Menopause? Stress? Brain Tumor? My recent health scare...
For the past three or four months, I have been getting light headed and dizzy. I originally thought allergies or stress. I took anxiety medication (Xanax) and motion sickness meds (like Dramamine or Bonine) to help on these “off” days. In November, my doctor performed the “epley maneuver” thinking it was vertigo. I felt better for a few days, I think. I wasn’t really sure if it helped or not.
Another weird symptom I have been having is odd tingling. I remember one night telling my hubby that I felt like a human voodoo doll. I felt as if someone was pricking me all over with a needle. It didn’t hurt but was uncomfortable. The prick would hit my head, then my arm, then my foot then my back…and it lasted all day long. I also noticed my hips and legs would “go to sleep” often, but chalked it up to the (uncomfortable) chair I use at my desk.
I also noticed “brain fog”. I have had lots of trouble concentrating on my work as well as making stupid little mistakes. Also, my husband was getting annoyed with me as he said I was forgetting things often (conversations we had or where I put things).
I also have been making little speech mistakes. I go to say a word but something different comes out. (For example, I told my son to go “flush” his teeth one night instead of “floss” his teeth. Another morning, I told my daughter to “go brush your makeup” instead of “go brush your hair”).
Another off moment was at the kids’ school. I went into the school office to deliver something. I then returned to my van, sat down in the driver’s seat, and I then realized I was not in my own van! I had sat down in someone else’s min van -- oops! (My van is dark green and the van I sat in was navy blue.) I laughed all this off to peri-menopause or stress.
One incident in early February scared me most. While approaching a traffic light, I felt very dizzy, and was sure I was going to faint. Fortunately, the light turned red. I was able to put my vehicle into “park” and gain composure before the light turned green. I immediately pulled into a Walgreens parking lot to recover. For the next 20 minutes, my feet tingled and itched (and by tingling, I mean painful. It felt like someone was poking my feet with needles.) I immediately called my primary care doctor’s office and made an appointment to see him the next day.
At that appointment, my primary care doctor and I discussed my symptoms and debated if I should see an ENT or a Neurologist. The next day, I met with the Neurologist, and two days later I had a Brain MRI and a blood test to check for B-12 deficiencies.
I talked to a handful of people about this. A close friend figured it was my allergies; another said it was side effects from medication; and a third was thinking anxiety & stress. But I confided in my dad that I was afraid I had a brain tumor.
Well, I am happy to say my brain scan was normal. However, the real shocker is that my B-12 levels are low! All these weird symptoms are due to a vitamin deficiency! I feel so relieved that there is an easy fix. I can take B-12 supplements or injections. I’m sharing this personal story with you all in hopes that it may help someone else down the road.