My name is Allyson and I’m so pleased I discovered this website because it is the only thing giving me hope at the moment.
To cut a very long story short, I had a few brief episodes of BPPV last summer that was cured eventually with the Epley manouevre and then in November I was very poorly with a throat infection. Whilst suffering with this, I suddenly had a severe bout of rotational vertigo that lasted several weeks - the diagnosis my GP said was probable vestibular neuritis. Although I recovered, the vague sense of dizziness and feeling ‘not quite right’ lasted. Every time I felt dizzy, it caused me huge anxiety to the point where I was starting to get regular panic attacks. I thought I had everything from a brain tumour to MS because I had so many weird symptoms, including numbness in my arms and frequent pins and needles in my legs. Trying to explain this to all manner of medical professionals proved very challenging with most saying it was just health anxiety. Not helpful! Needless to say, all blood tests and my MRI scan have come back normal.
Realising I was getting nowhere with the NHS, I paid for a private appointment to see an audiology specialist and was diagnosed with VM and PPPD. Although this should have helped me to feel a little better, I’m now almost 12 months in with no abatement of symptoms. I have the usual suspects of constant 24/7 dizziness but also vertigo with dropping floor senstations and other strange things that seem to set it off i.e. eating dinner. I didn’t think that just this activity alone could cause vertigo lasting hours! Watching the TV is sometimes visually uncomfortable as well as reading and using the computer on occasion. Additionally I have high pitched, constant tinnitus, pins and needles sensation, head pressure (never painful but fairly constant above both ears) and a nervous system that seems to be completely out of control. I’m getting regular panic attacks, feel extremely fearful and anxious to the point that life has become one long tightrope with me trying to get across it without falling off. I feel a completely different person to the one I left 11 months before and can’t even begin to imagine how I will ever feel normal again.
The only medication I’m on is 10mg Amitriptyline at night (prescribed and taken since February this year) and Sumatriptan 100mg tablets for the headache/vertigo. I haven’t noticed any change in my symptoms. It doesn’t help that I’m peri-menopausal as I believe hormone fluctuations can play their part but I’m not sure to what degree. Also, I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder that before all of this was manageable but now seems way out of control given everything that has happened since last Autumn.
Despite my diagnosis, no medical professional has actually sat down and explained to me in layman’s terms about what VM actually is and how it impacts the brain. Without knowledge, my anxiety and uncertainty is constantly fulled. I would be so grateful for some more insite into this condition particularly as my pins and needles and numbness seem to be activated the moment the vertigo kicks in. I haven’t seen many comments about this and wondered if this too was definately a part of VM and if anyone else is experiencing this. Even when the vertigo has momentarily stopped, the pins and needles are constant. My neurology appointment confirmed that all was normal.
Apologies for the rambling - just a lot of frustration and sadness at having to deal with a condition I know little about and that is totally hidden. My work colleagues have no idea just how much of an effort it is to just survive the day! Curiously, driving seems to be the only thing that gives me relief from the vertigo and background dizziness.
Any help would be most appreciated.