Q. I am in excellent health, but most of the day I lie on my bed praying for death. Why? I am dizzy all day long. My brain feels like it’s sloshing in a bucket of water and every move sends waves of dizziness over me.
Ten months ago I was driving and living independently. Now I’ve had to give up my car and have moved from my apartment to assisted living.
I’ve had all kinds of scans and diagnostic studies, and none have shown anything abnormal. I’ve seen specialists who have prescribed a ridiculously long list of drugs for high blood pressure, high blood sugar and glaucoma. The balance specialist suggested that some of these drugs should be cut out, but so far none of the other doctors has agreed.
I know what I should do, but I don’t know how. I always kept a loaded revolver, but when I moved here a young relative spotted it and confiscated it. I’m only on the second floor, and anyway the windows are locked so I can’t jump. My pills are doled out so I can’t take too many. Though I do have some vitamin C on hand, I’ve never heard of an overdose being fatal!
My drugs include atenolol, Norvasc and hydrochlorothiazide for blood pressure, papaverine and baby aspirin for my heart, Xalatan for glaucoma, glyburide and Actos for blood sugar and Aricept, Remeron and Klonopin prescribed by the psychiatrist. Do you have any advice?
A. Several of your medications are linked to dizziness including Norvasc (amlodipine), atenolol, papaverine, glyburide, Aricept, Remeron and Klonopin (clonazepam). We don’t know whether they are responsible for your misery, but your balance specialist needs to take charge. If you are so uncomfortable that life is not worth living, a medical reevaluation of your drugs is absolutely essential. It must be done immediately!
If your high blood pressure medications are contributing to your dizziness, it is essential that you find other approaches to controlling hypertension. Your doctors must be informed of how desperate you are. This cannot be delayed and they must know the gravity of your situation.
You may find our one-hour radio interview with one of the country’s leading dizziness experts informative. Perhaps you could loan it to your doctors so they would better understand how to diagnose and treat your problem.
It is essential that your specialists rule out BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). If that is contributing to your discomfort, it could be cured in about 20 minutes. Here are links to more information about BPPV.
Here is a link to the program: Show # 816 with Dr. David Kaylie. The download mp3 cost is $2.99.