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Thread: Wise and Nurse - Severe Lightheadness and Nausea problems

  1. #1

    Wise and Nurse - Severe Lightheadness and Nausea problems

    Hello, I am a 36 yr old T-5 para 9 years post injury, and have developed some strange symptoms, I am experieincing severe lightheadedness and nausea, at times I feel like I am going to pass out. It seems to get worse when I lay down and is now constant with no relief. I do have Syringohydromyelia with extension from C2 to T10 which was diagnosed 2 years ago and just had a followup MRI that confirmed no significant change. I also have a moderately severe compression fracture of the T7 vertebral body. My question is, is this what could be causing the symptoms, could it be Auto Dysreflexia? Or could it be something else? My blood pressure averages 120/80 in the morning before work and 145/90 at night after work. I do have a history of Heart Disease in my family and I know that Heart disease is a common problem with SCI, I have had full blood work done with no signs of problems, Cholesteral level is 219. I also have just had a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis with contrast via IV and oral to check below injury level. Any suggestions on anything I may have missed or should look at would be helpful, I am going to see my SCI doctor next week because my family doctor is not very aggessive and I am really suffering from these symptoms which is affecting my work, Thanks for your help. Any guidance would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    xmarine -- The fact that you continue to experience severe lightheadedness and nausea even after you lay down is most concerning. I see you have had tests to rule out any further extension of your syringomyelia but what about a cardiac workup and/or a complete neurology workup to rule out other causes? The fact that your blood pressure rises in the evening could be AD related to irritating stimuli. Do you notice any other symptoms when your BP is elevated, ie, headache, flushing of your skin above your SCI, sweating, etc? Are you experiencing increased pain or loss of function?

    I am glad to hear you are going to see your SCI doctor next week but in the meantime if any of these symptoms worsen you need to get yourself to an ER. It could be warning signals that something is wrong with your heart or circulation to the brain. In addition, an inner ear condition needs to be ruled out as well. It is obviously affecting your personal and work life and needs to be thoroughly assessed as soon as possible. PLG

  3. #3
    Thanks for your advice, I have felt slight pain in my lower abdomen but I am waiting for my CT scans to find out if that tells me anything, I struggle with myself to drag myself into an ER, I don't want to cause any false alarms however I don't want have something bad happen to me either,I think I need to get over my fear and just do it, I have no other symptoms as far as headache, flushing of my skin above my SCI, sweating, etc, I guess I am worried it could be cardio or Neuro related. I read where 145/90 is not that bad for normal blood pressure and is just moderately high so I keep thinking that its just stress from my job. Thanks again for the advice, I am going to go to the ER soon if things get worse.

  4. #4
    Can you also tell me what a cardio and neurology work up would ential?

  5. #5

    I agree with PLG that your symptoms raise some concerns. It seems that you have had a systematic workup to find out what is going on. Here are a few other tests that you might want to consider:
    • A cardiac workup may provide some useful information, including a possible halter monitor... this would record the EKG over a period of several days, to see if you are getting any arrythmias that may be contributing to the nausea and lightheadedness.
    • Gastroscopy to see if you have any reflux esophagitis, ulcer, etc. that might be contributing to the discomfort.

    I will post more if I think of anything else.


  6. #6
    I checked into the ER yesterday and got the following tests done, full blood work up, Cat scan of head, chest xray, EKG and Urine Culture, They also have me scheduled for a stress test on tuesday to further check my heart. All were negative except for the Urine culture I have a UTI and am being treated with antibiotics. They felt that there was no significant life threatening problem so I got sent home, I also got the results of my CT scan of abdomen and pelvis, all were negative as well. I have tried to get in touch with my SCI doctor, hopefully I will see him before my scheduled visit next tuesday. I will run by him the suggestions you made regarding the heart monitor and the gastroscopy. Do you think I got all the right stuff done? I am kind of frustrated because even though I did all this I still feel horrible and have no answers.

    One follow up question, I work a full time highly stressfull job in an office for 10 hours a day 5 days a week, could these problems be stress/exhaustion related? Is my pace to much for my condition? Do you think I would be wise to slow down maybe try only working part time until I figure out the problem? Sometimes I wonder if maybe I am pushing myself too much and these symptoms are a result. Would a lifestyle change be in order?

    I am willing to try to do anything to figure this out and move on, when I visit my SCI doctor I intend to be aggressive about a course of action to discover the problem, thank you so much for your input and help, I dont know what I would do with out it.

    Jon (xmarine)

  7. #7
    Jon-- Thanks for the update. Stress related anxiety could certainly be an additional culprit. The concern is that you have the nausea and dizziness frequently during the day and position changes don't help much. The UTI could just be a mitigating factor making you feel even worse. Did the ER doctor give you anything for the nausea/dizziness? Sometimes trying a little Antivert might help. I also have seen mild doses of Valium help. Did you get started on antibiotics for the UTI? Sometimes you need to give it a couple of days before you will feel better from that. Give your SCI MD or nurse a call and see what they think based on all that you are feeling and have had done in the past couple of days. PLG

  8. #8
    I have been on antibiotics now for 3 days, and it hasnt helped the symptoms at all, I will mention antivert to my SCI doctor on tuesday when I see him, I will also have my inner ear checked, on Tuesday afternoon I am having an Adenosine Nuclear Stress Test Done, Do you know anything about this test? Should it's results hopefully eliminate the Cardiac factor from being the problem? The material the Heart Center sent me says that it will enable the physician to determine if any blockages are present. I am hoping that this should be a good indicator if there are any problems. This combined with my SCI doctor visit will hopefully get to the bottom of this. I plan on bringing up all of the things mentioned here to my SCI doctor as things to look at and check. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.


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