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Vertigo? Brain mets? Afraid to know

JeninMichigan Member Posts: 51

About 10 days ago, I experienced some crazy vertigo.   It happened when I was working out.  I bent over to do a burpee and the whole floor kind of went sideways on me.  Then I felt like I could feel my whole sinuses move around during push ups. I thought maybe I was having sinus issues so I called in to Tel-a-doc and got script for antibiotics.  I have been on them now for about 7 days and I still feel the vertigo and it has not improved.  When I lay flat on my back at night it is the worst and when I get up during the night I am not steady on my feet.  Also my left eye has been twitching off and on for a week.  Usually worse in the morning.   I am afraid to make the call to my doctor .. either primary or oncologist.    I have my annual C/T scan today and that is making me nervous enough.  I have been NED now for 8 1/2 years but being HER2 brain mets is always a fear.       I just started a new job at the beginning of the month, bought a new car too and don't want to even "go there" with this possibility.    I know I need to get checked but I really don't want to right now.   What are the chances this is just vertigo and not brain mets?  You guys are the first I have told about this besides my person trainer.  My fear factor right now is off the charts.



  • Becs511
    Becs511 Member Posts: 118

    Jen- I am so sorry that you are experiencing these scary symptoms. Unfortunately the only person that can truly ease your mind is talking to your doctor about what is going on and getting a brain MRI. I know it i scary, since I have been there, but trust me, if it does turn out to be brain mets, the earlier they are caught, the better off you are.

    All of us on the brain mets thread found ours differently. Some just through routine testing, and exhibited no symptoms, some through headaches, some through vertigo, and mine were caught after seizures and a 30 sec. black out. I knew what I was experiencing wasn't normal, but like you was terrified to make the call and posted in the brain mets thread. They convinced me to just do it and I am so glad I did. Apparently my brain was so swollen that had I waited a day or two, I would have a stroke or a brain hemorrhage. Those ladies literally saved my life.

    That was this February, and I ended up having gamma knife to 8 lesions on a Thursday afternoon and was back to work, like nothing happened by Monday morning. All of my follow-up MRIs have shown that they continue to shrink and I have been able to continue working full-time with very limited interruption. I urge you, as scary as it is, to make the call.

  • Kandy
    Kandy Member Posts: 424

    Jen, I really hate that you are having vertigo, and especially scaring you to death. I do think you need to call the Dr, just to get it checked out and hopefully everything will be fine and it will put her mind at ease. Vertigo can be caused by many things. When I was doing CT scans, it was unbelievable how many people have that issue. The main reason is from inner ear trouble. There are actually tiny rocks inside your ear, if they get off balance, it will cause severe vertigo. Typically this will take care of itself with time. The twitching of the eye is typically from lack of sleep or stress. I would bet you have both, right now. So my suggestion is to call your Dr, let them scan your head, and hopefully put your mind at ease. In the meantime, please be careful. Vertigo likes to throw your balance off and you sure don't need a fall. I will be praying for everything to be just fine. Merry Christmas tou you

  • 50sgirl
    50sgirl Member Posts: 2,071

    Jen, I am sorry that you are going through such a scary experience. I agree with Kandy and Becs. You need to call your doctor so this can be investigated. Often times, the symptoms and what we imagine are worse than the diagnosis. As Kandy pointed out, inner ear problems often cause vertigo. It is also still possible that you have sinus issues and that the antibiotic you were given didn't resolve the problem. This is not something you should ignore. Whatever is causing the vertigo needs to be identified and treated so you can get relief. The stress alone is reason enough to call. Please call your doctor today to discuss this and/or make an appointment.



  • LindaE54
    LindaE54 Member Posts: 1,379

    Jen, I'm sorry for what you're going through. A consult is the best idea. It could be something as simple (but not fun) as a labyrinthitis. I had that years ago and there are meds to treat. Unfortunately, it may last a while. Worse laying flat is a common symptom of labyrinthitis.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,659

    Jen, we too are so sorry to hear you're going through this scare. We agree, your doctor is the best person to contact and hopefully put you at ease.

    We're thinking of you and sending our positive thoughts that this is nothing serious to worry about! Please keep us posted.

    Big hugs,

    --The Mods

  • iwrite
    iwrite Member Posts: 745


    It's scary, but imagining the worst may be worse that what is happening. Treatment could be as easy as antibiotics. Your doctor is a good place to start. If they can check it out you'll be less stressed for the holidays.

    Hang in there!!

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308

    I have no words of wisdom about the vertigo, but I agree, get it checked out. I have horrible claustrophobia but sucked it up with the help of ativan, I had an MRI earlier in the year which was able to rule out brain mets after vertigo & migraine headaches. ((hugs)) dee

  • heidihill
    heidihill Member Posts: 1,855

    As others have said, there are many reasons for vertigo. Hope your doctor can clear it up for you as soon as possible. This is both scary and annoying. I agree the twitching could be from stress, which you don't need. Sending gentle hugs. 

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    So sorry to know you are going through this fear. I just went through this in the past month. Vertigo, and eye issues. All pointed to brain mets!! I can't get an MRI due to a pacemaker so had a CT which did show a thickening in my frontal lobe but we already knew that. It also showed what might be the beginning of an aneurism. A CT Angiography was recommended which I did. After the CT I was so bad I went directly to the ER. They figured it was an inner ear issue and put me on a medication for tinitis that acutally worked. It took about a week but it finally began to resolve. Fortunately the pending aneurism turned out okay as well.

