometime that I felt little symptoms... but the level was insignificant. I was sure its coming to an over.. my life started being normal again... work, friends, etc.
WEEK 14 UNTIL TODAY AUGUST 30TH (today) .. The head pressure came back a little for the past few days, not as bad as the first weeks but not as good as the last week- I do feel little pulsations around the head sometime as well. My eyes feel swollen, sometime I feel some pressure around the nose - a nasal thing I guess. I do usually suffer from allergies around that season (ragweed) perhaps this doesn't help as well and triggers even more.... but thank god that I DON'T feel like passing out as much.... from a scale from 1 to 10 I would say I'm at 7.5 today compared to 1/10 on the first 3 weeks.
Definitely not fully recovered, but feeling better. Its hard to cope these last few days with that pression in the head, very uncomfortable... I just can't seem to concentrate as this is over taking allot of my energy... the pulsations happen time to time as well in the back of the head... but again, nothing compared to the level of the first weeks. It's almost the fourth month....
I remember that about one or two years ago I had a similar experience that lasted for almost a week... I felt pretty much like a zombie with weird pression in the head...but didn't experience the effects going as far as thinking that i'm going to pass out. After these few days / a week of this past experience it just disappeared and life resumed.
I'm planning to go see a doctor in the next 2 weeks to follow up, but I do feel better...but it could be even better if it goes away. I want my life back.
Sounds a little similar to what I have been going through.
Mine started back in march and leading up to that time I would have complete loss of balance while in shopping centers and at night at restaurants and bars. I put it down to some kind of anxiety.
How wrong I was! 23rd march whilst at work it hit me like a lightning bolt....extreme nausea, dizziness, complete loss of balance, blood pressure dropped, heart palpitations, I honestly thought I was going to die. I had absolutely no idea what was happening to me.
Slowly made my way home and got into bed, where this didn't even help me. I willed myself to sleep and found that sleep was the only escape.
Was taken to the doctor the next day and couldn't sit up at all, a horrendous experience. Had blood tests, MRI, full check up and everything came back normal. He told me I would be fine in a week and it's just a viral inner ear infection. He referred me to an ent if I wanted to explore further.
He sent me away with a prescription for stemetil for the nausea.
So the long saga begins but to cut it short, I have been to two ent specialists, both with the same diagnosis, vestibular neuritis and had a balance and hearing test which came back with results showing 53% permanent damage to my left inner ear. "Hallelujah" I exclaimed to my doctor amongst hysterical laughing. This was at the 3 and a half month mark and I honestly thought I was having a nervous breakdown, insane, crazy etc but NO! There was medical scientific proof that there was something wrong.
My first two months I was bedridden, had to quit my job, was on Valium and stemetil.
Things started to improve slowly but I constantly get setbacks. This is the cruelest of illnesses.
I have been having acupuncture weekly and Chinese herbs daily for 7 weeks.
I am seeing a physio/personal trainer for stretching exercises weekly for my head, neck and shoulder and having a remedial massage once a week.
This is helping so much compared to drugging myself up on all the other medications. Although I tend to get some relief if I take an allergy/sinus tablet before bed.
Yesterday and today are bad days for me, but last week had 4 good days in a row. It's the nature of this illness. Use to be one good day a week, now up to 4.
My bad days consist of a general feeling of being unwell, loss of balance (always falling to the right) and nausea with a loss of appetite.
I am at the 5 and a half month mark and accept this will be a long process but I won't give up. I need to stay positive. I have had so much help from reading everyone's posts on this board and thank everyone for posting as I feel that I'm not alone.
Alec, don't despair, accept what is happening and when the symptoms are severe, go to a quiet space, lie down and breathe deeply.
I wish you good health.
Snowflutter, thank you for sharing your experience. I completely agree, staying positive is a must in this difficult time. I had a good 8 - 10 days not long ago, and this week it looks like most side effects ( weird feeling around the head (pulsations, pressure, feeling somewhat weak, light headed ) is back, its not as intense as the first weeks but its just very annoying. I as well had to completely leave work for over 8 weeks in the beginning, a very unpleasant experience. Another positive point is that I no longer have these intense passing out phases in stores or shopping malls, I'm pretty much stable these days just a little spaced out along the head feelings mentioned above.
I wish you a fast recovery, and please keep me up to date. I must say I feel a little less negative knowing that I'm not crazy as well ;-) and that this illness actually exists!
Re: head pulsations, pressure in the head, light headed, spaced out - 4 months!
It sounds like you are recovering quite speedily. I have not returned to work unfortunately. Shopping centers are still a nightmare for me. If I really need to go I take half a Valium and use ear plugs, but I do need someone to be with me. I will last about an hour and then I feel like I am going to faint and I'm in some kind of spinning hell. Terrifying.
I feel your sentiments exactly of wanting to return to normal. I have come across other people that have had this and say that we will recover...there is just no precise timeline. I was extremely active, social and outgoing before this. High demanding job, played tennis, skiing, gym, swimming, traveling, dining out, hitting the bars with friends, loving life then this hit and stopped me in my tracks. I just want to be able to do all those things again.
Another problem I experienced was the reception from other people. Some dismissed me as being crazy or a drama queen, I just had to move on from those people. I surround myself with people who are very understanding of this illness. The problem lies with me looking the best I have ever looked but living this awful nightmare inside. There are no outward signs of this illness. Only when it hits hard and I walk as if I'm really drunk and need to lean against a wall.
I hope to hear more of your recovery and hear that your life is back to normal, sooner rather than later