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Discussion: Sorry

in: Cristina; Cristina > 2021-03-09

Mar 10, 2021 3:47 PM # 
That sounds awful. :( How are you feeling today?
Mar 10, 2021 4:19 PM # 
Much better today. Things are still spinning a bit but I was able to make breakfast and am now sitting at my computer with an intention to do some work, which makes two significant accomplishments that I did not manage yesterday. I'm hopeful that the moving around will get things equalized or whatever it is that needs to happen to get totally back to normal.
Mar 10, 2021 5:25 PM # 
Any idea what caused it?
Mar 10, 2021 5:41 PM # 
No. I have a suspicion that it's allergy/sinus related because I had some sinus pressure, too. The wind has been fierce, kicking up pollen, so maybe? I had a telehealth visit with a doctor and he thought it was probably from a cold or something and would resolve itself, but also that I should go to urgent care if it didn't get better. Not very conclusive, but I don't expect much from a video chat.

Now that I feel better enough to sit at a computer I will commence google diagnosing.
Mar 10, 2021 9:32 PM # 
Have you tried a decongestant?
Mar 10, 2021 9:51 PM # 
Well I'm taking allergy meds again, which the doc thought should help some. Not very eager to take the strong decongestants when I'm not actually feeling very congested, though it's probably worth a try if this isn't all cleared up by tomorrow.
Mar 11, 2021 12:00 PM # 
ooh! I had this last fall. Really nasty. I went to urgent care and they prescribed me benadryl. That made things a lot worse, so I only took one and got rid of the rest of them. It was intermittent for a couple of months. My doc told me to drink a lot more water, and whether it was a coincidence or not, it pretty much stopped once I started making an effort to drink at least 64 oz of water a day.
Mar 11, 2021 5:06 PM # 
I remember reading about that in your log. You never got a real explanation?

I feel about the same today as yesterday, which is to say a lot better than Tuesday but still not normal. My googling has led me to wonder whether it could be a migraine. I have always assumed my incidents of "face pain" were sinusitis or something, but I'm not usually congested. So....maybe? Still a mystery.
Mar 11, 2021 6:15 PM # 
I treated my last incidence as a migraine and it didn't last as long( meaning I took migraine meds). However, when I talked to my migraine clinic they were more concerned about it being something worse. Hearing about the suggestion for Charlie to drink more, I've since been trying that. But don't come close to drinking 64 oz. Drinking that much would make me feel sick. We are all different.
Mar 11, 2021 6:20 PM # 
Yes, Sam mentioned to me that she knew someone who had vertigo for days and it turns out it was a cerebrospinal fluid leak and that seems slightly more concerning, if unlikely.

As for me, I drink far more than 64oz in a day. I usually drink 2-3 tall glasses of cold water after waking up and with breakfast, so I'm halfway there by the end of breakfast.
Mar 11, 2021 6:42 PM # 
The water intake has been a change for me. It doesn't make me sick, but I am certainly not accustomed to it and it is an act of will. A side benefit is that I have cut my coffee back to an average of 2 cups a day. I also got checked out for BPPV, which seemed like a likely culprit, but the guy checking me out couldn't really reproduce my symptoms, so he was pretty sure I didn't have it.
Mar 11, 2021 6:49 PM # 
Other possibilities that are out there:

Labyrinthitis: Pat Dunlavey had it, and I think got it treated with antihistamines. I likely had it as well (more than once?), but I didn't seek treatment and it went away on its own. In my case, it was just like I was very slightly dizzy all the time for a few weeks. Pat's may have been worse.

BPPV: Steve Richardson had a bout of this after a rented jackhemmer shook some otoliths loose. I think it just went away in his case, other people have to learn a weird yoga routine to get the rocks back in place.

Meniere's disease: a hang glider pilot I know thought he had BPPV, but after a while I think they decided it's this instead. It happens maybe every few months, he gets just a little warning before a massive vertigo attack that causes nausea. His only recourse is to lie very still for I'm not sure how long. I haven't seen him in a couple of years, he can't risk it happening when he's in the air, his wife is too concerned to let him drive any substantial distance alone, and last I heard he couldn't even use passenger air transport unless he went for at least a year with no attacks (and at that point, he was not in the clear).

Or maybe you're just drunk.
Mar 11, 2021 6:50 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Yeah, that sounds pretty sucky. I'm sorry.

