I am still unsure this is Migraine
Please help me to shed some light – feel totally in the dark.
I have always suffered from a migraine, starting in childhood. I would come home from school, head pounding and my mother would tie a towel around my head to stop the pressure. These migraines were few and far between and I pretty much knew my triggers – waiting too long to eat, little sleep, dehydration, too much sun, etc.
In my teens, Advil saved me many times and well into my young adulthood, too. When I was around 22, I started having this spinning sensation when going to bed at night. Just as I started to drift off to bed, I would feel an intense spinning and then wake up. Because I also suffered from panic disorder and GAD, I assumed it was a consequence of this disorder.
In my early twenties, I went through a very stressful time. I moved out on my own and was going through intense stress with work, school, and a pet that needed care. One day, I felt as though I was rocking side to side. I even felt like I would need to hold on to my desk at work because I was moving. A couple of nights later, I woke with an intense sensation of a pendulum swinging in my head. It reminded me of a headache without the pain. It was violent rocking and it landed me in the ER. I was also extremely dizzy for 2 weeks while it subsided. One thing that felt really strange about it was the fact that driving made it unnoticeable. As soon as the car would stop, however, the rocking sensation became more noticeable. No one saw me rocking, however; and my doctor summed it up to major anxiety.
I never had an episode of that intensity after that, but when I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, I had a weird type of positional vertigo. I didn’t spin but the room would feel like it was at a 45-degree angle when I lied down. I went to see my ENT who said it was nothing serious. He couldn’t detect anything going on and it was probably stress/anxiety.
Eventually, that went away too. I had my first child a couple years later, got into fitness and health and felt really good.
A year ago, I had my second child. Just prior to this time, I became self-employed and had a very stressful job. I also worked throughout my entire pregnancy. I knew the stresses of life would accumulate big time when the second baby was born because my first was starting kindergarten and I had to continue working.
I had the baby and on day 2, experienced a full blown panic attack. It felt like my legs were numb and I started hyperventilating, thinking the epidural had somehow paralyzed me. It was bizarre that I actually had an attack since I hadn’t had a panic attack in over 10 years.
The panic attacks kept occuring. At some points, I was stumped as to why they would just happen randomly. Then, I started getting really watery eyes, to the point where i thought I had pink eye – but I didn’t. One optomotrist thought I had an infection and the other said, no sign of infection just severely dry eyes. I worked on the computer for hours on end because I was very busy with work. I was also not sleeping as any woman endures because of a newborn.
I also had stopped breastfeeding at 3 weeks postpartum – and I quit cold turkey which I believe immediately affected my hormones. I started losing a lot of hair shortly after that. When my hair grew back I thought my hormones were back to normal.
Then, I realized that I kept getting these strange headaches. They would also be on the left side and felt like they were in my ear. Some mornings, it felt like i had a hang over – it was so bad. It felt like my head was in a vice. I also had total brain fog.
I started eliminating coffee, changing my diet, taking supplements – I didn’t feel healthy any more and I definitely didn’t feel like myself, either.
One night, I woke up and the world was spinning. I couldn’t even read the Advil bottle (was going to give my baby some Advil for teething). I went back to bed. I woke up fine but noticed over the next couple of weeks; I would have these positional vertigo episodes while talking on the phone (right side) or looking down to chop vegetable or writing something down on a piece of paper. It was very distressing. I thought I was having anxiety attacks – I couldn’t figure out it was my ears. These episodes are getting closer and closer together. I ended up in the hospital, and they told me it was BPPV.
I went home and did the Epley (after returning to the hospital a few more times out of pure skepticism). The doctor had the hospital also referred me to a neurologist because I mentioned the increase in headaches before this started.
The Epley finally stopped the spinning but find myself still getting the migraines in the left ear. I have a constant imbalance sensation, still get brief positional dizzy spells, even though I am negative for BPPV according to my vestibular therapist. I also have a slight post nasal drip which is noticeable when I turn my head in certain positions.
The neurologist I consulted said it sounds like a migraine. The ENT did a hearing test on two separate occasions, and it was normal both times. He does not think I have Meniere’s.
It feels like this ear fullness comes and go – I wake up with it, and it dissipates throughout the day. I also have very mild tinnitus in the morning and sometimes, I have a runny nose in the morning but no known allergies.
I have also had extreme sound sensitivity since this all started in my left ear.
Could this still be Meniere’s or is, does this sound more like A migraine? Also, could the upper respiratory infection I had before all of this where I was coughing with post nasal drip for two months triggered all of this? Perhaps there is built up fluid in my left ear?
Why was the BPPV in the right ear?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.