Balance, dizziness, light headed

Hi,
I had an unexpected stroke jan 2015, right posterior thalamus. I dont smoke and dont touch alcohol and eat fairly well and healthily.. I did however have a fairly inactive lifestyle physically.
My recovery started well and was walking pretty well after a week or so, but any distance left me tired and my left leg was painful, especially lower calf.
recovery has been pretty steady but i still have dizzy balance head problems that are hard to describe. I am taking ramipril, amlodipine and clopidogrel.. i had to stop statins prescribed as they were making my head worse dizzy wise!
The best thing ive done is go to the gym 4 times a weel, treadmill, crosstrainer, and weight machines, which have helped a lot, but still get light headed balance dizzy strangeness which is tough going at times. Worst of all is that to look at me most people dont realise theres anything wrong, so they dont understand how I feel.
Anyone else get these head problems that are hard to describe? Almost a feeling of being drugged, kinda...

Hi Peter Last month I experienced lightheadedness/dizziness, a 'spaced out ' feeling which could be expressed as feeling drugged along with a few other symptoms, which ended up with me being referred for tests. I rested for a week on my gp's advice and after 5 days although i felt drained all the symptoms had gone. I have to wait for results of the tests but on the initial visit i was told i might need a change of bp meds.
If you're at all concerned i would visit your GP.
cheers
Rachel

Hi Peter

I got dizziness. On a platform waiting for the tube it is for some reason particularly acute. I've learned to manage it. Sometimes I move my legs or hips, which seems to give my brain back a sense of where everything is and stops the dizzy feeling. Sometimes I look up and to the side, and concentrate on something else, which helps. Sometimes I just walk away and sit till it leaves me.

Does yours come and go or is it pretty constant? Have you found any ways to lessen the impact on you?

Seeing a GP is good advice too.

Best wishes
Kevin

Hi Kevin, sorry for delay in replying, ive not been on this site much recently.
I can identify with ur acute sensations on the tube platform, tho my dizziness is more acute in other places, like in supermarkets, or elevated areas like platforms etc.
The whole thing is pretty odd and difficult to explain to normal people, and it seems to get worse from mid day onwards for some reason, some days worse than others, but I have learned to cope with it and function normally more or less. When Im sitting down or driving I feel almost perfectly normal. The Dr seems to want to avoid changing my BP tablets. Im on Ramipril. one 5mg per day Amlodopine. one 5mg per day. Clopidogrel 75 m per day. I gave up Atorvastatin statins as they had a bad dizzying effect, tho the Dr seemed to think I was imagining it!
I go to the gym 4 days a week, cross trainer, treadmill, wieghts etc.. and at home I use a Wobble board.. all of this helps..
Best wishes
Peter

Hi Rachel, my apologies for delay on replying.
My Doc seems to think the BP meds im on should be fine.. doesnt seem to want to try different brands, so who knows?
Some days are worse than others but I have learned to cope and manage the symptoms of 'spaced out' feelings.
When im sitting or driving I feel normal and have no dizzy feelings. and when I get up in the morning its not too bad, then around mid day it seems to get worse.. but nobody notices or knows theres anything wrong, except me... so it kinda reduces my life enjoyment and quality of life to a degree.. but as my Dr says,.. I'm lucky in a sense, as what is wrong with me is getting slowly better every day! and most people who have serious illness are getting worse each day.. .. so every cloud I guess

Regards
Peter x

This may have nothing to do with your symptoms but just read it......Many years ago I was told I was overweight and was referred to a dietitian. She gave me all sorts of advice and asked me what I had for breakfast. My answer was two bits of toast and a cup of tea. Her rule was cut down to one piece.
For the next few years at about 11am I would have a nausea feeling in my stomach plus dizziness. I did not realise it at the time but I was not eating enough to see me through from 6pm dinner time till 12 noon the next day, just one bit of toast.
Deigh

Very interesting point Deigh certainly gives food for thought .....no pun intended ...heads quickly for the door :-)

Hi Peter
I know from experience of talking to quite a lot of people that all too often meds can be the cause of dizziness etc and i guess that's one of the first things to be ruled out when having adverse symptoms.
I do hope you get to the bottom of the spaced out feeling and dizzy spells. Please keep us posted how you're doing. Rachel x

I can totally relate to Peter's issues. My stroke was about 3 months ago and also came out of the blue. I lead a healthy lifestyle and am an elite sportsman at two different sports so this has come as a massive shock. As far as anyone can tell the only prior indicator was high blood pressure. Because I presented few external symptoms, my stroke went undiagnosed for a week.

I'm left afterwards still with almost no external visible symptoms although I have lost a lot of mobility in my right leg along with loss of balance generally.

It is incredibly frustrating when people say "How Well" I look, or even "Glad to see you're Better" when actually the improvement so far is minute. I don't want sympathy and I know everyone means well but at the same time this triggers all the emotional reactions that no-one seems to understand also come after a stroke.

There is a huge lack of public understanding of the wider implications of a stroke, and I almost feel this is made worse by the very valid campaigning to identify strokes based on physical symptoms such as facial disfigurement and slurring words. I know how lucky I am compared with many other victims of stroke, but I wish it was more widely publicised that stroke sufferers can be more damaged inside than is obvious.

For me the most useful thing has been a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and based on this I'm busy organising my own rehabilitation. I really recommend it. (Incidentally I have had zero post discharge support or rehab assistance from the NHS ) I now go to the gym 3 times per week and work on resistance equipment to try to re-train my brain to operate the muscles that are still there but just don't yet get a signal to tell them to spring into action. In three weeks I have taught myself to hop 1 centimetre off the ground so I know it is possible, but it is incredibly slow progress.

So yes, I think I know exactly how Peter feels. Sometimes my head actually feels as though I'm drunk even though I've not touched a drop of alcohol, and probably never will again. But taking some positive action really is helping and I'm determined to get there. One day I will again play for England! Just not yet.

Meanwhile we have to try to be patient and accept the well meant but poorly expressed encouragement from those around us.

Martin. I'm going to stick my neck out here and state that I think that putting the blame for a stroke is being overweight, not exercising and smoking, is incorrect. No stroke victims I have met fit into this category. I have spent some time trying to find a way of recognising a warning signal but so far have found nothing that every stroke victim has had in common.
The only one fairly common factor is that many strokes occur after a major operation especially when the operation is on the head.
Stick with it Martin. We all have that problem of people telling us how well we look! They think they are being kind but for some reason we victims consider it a bit of a put down.
Regards
Deigh

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