I am a 24 year old woman, and was perfectly healthy until last March! I am able to function for the most part, but have discomfort daily. It has become extremely frustrating and I cannot believe I am still struggling to figure out what is wrong. It has definitely taken a toll on me! Any suggestions or anything would be much appreciated. It is quite long and in depth..sorry about that..but I felt like I needed to include as much information as possible. Thanks again for any help!
Also I have been a nanny for the past two years for a now 2 and 5 year old. I do a lot of lifting of them and running around for obvious reasons. I like to work out although have slowed down a bit. I try to go to the gym a few times a week. I swam for about six months prior to this all happening, after symptoms began I have not swam since. Symptoms began after about eight months of working with them. I plan to go back to graduate school this fall and truly hope I am feeling better.
~ Ear fullness in right ear(this has been consistent for the past year and not subsided) . When I swallow I feel/hear a crackling like noise, but it never feels as though it fully pops. When I open mouth wide I sometimes hear a click. Feels like something needs to be pulled out.
~ feeling of numbness/swollenness on right side of face/under eye/cheek area(I can still feel pressure and move it, but feels almost the way it feels after get Novocain) – started about 3 months after ear fullness- has been going on ever since, some days worse than other
~feeling of pressure in head
~headaches almost daily/they tend to feel sinuslike. Neurologist bumped up my Zoloft prescription to help with the headaches, I take it at night, and it seems as though that has helped me not wake up with a headache like I had been, but I almost always get a headache at some point in the day/usually at night
~neck pain/tightness – this started about 6 months ago, xrays and physical exam show that my neck muscles are in spasm, neurologist currently has me seeing a physical therapist to try and work it out and see if there is any relation to my ear/face/headache problems. Feels extremely tight on side of neck, back of head, behind ear. Many times have issues sleeping comfortable. I have completely avoided sleeping on my stomach and have tried to get a firm pillow that gives my neck more stability. Many times feels as though my neck is being very strained and not supported by my head.
_ I do not really experience dizziness like I had at first.
Medicines I am currently on:
Zoloft 75 mg(I have been on this for about 4 years) ,for most of time was at 50 mg, neurologist recently bumped it up to 75 to help with headaches.
Loestrin24- took this from march 2011- july 2011, then started taking this again this October 2011.
Muscle relaxants (as of a month ago, prescribed by neurologist)
imitrex- take when needed for bad headaches, usually few times a week, just prescribed this a month ago
TIMELINE OF SYMPTOMS:
**March, 2011-I noticed a dizziness/offness, thought it may have been my vision. (noticed this while swimming) A week later I came down with a fever and sore throat.(March 20thish) Was extremely exhausted all the time. Tested positive for strep(rapid strep test). Took antibiotics(10 days of amoxicillin) and my throat felt much better, but my ear fullness,dizziness, and exhaustion did not.Also experienced sinus-like headaches. I went back (end of March) and had it checked out again, they said my ear appeared completely clear and therefore took a blood test for mono. Tested positive for Mono/EPV. Said was most likely all related to the mono, and symptoms would go away in a few weeks.
**April: Weeks later(mid-April) went back to primary because ear fullness had not improved at all- tested positive for lyme and he put me on 30 days of antibiotics.- 100 mg of doxycyline 2x/day.(end of may into june). My ear felt no better after these 30 days. Headaches were almost daily for this month. Mainly at night time. Took multiple tests for lyme over the months of June-August, and the conclusion by 2 infectious disease doctors was that I had EPV/mono but did not have lyme – it was a false positive. My Sed rates were raised in the blood tests taken in june/july.
**August 2011 went to an infectious disease doctor who specialized in lyme disease- he ruled out lyme disease- felt it was a false positive, put me on prednisone, prednisone did not help at all , in fact I felt worse that week. Stopped taking it after a week. Got a MRI of my sinuses to rule out sinusits, sinusitis was ruled out.
My ears were checked out by multiple doctors(3 ENT’s) and all concluded there is no infection and they are very clear. Did mri of inner ear and ruled out acoustic neuroma.
Started nasal sprays(doctor felt it could possibly be allergy related)
Neurologists have checked done MRI of neck & head, all clear. They have done catscan of sinuses, clear as well. Xray of neck showed muscle spasm(2 mos ago)
Neurologist thought it was migraines, and tried putting me on topomax, topomax made me EXTREMLEY dizzy and tired and therefore I discontinued taking it after three days.
**September 2011- went to chiropractor and TMJ specialist. Chiropractor concluded that there was pressure built on the right side of my ear/neck causing the pain…not sure how accurate this information was. I have not gone back to the chiropractor.
TMJ specialists took tests and concluded that I did in fact have TMJ and my bite was off causing the issues on the right side of my head. I went to another dentist to get a 2nd opinion, he said that my muscles were in fact in spasm, so I decided to start treatment with the TMJ specialists.
Started TMJ treatments5 mos ago.(once a week for an hour) Doctor believes that is the problem and what is causing my ear fullness/face numbness, but is perplexed as to why the therapy doesn’t seem to be improving my ear. I continue to go to the therapy once a week. They made me a mouth guard to wear at night to prevent me from clenching. I have gone to this for the past five months and the doctors seems to be very perplexed as to why there is no improvement in my ear. He was sure that my ear fullness would go away in 10-12 sessions( and we are well past that). He said that my bite is perfect..he is clearly perplexed.I do not wear the mouth guard anymore because I saw no improvement with it after 3 months and it always needs to be adjusted therefore usually does not fit well and is uncomfortable to wear.
**January 2012- starting seeing new neurologist- she did more bloodwork to completely rule out any sort of rheumatological disease. Bumped my Zoloft up to 75 mg and had me take at night to try and see if helped with headaches. Has me going to physical therapy 3X/week. (started PT about 4 weeks ago), also wants me to go to acupuncture- I will be doing this this week.
During the time I first noticed that I was dizzy, lethargic I had been working out and swimming a lot. After getting sick in March I completely stopped swimming. I would do freestyle stroke in which I was moving my head to the left to breath constantly.
I have gone to FAR too many doctors, and am beyond frustrated. Thank you for reading and any insight would be very much appreciated!!