I'm dealing with my own somewhat related symptoms right now, too. I've been near-constantly lightheaded since January 29, and the cause is still undiagnosed. This week is trending better, so maybe it's on its way out, but the lightheadedness as ebbed and flowed over the past six weeks, so I can't be sure.

The first suggestion I received to was to drink a lot more water, but that basically had no effect. Urgent care thought it might be heart-related, but so far, all of those tests have come back normal (I'm getting a multi-day heart monitor attached tomorrow to see if there's anything there). Another thought was that it was ear related, and my right ear was severely clogged with wax, but after getting all of that cleaned out, the symptoms are still there. I'm seeing an ear specialist later this month.

BPPV was also suggested for me, but the Epley maneuvers didn't work. I don't really have any pain. I'm also not falling-over dizzy. I'm just lightheaded a lot, as if my body has had two beers but my mind is completely sober, if that makes any sense. Another interesting "symptom" is that if I go into a dark room, close my eyes, and march in place for 30 seconds... when I open my eyes, I've turned noticeably to the left.
Mar 11, 2021 7:14 PM # 
I am laughing right now because I just tried that marching thing and the whole time I was like, "nope, I'm definitely not moving at all" and then when I opened my eyes I was actually facing 90° to the left of my starting orientation.

Was this something you were told to try or is it just a weird thing you noticed? Wondering if this is actually unusual or just a weird but normal human thing.
Mar 11, 2021 9:34 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Was this something you were told to try or is it just a weird thing you noticed?

I've been tracking my symptoms over on my log and Peteris suggested it on February 7 but never really explained why or commented after I had my results. I was curious enough to try it, and while marching in place, I was positive that I wasn't turning, and the first time I turned a full 90° to the left. Since then, I've always turned left when repeating the experiment, but never again a full 90° (perhaps my body is aware of the bias and erring to the right a bit?).

I mentioned the experiment to Gina, and I didn't tell her about the possible results, including mine. She initially thought that the test was to see how far forward she'd go. She did it and did not turn in any direction, indicating that maybe it is an inner ear balance thing.

I mentioned this to my doctor, and she didn't have a good explanation, but she's not an inner ear expert. Another possibility for me is my massive ankle injury from 2007. Under normal circumstances (eg: walking, running), I don't notice that it's different, and there's no pain. But there is a difference in range of motion when stretching it, and the shoes I wear on my bad ankle's foot wear slightly slower than they do on my good foot. So there's a possibility that my veering left has always been there, but I've never noticed.

It's also been shown that humans have a hard time walking in straight lines when blindfolded, so there is some natural veering in there. But I don't think the natural veering would cause us to turn 90° in just 30 seconds.
Mar 11, 2021 9:36 PM # 
Ha, ha...So I expected to turn left, because sometimes my upper body turns left over the lower, but no I'd turned about 20 deg. right.
Mar 11, 2021 9:56 PM # 
This is going to sound really silly but I have just made the realization that I have inadvertently consumed zero caffeine since Sunday evening. I don’t think of myself as being very caffeine dependent since I don’t drink coffee (only diet sodas, which typically have a lot less caffeine) but I do drink it regularly. My symptoms, including all the brain fog and crankiness of today and yesterday, could definitely be explained by caffeine withdrawal. Melissa is at the store now and will return with caffeinated diet soda for me to try. I will report back any improvements or lack thereof.
Mar 11, 2021 10:19 PM # 
I hope it's the caffeine!
Meanwhile, I predict an explosion of people closing their eyes and marching in place for 30 seconds.
Mar 12, 2021 12:45 AM # 
I'm going to do it, but I'm thinking about all the directional cues that I need to eliminate. Dark room with eyes closed is good, but there's also auditory stuff. Maybe with my noise-cancelling headphones?
Mar 12, 2021 2:37 AM # 
Ok I had two cans of caffeinated diet soda and... I don’t think that’s it. It may have helped clear up the “traditional” headache that I had but my face still hurts, I’m still really tired, and I probably looked a bit drunk on my after-dinner walk. I haven’t had spinning/vertigo today but I’m sometimes lightheaded with certain movements. Going to try a real decongestant after my personal nurse returns with some.
Mar 12, 2021 3:47 AM # 
Yup, drunk, just like I said...
Mar 12, 2021 7:22 AM # 
Oh! I was hoping it was just the caffeine for you.

I have unfortunately gotten myself to require daily caffeine during Covid, which means when I have gotten sick and want to sleep all day I’m in a bind.

This thread is a good reminder for me to drink more water.

I do wonder the extent to which the persistent stress & change in routines of the last year may be showing up / contributing / exacerbating things physically.
Mar 12, 2021 3:34 PM # 
Absolutely, there are a few times I think I've gotten myself sick just from stress. And a lot of the stress and anxiety of this past year is just in the background and we're not always fully aware of how much it affects us.

Morning update: I don't think the sudafed helped but I took it only a couple hours before bed so it didn't have that long to take effect before sleeping. (Definitely a flaw in the experimental design.) Lightheaded this morning but my face doesn't hurt and I feel more alert. Seems like maybe another step improvement.
Mar 12, 2021 10:41 PM # 
If it is your sinuses, then sudafed should help as shown by your face not hurting. But what do I know? Good luck and feel better.
Mar 12, 2021 10:58 PM # 
Right, I don't know whether the improvement I feel today is because I took sudafed last night or whether another night of rest helped. My face still hurt several hours after the sudafed, so it's hard to say. Next time (if there is a next time) I'll have to try it earlier in the day so that I have time to observe.
Mar 13, 2021 12:33 AM # 
Stressful conditions can lead to grinding of teeth at night and lots of stress on the jaw. Leads to TMJ with many symptoms like you mention. A good dentist can spot this. Or Melissa during the night. A night appliance can absorb the grinding and significantly ease the pain/stress. Available over the counter but a good one can be supplied by your dentist. It’s like magic and releases the intense pressure. Good luck.
Mar 14, 2021 1:34 AM # 
I did get an over the counter bite guard a few months ago. Used it for a week, and when I find myself regressing.
Mar 14, 2021 3:52 PM # 
I can share my problems that are in the vein of JJ and PinkSocks comments.

My issues started 3 years in one specific 15k trail race, then continued through the year; it was distressingly the second year of the same race where I found myself sitting on the side of the trail half a dozen times. My problem is situational dizziness. I get dizzy when trail running, particularly when the trail is very bendy or very there are frequent sudden elevation changes like are frequent on mountain bike trails. It can be very predictable (there are a couple of trails were I know I will be dizzy exactly 18-20 min into the run). It also happens sometimes when it is raining, or when I am running with bright lights in the dark. And, infrequently, it happens on a long straight road run but this is uncommon and seems to have a weak link to pace/duration. Maybe JJ has hit on it, I could have been drunk (but I'm sure no ethanol has been involved). It feels like overdrinking but is specifically poor balance, feeling like I am running tipped to the left, all ramping up over only a few minutes with only an offputting feeling in the back of my head and some focus issues to warn me.

I tried for the first two years to link it to just one of: exhaustion, exertion, drinking, eating, light, or running dynamics; anything, but just one thing. I finally broke down and went to doctor then physio. During tests, I turned when marching with my eyes closed and the BPPV test was negative. The physiotherapist's approach was to look for my weaknesses; balance comes from the feedback between our feet, eyes, and vestibular system (ears). I don't exactly understand what 'weak' means in this context but one side of my vestibular system is weak and my eyes don't do a good enough job of compensating. The fix has been many exercises to train my eyes to more rapidly focus on a specific locations when my head moves. This is a work in progress; I find it to be hard to consistently do the training exercises for in intermittent condition. It doesn't seem to affect daytime orienteering at all. For night O and night road runs, I use as little light as I can work with. It does affect my training and can be super irritating if you are on a busy trail and know you can't control how wide you might weave. I hope something in this might be useful to you.
Mar 17, 2021 3:23 PM # 
Thanks for all the info and ideas, everyone. I've been totally fine since the end of last week, no issues during our higher-altitude ski weekend, so whatever it is has gone away. If it happens again I'll be quicker to check some of these other things.

Whatever the cause (sinuses? migraine? caffeine?) I'd be really surprised if stress wasn't an additional factor/trigger. We had a very turbulent period at work recently, so much so that people are referring to the previous era as "Before Times", just like with the pandemic. It's part of life at a startup and I have mostly just shrugged and figured it was no big deal (compared to, say, being a nav in an HC-130) since nobody dies. But I think my stoicism wasn't genuine and it really did get to me, in addition to all of the other things I need/want to get done.
Mar 17, 2021 3:49 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Yay on it going away!

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