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    Old 01-15-2005, 03:24 PM   #1
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    Question head pain worsens with movement

    47-year-old diabetic female teacher

    I started to feel unwell towards the beginning of September. Initially I thought I was over-tired (for the past three years I had been studying in excess of 20 hours a week as well as working full-time). As the symptoms worsened, I put it down to going past tiredness and having become run-down. By the 1st October, I felt that I couldn’t continue working and that perhaps it was flu. I had tried to get more rest/sleep prior to this and at this time spent five days in bed without the symptoms easing or even changing. I had no cold, cough or aching limbs, but felt physically and mentally exhausted with headaches and a giddy/light-headedness no movement of the room etc). I also suffered from hot flushes, problems with maintaining conversation, thinking, memory, and reading even short pieces of text (I seemed to jump words as I would scan the text, when I did manage to read the words I was still unable to make sense of them). I saw my GP, I did not have a temperature but he sent me for a chest x-ray and blood tests. By this time I wondered if perhaps I was anaemic, I felt as though there was insufficient oxygen reaching my brain (testing indicates that I’m not). To my surprise, the x-ray results indicated that I had a chest infection (no tumours or abnormal shadows) and my GP prescribed two courses of antibiotics that cleared this. It also appears that I am probably diabetic (my mother and two of her siblings had diabetes – I have a GTT booked for the 25th January). Having spent nearly three weeks in bed, I returned to work for three days before the half-term holiday. The symptoms had not improved to any extent and I found that I was unable to project my voice, I still felt extremely unwell but put it down to the chest infection. I returned to work again for two days after the half-term week but found that if I attempted to raise/project my voice I sounded as though I had taken helium. I still had all the other symptoms. I still put it down to the chest infection especially as there seemed to be some connection between my breathing and being able to speak. I had also become very quietly spoken. I then seemed to lose my voice but feel that perhaps I had strained it, as I had no sore throat. My GP prescribed another course of antibiotics for a respiratory infection. As I became more active (not continually in bed or lying down) I realised there is a correlation between walking (the vibration of walking)and movement and the extent of the giddy pain on the right-hand side of my head – there is also a feeling of pressure and sometimes feel that my head will explode. I had what I would describe as a headache on the left-hand side. I wouldn’t describe either as throbbing or stabbing pains. My GP referred me to an ENT consultant on the 16th December. Amongst others, I had a hearing test (no loss of hearing) and an imaging device threaded through my nostril. I was told that there was nothing wrong with my ears, nose or throat (have not had any pains associated with these) and that my problem was psychosomatic,tension headache, diabetes, under-active thyroid, or menopause related. I should return to work and ignore it. In all honesty, she made me feel a fraud. Following this my GP ordered further blood tests, the results indicate that I do not have an under-active thyroid, and that I am pre-menopausal (scale thirty-something to 90, mine was 69). In desperation, I had an acupuncture session a week before Christmas. This relieved the headache, but the pain appears to have spread to the left-hand side of my head (it may be that the headache was masking it previously). I returned to work for two days before Christmas, and have completed one full week since Christmas. I was feeling very down and felt that it may provide a distraction from the pain. However, this week the pain and giddy feeling has been worse than ever, with a degree of nausea increasing with the extent of the pain (although it is always present the increase in pain seems to be associated with the amount of movement and/or walking – only resting seems to ease it), I still feel extremely unwell and have very little energy. I also still have problems with memory, thought processes and reading/understanding larger amounts of text (no jumping of words). Although the hot flushes were mainly in the evening and during the night – waking me three or four times when at their worst, this seems to have eased considerably. I also realise that my sight has worsened since I have been unwell (I already wear glasses).

    My GP has been excellent, even seeing me on a weekly basis until recently. I appreciate that the issues relating to diabetes and the menopause probably complicate diagnosis and prescribing treatment, and am not keen to return to the ENT consultant. However, due to the extent of the pain and feeling so unwell I am not sure how much longer I will cope with working and am now desperate for advice and guidance. The only medication I am currently taking is to reduce the level of triglycerides in my blood.

    I originally posted this under headaches but despite the ENT's remarks now feel it may be ear related.

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    Old 01-17-2005, 09:23 AM   #2
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    Re: head pain worsens with movement

    It is good to continue to seek help even if the ENT said your ears are fine. Mine said mine were fine too and they are NOT.. no official dx yet, tho I feel it is PET.. But this business of MDs not finding things therefore saying it must be in your head is wrong. It does sound like you have a few things going on but I know that ear problems have huge impact on your life. Good luck.

    Old 01-19-2005, 02:56 PM   #3
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    Re: head pain worsens with movement

    Thanks for your response. I've seen my GP and he is going to refer me to the ENT again. Apart from feeling so unwell, I am concerned that as a single parent my job may be at stake. I hope you get a speedy diagnosis - not only reassuring to know/have confirmed whats wrong, but at last means some hope of treatment.

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