How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Nurse Susan Your Own Question

Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1084
Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
Type Your Health Question Here...
Nurse Susan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am 30 yrs old caucasian female. married and four children.

Customer Question

I am 30 yrs old caucasian female. married and four children. I have been told by multiple doctors to get an MRI. I havent, because of money. My symptoms are loss of memory, (no I have never hit my head) such as driving I cant remember where I am going or how to get home, even if I have been to the destination countless times. tunnel like vision and flipping forward sensation. my speech has slowed and I feel dizzy and if there is too much stimuli I get how do I explain... not flooded, simply... just cant place it... like I ''short out'' .. I have become crabby at times. these have all started about two to two and a half years ago. I have had health troubles, such as hypoglycemia (but even when glucocometer reads normal and blood sugar is stable, dizzy, and flipping sensation continues.) and I am recovering from blood clot in leg. (still on coumadin, 7.5 every day, for six mos) I have tried to pinpoint it. it is not with any particular pattern, it doesnt seem triggered by anything, it has just increased from a few times a month to several times a week and now its several times a day. it is getting harder to function and do daily tasks. please do not say take a test. Please tell me what you think may be wrong.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  On Call MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello
It is my pleasure to help you today
if you give me your zip code i can help you by giving you the nearest free/very low cost medical center so you can have your MRI done
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
99336 ..that is all? I appreciate your assistance in finding a low cost treatment center, but isnt there some way for you to tell me what might be wrong? I am 5'4'', and 128 lbs. I excercise every day, swim, bike and jog. I am hoping you can just tell me what it could be, is it a pinched nerve? I have seen a chiropractor. can you just tell me the possibilities so I can try to solve them on my own? I debated with my husband all evening whether or not to spend these 18 dollars , Please, tell me your honest opinion, I know you can only know so much without that test, but can you tell me what it may be?
Expert:  On Call MD replied 2 years ago.
sorry to hear about that memory loss in your young age can due to many reasons ,psychogenic like depression can be a cause,head trauma,vit B1 deficiency especially if you drink alcohol,also some Prescription drugs that may cause memory loss in young people include aminophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, barbiturates, methyldopa, bromide, isoniazid, diuretics and digoxin,also if low blood sugar happens this may lead to these symptoms as well
all of that can cause it plus if there disease in the brain itself.. these are the common causes for such symptom in your age what we can do we can try to get the MRI in 5th ave urgent care 507 N 5th Ave, Pasco, WANNN-NN-NNNNits very low cost/free if eligible too and then this would direct us to the right path of treatment

Hope you get better soon

Any questions let me know
if I was able to help you  your (EXCELLENT) rating is very important to me so I would get compensated for my time and answer
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hello JACustomer,

I know you do not have allot of money, but I am reading your symptoms with some interest because they seem somewhat similar to my own. I would like very much to try and help you but I need allot more information. Please explain this "flipping forward sensation"? Do you feel motion of any sort (rocking, spinning disequilibrium etc) when there is nothing there? What happened 2.5 years ago, before this started? Were you sick, did you have a head injury? Does what you see make you worse? How is a grocery store for you? Does anything happen when you use the windshield wipers on your car?

Any surgical history at all, ever? What medical history besides blood clots do you have?

I am heading off for the night; its 2:am where I am, but I will see your reply tomorrow.