    I was so sick and had just started a new job as well. I had to take 2 1/2 days off my first week at work! I did bring them a letter from the ER to cover my butt. It said to take off a week, but I just took off 3 more days. I was sweaty and disoriented at work and bouncing off the walls at home. I even introduced myself to someone at work by saying, "Hi, my name is Paul." Can you imagine my fear? I've had a couple of "black out" kind of moments - watching TV for example and finding a fresh cup of tea in front of me and my DH saying he just brought it. Really? He paused the show, left the room and brought in tea....I had no idea. I was doing a jigsaw puzzle on my laptop but I wasn't that involved! I found if I went into a dark room at night I was totally disoriented - couldn't tell up from down. I stubbed my toes so many times I had a black toe on one foot or the other for weeks.

    So I'm still not sure what to do and I totally understand your fear. Please let us know what they are recommending and I pray for a clear study for you.

  • mara51506
    mara51506 Member Posts: 6,007

    Vertigo was my primary brain met symptom. Though there are other benign reasons, it is important to rule out brain mets too. Good luck, let us know what happens.

  • JeninMichigan
    JeninMichigan Member Posts: 51

    I called the oncologist today and she is out of the country.  The receptionist said she would recommend I call my primary care doctor.  She said it could likely be my ears or some other virus too.  I did the test today that is for positional vertigo.   You turn your head 90 degrees and lay back.  It is definitely my left side and that is the side of my eye twitch.  I cannot get into my primary care due to work until Monday.   I will call then.   The only other thing I am hanging on to is that is the side of my bad ear.  I had a ruptured ear drum on that side and have had a small hole in that eardrum ever since. Whenever I get sick, that ear hurts horribly so hopefully it has something to do with that.  Hoping at least for good results on my CT scan today.   So many tests and appointments... I know you all know the feeling .. you just get sick of it!!!  

    Thanks girls.


  • 50sgirl
    50sgirl Member Posts: 2,071

    Jen, I hope you get an answer soon so the vertigo can be treated. You will be in my thoughts as you wait.I am sending good vibes for your CT scan results. Let us know how everything goes.


  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    Jen, they can do a movement in Urgent Care that may reset the crystals in your ear. There is a way they whip you around and it may work. When I was there I asked the doctor and he said he knew I'd puke if he did it (his words) so he didn't want to. The nausea may become constant which may impact your driving as well. Please be cautious. I knew to get off the road at a certain point.

    Mine was my left side too and I had pain behind my eye. They said it might be migraine but I knew the difference. It wasn't a headache but a head PAIN.

    Glad you got a CT today, but when will you get the results if your PCP is busy? Are you able to access your results on-line?

  • artistatheart
    artistatheart Member Posts: 1,437

    Best wishes Jenn, it'll be OK. Better to know and not make the imagination monster bigger. Stress is so bad for us...

  • pwilmarth
    pwilmarth Member Posts: 138

    Jenn, there's a simple principal out there that says: The antidote to fear is knowledge. If you are having symptoms, talk to your MO. That's the best person to help you rule out brain mets.

    I just went through treatment for brain mets a month ago. Yes it's scary, but the treatment is effective and you will feel better rapidly after treatment. And then you will have close follow-up from the radiation oncologist from that point forward.

  • Kjones13
    Kjones13 Member Posts: 662

    crossing my fingers and toes for great ct results and a crummy left ear! I'm sending you all the good vibes and prayers I can

  • Bad_At_Usernames
    Bad_At_Usernames Member Posts: 241

    Been thinking of you. How are you doing???

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,889

    I had an issue with vertigo for the very first time in my life a few years ago and of course, had similar concerns as you, Jen: "oh my gosh does this spell trouble for me?". Upon googling the matter, I came across a very popular and rather simple procedure that I was able to do at home. After doing it for several days, the vertigo left and has not returned.

    The procedure is called the Epley Maneuver.

    You can watch videos of it on YouTube. The theory is that for whatever reason, there are crystals in the inner ear tha get out of whack, causing the vertigo. The simple movements of the Epley Maneuver aid the crystals to righting themselves and the vertigo disappears.

    Of course, you will want to see your doctor. But meantime, check out the maneuver. A year or two after my vertigo, a man I worked with had vertigo issues along with some sinus troubles, and his doctor performed this procedure in the office and it relieved his vertigo.

    Here is just one of many, many youtube videos on the manuever:

  • zarovka
    zarovka Member Posts: 2,959

    Jen how are you doing?

  • Kandy
    Kandy Member Posts: 424

    Jen, I think we are all thinking about you. I sure hope you are okay. Hope you check back in soon. Wishing you the best.

  • bestbird
    bestbird Member Posts: 232

    Jen, hoping you receive good news in the coming year.

  • kayrnic
    kayrnic Member Posts: 111

    Jen....thinking about you and crossing my fingers for no brain mets!

  • kayrnic
    kayrnic Member Posts: 111

    Been thinking of you Jenn! Any updates?

  • txmom
    txmom Member Posts: 220

    Hi Jen, just checking on how you are doing...we care about you.