- CASE FILE
Constant Vertigo since May 2000. Vertigo got worse in 2018.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I have had vertigo since May 2000, after taking one dose of Gabapentin for pain. I took the medication at bedtime as prescribed, and literally fell out of bed in the morning because I had such poor balance, and felt rather dizzy. I had to use walls, and furniture to keep my balance, and had a great deal of difficulty speaking because the dizziness interfered with my thought processes. I only used two to four words to complete a simple sentence. When I had my husband take back to the hospital that prescribed me the medication, we had to go through a tunnel. While going through the tunnel, I experienced claustrophobia for the first time in my life.
Once I got to the hospital, they drew blood and did a urine test which both came back as normal which made since they would do that considering how I stumbled both physically and verbally.
I had seen Neurology and ENT. All test they did (MRI, VGA, Chair spin) all came back as normal. It took me two months to reteach myself how to walk, drive and talk again. Being that I was in the Army when this occurred, the Doctors allowed me to return to work, but only 6 hours a day, which the Army wasn’t happy about. I was medically retired from the Army in 2004. No one was able to give me a cause of my vertigo, and no medication helped (as most of the medications I took, I ended up having side effects).
Fast forward to Mar 2018, my vertigo got suddenly worse. I hadn’t made changes to my diet, nor anything else. I was just sitting at my desk as usual when I got to work, and the guys were talking to each other as usual, and in less then 15-20 minutes later, I felt dizzier, my head hurt (level 3 pain) and my left ear was also painful. I have no idea which of those came first. I left work and drove home (which was rather foolish, and scary). I have not been able to work or drive ever since. Since then, I had seen 3 Neurologist, 3 ENT specialists, been to Vestibular Rehab, Neuro Ophthalmologist, and Audiologist. As usual all my tests (MRI, CT scan, MRI of my ears, blood, urine, VNG, Brain Stem Potential, Pet scan, PVEP, hearing) all came back as normal. I do fail the Romberg test constantly. My Neuro psychological exam had these results (quick overview):
• simple visual motor sequence was mildly impaired (TMT A= 44 sec.)
• Ability to follow complex patterns of visual stimuli involving the alternation of attention on an alpha numeric task was mild to moderate impaired (TMT B = 111 sec.)
• Speed of information processing was mildly impaired
• There was no evidence of fine motor hyperactivity
• Upper extremity motor strength was below average for the dominant /right and mild to moderately impaired for the left
• Manual dexterity was mild to moderately impaired for the right and moderately impaired for the left. Reaction time was average.
• Verbal concept formation was average. Confrontation naming was mildly impaired.
• a mildly impaired reading rate, mildly impaired mental flexibility and mildly impaired ability to suppress an automatic response in favor of a more accurate one (Stroop W=T 37; Color= T 31; and CW=T 34). Her pattern of response sets indicates problems modifying her thinking on the basis of external cues and feedback. Ability to shift and divide attention was mild to moderately impaired.
The most common questions I get are:
How often do you feel dizzy?
Answer: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
What makes your dizziness worse?
Answer: Noise and motion
What makes your dizziness better?
Answer: Nothing yet
Current working Diagnoses?
Answer: Constant Intractable Vestibular Migraine
Other aids required or needed?
Answer: Yes, I use a walker for walking more then 50 feet.
Things I can do:
Answer: Dress myself sitting down, shower (leaning on walls), feed myself, prepare my own meals (not using stove or oven), feed my dog once a day (he has a dog door to let himself in our out), wash cloths once a week, do dishes once a week, order food and household needs online, which get delivered to my home.
Any other complications?
Answer: Yes, I developed tinnitus in Dec 2018 (both ears) which aggravates my dizziness, because of the constant noise. I am due to be fitted for hearing aids this month. Am now also seeing black floaters in my vision field, which also aggravate my vertigo because of their constant motion.
Answer: Amitriptyline (100 MG), Melatonin (3mg), Sertraline (50mg), Omeprazole (20mg), Transderm Scop (1.5mg), Vitamin D and Vitamin K. The Amitriptyline, Melatonin & Sertraline help me sleep.
Answer: Yes, Codeine, Gamma Globulin (required for deployment to Haiti, extremely rare reaction, which left my left leg partially paralyzed, and attacked my sciatica nerve), Vicodin & Meclizine.
Answer: No family members with constant vertigo.
Paternal Grandmother, Alzheimers
Mother, Alzheimers (passed away in 2017, she was 79 years old and had Alzheimers for over 13 years)
Paternal Aunt (2 of them), Alzheimers & Bell’s Palsy. One of my Aunts passed away in 2018. The Aunt who passed away, had Alzheimers for 7 years, and she was 81 years old.
Paternal Uncle, Alzheimers (he is 2-3 years older than I am)
Father, Bell’s Palsy & cancer (bladder, in remission)
My ultimate desires:
100% cure. In lieu of that, I would be a lot happier if I could at least drive again, plus know ways to prevent my vertigo from getting worse, and of course any other tests that could be recommended. Tumor, lesions, cancer, BPPV, Alzheimers all have been ruled out.