Thanks for clarifying,
Sincerely,
Susan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have had issues with blood poisoning in the past, and have had two miscarriages, one just recently at five months pregnant, in January. My doctor thought that due to the pregnancy the blood clot was from that, but the strange dizzy spells have been for years, i started realizing they were bothersome around two-2.5 yrs ago but cant really pinpoint when it started. I have excused it with everything, thought it was from anxiety, depression, fatigue, but I have remedied each thing, I go to bed at a reasonable time (around ten, usually ) my diet is healthy and steady and I excercise and live an enjoyable life, I have a happy marriage etc. so on with the symptoms, yes, I know people are forgetful sometimes, but this is different, I really cant remember very important things, my vision has been checked but I have trouble seeing at times,but more than the visual disturbances is the confusion... at the grocery store is when its the worst. too much stimuli and I become lost. I avoid things I used to love, the fair, the mall, because I get lost, I cant remember where I am going, my husband jokes I will forget who I am, but I dont laugh anymore. I have been told its from this or that, like pregnancy or vitamin deficiency, but this started so long ago, before the pregnancys .and I am good about my vitamins.. I lose my concentration and sometimes literally have to hang on to something .. but it doesnt match anxiety because I can be relaxed and i breathe easy through it, its just embarrasing and the flipping forward sensation is the best I can describe it, its a little like standing too high on something and looking down and getting a whoozy feeling, only your just flat on your feet. I dont get it, its gotten to the point its every few mins now.. I feel like I am always looking from the wrong end of a telescope. in the daytime I have trouble getting tasks done, in the middle of the task, (such as folding laundry, ) I will forget what I am doing, and stand there for ten mins. holding the shirt, wondering how I got down to the laundry room. this is just an example of the constant nuisance of losing my short term memory, but now its beginning to spill over to long term. Places I have been to so many times, I am forgetting often. Such as, I go to Winco to grocery shop every Tuesday for years. but now I cant remember how to get there. even when my husband draws me a map, and its only 14 blocks away and I could drive there with my eyes closed, I get lost, nearly every time. does this happen to you? I do so hope you understand., not that I would wish this humiliation on anyone.
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hello JACustomer,

Thank you so much for that additional detail. Some of what you write is rather like what I have been going through. The feeling of motion or imbalance/ disequilibrium when there is really no actual movement is called vertigo, something I know all too well. It certainly can be disabling, and while people with vertigo can have memory issues, simply because it is disorienting to be so unstable, yours seem to be far more than what I would call normal and makes me think vertigo and something else is happening here...but please understand that online no one can state anything as a certainty, all I can do is offer my best guess based on what you wrote.

A bit of background: The body regulates balance three ways: the inner ear, the eyes (what we see) and the central brain which puts it all together you could say. If one of those systems are "off" and the other two cant compensate, vertigo will result.

The problem is, people have many ideas and theories, but no one knows for sure why people get vertigo, and online no one can determine your exact cause. Here are some possible causes, both from the central brain and inner ear.

Possible reasons why people get vertigo include migraines, and I am heavily leaning into this idea for a cause in your case, but usually the vertigo is followed by a headache, though there can be migraine vertigo without headache. Often in migraine vertigo there is extreme visual sensitivity; flashing lights, patterns, and high contrast can make the person feel miserable. That is why I asked about grocery stores; while I do not have migraine vertigo my vertigo is visually mediated and grocery stores are a horror because as you said, there is too much stimulation. I like your analogy "looking from the wrong end of a telescope".

There is also cervical vertigo, which is not well understood at all, thought to arise from injuries or trauma to the cervical vertebrae. This does not seem to describe you.

Head trauma can cause vertigo as well. This does not seem to describe you as you deny it.

A condition called Meniere's disease can also cause vertigo, though that is usually accompanied by ringing in the ears and temporary hearing loss. You don't appear to have this, as you do not state you have ringing in your ears or hearing loss, but no one can state anything for certain online.

Tumors of the inner ear called acoustic neuromas can cause vertigo, but they to are often accompanied by ringing and at times hearing loss. This doesn't seem to be the case from what you write...but again, cant guarantee anything on an online forum.

The most common form of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional...meaning that on sudden movements of the head, spinning sensations develop. That can be a result of little sediments that deposit in the inner ear canal.

Vertigo also can be a sign of multiple sclerosis.Onset here is typically sudden, and the person with MS will find themselves unable to move their eyes towards their nose, ie look inwards.

A rare brain defect called a chiari malformation can result in vertigo.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in vertigo.

Bacteria and viral infections as well can cause vertigo. That was originally the case in my situation.

Last on my list is anxiety; anxiety can cause a whole host of symptoms in people because of its affect on the body. It should be the last thing that is considered as the cause of anyones vertigo. Physical causes should be ruled out.

