- CASE FILE
I'm 42, and for the last 2 years I've been dealing with loss of balance, headaches, weakness, vision problems, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I am a firefighter in Miami. On December 16th, 2017 coming off 24 hour shift. I got home and started organizing some shelves, when I bent down and lifted up a box all of the sudden I had a vertigo attack and started vomiting. It stopped for a few minutes and then it would come back. I was like that for 2 weeks, then the vertigo attacks started getting further apart and less in duration but my balance was completely gone. To this date I have not regained my balance, but I haven't gotten a vertigo attack in a few months. At times my eyes would try to go to the far left or far right and if I try to fight it I get very dizzy and nauseous. If I close my eyes I don't get that feeling. I also have a pain that starts at my neck to the base of my head, and it goes up at times to my temporal region. I've had multiple trauma/injuries to my neck and back, and I get a lot of stiffness and pain, but it has gotten a lot worse since all these other symptoms started. Sometimes even a slight movement of my jaw would make me stumble, or just slightly moving my head. I have tinnitus that is severe on the left ear, and quite a bit of hearing loss in that same ear. The tinnitus changes with some head positions and also with some manipulation of my neck. Straining makes symptoms worse. On April 19th of 2019 I had an episode in which I had turned my head to the right to toss something and then I quickly turned my head to the left to look at my daughter, at which point I felt a tremendous force throwing me forward causing me to hit my head against the fridge and then falling to the floor after blacking out. When I opened my eyes my I was on the floor and my daughter was next to me asking if I was ok. I have seen many different doctors of many different specialties, they have done many different tests, given me different diagnosis, and attempted many different treatments. One Neurotologist first believed it was Superior Canal Dehisence (ruled out with ct scan), then believed it was a paralymphatic fistula (ruled out with surgery, and placed graph on round and oval window as a precaution), now he believes is a very rare form of Endolymphatic Hydrops to which he's treated for about 14 months with Diamox, Triamterene, Betahistine, Steroid injections in ear (4), low sodium diet, no caffeine, no alcohol, vestibular therapy. All without any success nor improvement, and now he wants to try an endolymphatic sac decompression. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota (I went in October of 2018) disagrees and believe that all my symptoms are originating from somewhere else other than my ear, which I saw 2 more neurotologists in Miami that agree with this determination after testing. I saw a couple of Neurologists that thought might be Vestibular migraines and attempted treatment with Topomax, Emgality, Verapamil.(No success nor improvement), next they want to try botox injections, and suggesting CBD oil and medical THC. A neurosurgeon believed it was Occipital Neuralgia, and did an occipital nerve block (No success nor improvement). I went to a psychiatrist and got diagnosed with PTSD and GAD, and believes I might have Persistent Positional Perceptual Dizziness and treated me with Mirtazapine (No improvement nor success, and really bad side effects) now managing with Diazepam as needed. Oramaxilofacial surgeons found TMJ and treated with orthotic which believed might be cause of some symptoms but no success nor improvement. Hollistic medicine tried approach of diet and tried KETO diet, and Paleo diet without improvement to symptoms but overall health felt better to which I continue with a good diet. A second neurosurgeon believed might be cervicogenic vertigo due to multiple trauma to my neck and back over the years at work and refered me to physical therapy. Also went to NOVA Southeastern University Department of Ostheopathic Medicine and the believe it is Craniocervical Instability due to multiple trauma over the years, and they are treating with osteopathic manipulation therapy. I have tried chiroprachtors, accupuncture, biomagnetism, and vitamins/supplements without success. I had 3 different physical therapist that believe my neck is a huge contributor to my symptoms. Ever since I started physical therapy for my neck and back, my symptoms have gotten worse. Before therapy I had a period of about 2 weeks in which symptoms would be a little more tolerable followed by 2 weeks of really bad symptoms. Now after I started therapy I have not gotten those 2 weeks of more tolerable symptoms. I have also seen cardiologists and have done tilt table test, currently wearing a loop recorder, and awaiting a carotid ultrasound. So far all the tests come back saying my heart is good. I have all my medical records from most of the doctors I've seen. I have also ruled out other things with regular ENTs, ALLERGISTS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR, PULMONOLOGIST, PCP, PSYCHOLOGIST, HEMATOLOGIST, and waiting on an appointment to see an Endocrinologist. I am running out of doctors. I refuse to give up, I have 3 amazing kids that need me, and an incredible wife that has dealt with me through all this. I need to find out what's wrong so I can try to fix it, without knowing what's wrong I feel like i'm going crazy. Please help.