A Place Called Vertigo

I never had experienced vertigo until I was rear-ended in an accident last November. Since then I have experienced dizzy spells, vomiting and spinning spells that accompany the worst headache of my life. It sucks! There is no other way to describe it. I will lay in bed for days on end in the dark. The first time I had vertigo lasted a full two weeks. 

I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos III in September.  My current symptoms are tendonitis, joint pain, TMJ, GERD, IBS, restless leg syndrome, POTS, headaches, neuropathic pain, mitral valve regurgitation, vision problems, depression, HBP, anxiety and advanced osteoarthritis. I’m not even sure that’s the complete list! lol. As I have said before, there is not a cure for EDS. It is actually progressive and I will get worse with time. Hopefully, doctors become more educated verses I have been doing research and it seems, interestingly enough, that my dear friend, vertigo and EDS can be related. Dizziness and vertigo go hand-in-hand and both are common with EDS.  I think I have what’s called Craniocervical Instability (CCI), also known as the Syndrome of Occipitoatlantialaxial Hypermobility. This is a structural instability of the craniocervical junction which may lead to apathological deformation of the brainstem, upper spinal cord, and cerebellum. It primarily occurs in patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other hereditary disorders of connective tissue. I am going to be tested.

Symptoms of Craniocervical Instability: 

  • neck pain – YES. All the time
  • central or mixed sleep apnea – NO
  • facial pain or numbness – YES. Prickly feeling
  • balance problems – YES. Frequently
  • muscle weakness – YES. All the time
  • dizziness and vertigo – YES. Occasionally
  • vision problems – YES. All the time. 
  • reduced gag reflux and difficulty swallowing – NO
  • ringing in the ears and hearing loss – YES. Occasionally
  • nausea and vomiting – YES. Thank goodness for Zofran
  • impaired coordination – NO
  • downward nystagmus (irregular eye movements) – NO
  • paralysis – NO
  • a heavy headache: a constant to near constant headache that can be described as feeling like the head is too heavy for the neck to support (feeling like a “bobble-head”) – NO
  • a pressure headache: an impairment of CSF flow causes intracranial pressure which would be aggravated by “valsalva maneuvers” such as yawning, laughing, crying, coughing, sneezing or straining. – YES. Daily
  • Dysautonomia: brainstem compression can lead to a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system (the involuntary regulator of all body function
  • tachycardia (rapid heart) – YES. Occasionally
  • heat intolerance – YES. All the time
  • orthostatic intolerance (low blood pressure when standing) – YES
  • Syncope (fainting) – NO
  • polydipsia (extreme thirst) – NO
  • delayed gastric emptying – YES. Daily
  • chronic fatigue – YES. All day, every day. 

I’ll keep you posted as I learn more. 

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