Treatment depends on the cause, and the cause is determined by knowing the history and the results of a physical exam. In Menieres disease, often a diuretic is given, as well as a low salt diet as salt is thought to be one of the culprits. In BPPV, exercises can be prescribed to settle the sediments in the inner ear. In vertigo caused by bacteria and viral infections, steroids and valium (when the vertigo was truly bad) can be used, in addition to Meclazine (sold OTC as Bonine). In vertigo caused by migraines, migraine medications can be tried.

The length of time it lasts is very dependent on the cause. Some vertigos are remarkably easy to treat while others can be more difficult. Vertigo caused by a cold normally lasts a few weeks to a few months for the truly unfortunate. Migraine caused vertigo can be difficult to get under control and can involve finding the right medication.

I know money is tight for you but this is beyond the scope of knowledge of your general practitioner. The specialist you should see is an neurologist; usually I suggest an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) physician first but as your vertigo sounds like it may have a central origin rather than an inner ear one, Id rather, with you, suggest neurology first. An MRI is certainly something to consider, and a discussion with a neurologist would help determine if its something that you would benefit from. I really think you do need to be seen by a specialist, whatever this is and whatever is causing it is getting worse.

There ARE tests that can be done to pinpoint where the vertigo is coming from (central vs. inner ear) . They include things like ENG's and Rotator Chair and Caloric Testing. Those all look for specific abnormal eye movements called nystagmus; the pattern helps determine where the vertigo originates.

Treatments can include the above (and other) medications, and there are also special vestibular rehabilitation specialists who give exercises to help retrain the brain and help it rewire and correct whatever damage the vertigo did, if there is a vertigo present. There are also visual therapists as well should there be a optical cause or exacerbating factor to the vertigo; as is in my case. If there is a structural defect or a tumor that is the cause, that would need to be treated as appropriate.

What I would suggest is that make an appointment with your doctor and discuss all this, and a referral to a neurologist as needed. I do think since all this is worsening that you need to be seen. Generally, its easier to fix something the sooner it is caught.

Here is a useful website regarding all things vertigo: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/index.html

An outside possibility occurs to me. You may be having some sort of seizure event, maybe an odd complex partial seizure. For this as well you would need to see a neurologist. Information about these are here: http://www.epilepsy.com/Epilepsy/seizure_complexpartial

I realize money is tight for you. Here are some web pages with links to low cost clinics: http://www.needymeds.org/free_clinics.taf and http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx and http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/free_clinic_finder


I really and truly hope I was able to help.

Sincerely,
Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1084
Experience: RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
Nurse Susan and 6 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hello.. I thought I had mentioned it before, but my tinnitus started around the same time, I thought I mentioned that... such loud ringing that I cant sleep sometimes, a ceiling fan or white noise makes it bearable, but has been so consistent for many months I thought it was not connected... I didnt realize this was of importance. my husband took me to an ear / nose / throat specialist, and said no one knows what causes tinnitus, but that it was more prominent in left ear... I never imagined it could be related, please dont think me stupid, I did not even think they could be related,... I am researching your expertise, and am impressed the time you are taking.. you have no idea how much appreciation is coming from this family of six in Tri-Cities WA to you.
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hello JACustomer,

Thank you so much for your kind words, it means allot to me. It helps me if I can possibly assist someone else to not have what I do.

Absolutely it could be connected. Tinnitus is a symptom of something, more than a diagnosis. Some forms of vertigo do have tinnitus: Menieres disease, acoustic neuroma to name two. I would get a second opinion from a different ENT if the first one was not so ...forthcoming. In any profession there can be good practitioners and ones that are less so; I had to see a few doctors before the cause of my vertigo was finally identified (though to be fair, it is something pretty unique).

I looked around the web for a vertigo specialist in your area that seemed decent. I am in NY, so can not vouch for these people at all, but their web page looked right to me: They are ENTS. I still want you seen by neurology but as you say you have tinnitus, an ENT exam / revisit is also appropriate. http://www.columbiabasinhearing.com/balance_dizziness_vertigo.php I could not find a neurology group; if you go to these ENTs you can ask them for a recommendation. The ENT exam may miss some vertigos arising from a central cause, that is my concern.

I hope that helped,
Sincerely,
Susan

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery