Is the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL any good?
March 25, 2009 8:49 AM   Subscribe

I desperately need some opinions/help concerning an issue I'm going through. Of course I figured the brilliant collaboration of metafilter would give some insights. Starting in mid February I've been having these episodes that my first neurologist thought were partial seizures (couldn't speak, barely move and respond, things surreal) the only problem with that is they lasted longer than seizures are supposed to (25-50 minutes) The worst part of all this is since this time I have swarming light in my vision all the time as well as a general dizzy/easily overwhelmed feeling.

I've been out of work and school due to this and it's driving me nuts. I have had MRI's EEG's and EKG's with nothing coming up bad. I just went to the Cleveland Clinic this week for the first time. Hopefully they'll have some expertise in all this. Basically, I wonder if:
1. Anyone has experienced anything like this? (particularly the swarming light/dizziness)
2. Anyone have anything to say about the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL (positive or negative)
3. Any thoughts on diagnosis? (I know you're not doctors, I'm going to doctors and am just desperate to figure this out)
4. Any suggestions on how to get back to normal life? (I am dizzy and easily overwhelmed and basically miserable. I've been this way for weeks now)

I appreciate any help or insight you can give. Thank you for your time.
posted by gibbsjd77 to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
It could be that you're having panic attacks, as the partial seizures would be rather traumatic, and it would make sense for you to be fearful of another.
posted by phrontist at 8:57 AM on March 25, 2009

Sounds like a migraine to me.
posted by w0mbat at 8:59 AM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I get swarming lights and dizziness/unease/overwhelmed feelings during migraine headaches. I think the latter bits are part of the fear of what's happening. If the MRIs, EEGs and EKGs are showing nothing obvious, then it's possible you're experiencing migraine activity that could be triggered by or even separate from your episodes, or panic attacks. Either condition is completely treatable and people can and do live normal, healthy lives.
posted by felix at 8:59 AM on March 25, 2009

Did your doctor not order a CT?
posted by watercarrier at 9:00 AM on March 25, 2009

Acephalgic migraines?
Also, have you been to see an ophthalmologist to rule out eye diseases?
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 9:09 AM on March 25, 2009

I had a few partial seizures when taking Wellbutrin (exactly as you described - hard to move or speak, surreal feeling, etc. but it lasted several hours) and then for several months after that I suffered from panic attacks (dizzy, overwhelmed, etc.) I eventually learned to talk myself out of having a panic attack and to just relax and calm down whenever I felt the dizzy/overwhelmed feeling. I believe the bad experience with Wellbutrin triggered the panic attacks.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:11 AM on March 25, 2009

I found an article in Annals of Neurology that might be related. Send me a mefi mail if you're interested.
Haas, D.C. Prolonged migraine aura status. Ann Neurol 11:197-199, 1982
    Abstract: Two patients with migraine experienced a prolonged migraine aura status consisting of frequent recurrence of auras, hour after hour, day after day, for successive weeks. [snip]The temporary focal neurological phenomena that may herald or accompany migraine headache may also appear without headache...

posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 9:19 AM on March 25, 2009

Are there precipitating events or triggers? If you can isolate them, you can try to reproduce this in a medical setting, where you can be wired up and monitored.
posted by adipocere at 9:24 AM on March 25, 2009

I am fo SHO not a doctor, but have you had any endocrine tests (adrenal, thyroid, etc)?

The only reason I say this is that I have Addison's Disease, and when I have an "attack", I can't speak well, can't move much, my vision goes to shit, my hearing goes out, I lose all energy and am almost completely lethargic for an hour, maybe more, maybe less. Scary.
posted by tristeza at 9:27 AM on March 25, 2009

Thanks for the quick responses. This has been driving me nuts. I have an appointment for a neuro-opthamologist. I've had migraines before and take imitrex for them, but this is nothing like it. I don't have pain, just a out of it feeling day to day and the episodes about 2 times a week recently.
posted by gibbsjd77 at 9:28 AM on March 25, 2009

I agree that it doesn't sound like migraines exactly, but possibly a kind of a migraine symptom or complication. Because my migraines are hormonal based (though triggers like MSG exacerbate them), the whole time I'm menstruating I feel on the verge of a migraine. I call it "feeling migrainey", and "dizzy and easily overwhelmed and basically miserable" seems right on target, though a little more intense.

I could definitely see unease over your condition bringing in a panic/anxiety factor. When my sis-in-law was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, many of the symptoms resembled migraines, and it was a self-perpetuating cycle: if she felt an attack coming on, her fear would make it worse, until the anxiety rarely left. If the neurologists still don't find anything, definitely see a psychiatrist.
posted by changeling at 11:05 AM on March 25, 2009

I get aural migraines -- no pain, just the nausea, dizziness, and visual disturbances. The second part of your description sounded just like it, but the first part -- unable to speak or move? That seems like something else. This might be a zebra. Just the sort of thing a cutting-edge research facility like the Cleveland Clinic would be best equipped to handle.
posted by palliser at 12:07 PM on March 25, 2009

You might check out alpha-gpc (alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline), it's been used in a number of large multicenter clinical trials on patients with age related cognative decline, strokes, alzheimers, and traumatic brain injury with varying degrees of clinically significant results.

It's more or less without any significant side effects, present in much of our food and seems to be a great choline donor for healing in the brain. I suggest it to all my family and friends who have had concussions, microstrokes, strokes, etc due to it's positive clinical results and relative saftey.
posted by zentrification at 1:57 PM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Maybe Hemiplegic Migraine?
posted by clanger at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2009

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