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drowning in depression

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

unfortunately for me Cancer is not my big concern

Throughout my treatment for thyroid cancer and some other surgeries to restore my hearing over the past almost 2 years.

I have developed Debilitating vertigo.

I got my clean scan (1 year out scan) in may 2011. So cancer is on the back burner.

Right now because of the vertigo I am unable to work… well I am military and being allowed to stay in till retirement (9 sep 2011) so I will receive a retirement paycheck but.

Because of this and many other reasons depression has become a way of life.

I used to do yoga and then cardio workouts to kill my stress and depression and it worked through the first part of my cancer battle, but since September of 2010 I have had slowly worsening vertigo.
Because of Vertigo I can no longer do yoga, both the doctors and my yoga instructors insist trying to do yoga would be BAD for me right now. Even Tai-chi is out.
Because of the depression and thyrod cancer my cardio workout is at most 40 min a day 5 days a week.
They have me on anti-depressants but I think I am going to have to have them changed or up-ed.
I average 15 medical appointments a month and I’m sure those are not helping with depression.

The doctors have no clue what’s causing the vertigo. So they are doing the medicate approach. So depending on if I need to drive or not depends if I take Valium or Meclizine.

My plans for each day change if I have a major vertigo attack or not. I have mild vertigo most days with bouts of major to debilitating vertigo. A debilitating vertigo attack can last up to 3 days but normally just runs for 4-5 hours.
I have fallen from the bread winner of the house to where I am now. I am used to doing everything but even unloading a dishwasher can send me into a moderate bout of vertigo.

Does anyone have any idea of stress relievers I can try to hopefully minimize this without causing vertigo?

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011

Hey man i saw noone had replied nobody has replied to my post either i figured i would at least respond i have no idea how you feel man but i have to ask do you sleep in alot like more than you used to?

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes I have been sleeping a lot.

Pre-Cancer I normally was a 6 hour a night sleeper with lots of energy.

now I sleep 8-9 hours a night plus a 2 hour nap during the day. maybe more often if I get Vertigo cause a nap for an hour or so will reset my vertigo so I can function for a bit more.

zinniemay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I am sorry I can't answer your question, it is a very good one and hope someone will know something. My hubby has not had this. He is in his third time with Chemo . But this is something that has not happen to him. I wish I could offer some help, only to say hang in there.

sea60's picture
Posts: 2618
Joined: May 2010

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I had a friend at work that had a severe bout or two of vertigo. It would affect her so much she couldn't keep anything down. It turned out to be fluid in a certain part of her middle ear. The ear is so sensitive that even the slightest build up can cause this.

I hope and pray you get some relief. Are you seeing an allergist?

bluerose's picture
Posts: 1102
Joined: Jul 2009

I am so sorry you are going through this. Have you had a second opinion about your hearing issues? That is usually the biggest reason for vertigo - ear issues and since you had hearing problems and thyroid cancer it seems to me not terribly surprising you would develope a vertigo but I'm not doctor, it just made some sense to me.

I would seek a second opinion on why the vertigo if I were you. I know you already have a ton of doctors but even a second hearing specialist/surgeon might have more input on what might be causing this. Has your doctor tried antibiotics for ear infections of the inner ear? Just an idea that popped into my head. Have you had an MRI of your head lately? Might be an idea to have one done to check the brain and the ears as well as maybe the thyroid - not sure if MRI's are the best for thyroids or not.

As far as ideas on what to do for stress relievers how about writing? You could start a diary of your experiences with all of this and possibly turn it into a book, helping others in so doing at some point in the future. As a male who was into alot of physical fitness things you might be able to give other males such as yourself who find themselves in this same situation, more or less, some strength in knowing that they are not alone and you all experience similar issues. I found that volunteering to help other survivors was a great stress relief in itself, you might consider something like that. I don't know how much activity sets off the vertigo so hard to come up with something that requires moving around too much. I think seeking a second opinion for the vertigo might be the first best bet.

I guess another thing you might be able to get into is fundraising, helping to fundraise for various groups and organizations. This might entail telephone work or something like that and would probably give you great satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that you contributed something to others.

I don't know if I was any help here but for now that's all I can think of. If something else comes to mind I will surely let you know.

All the best.


Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

yep I am defiantly gotten a 2nd opinion and a 3rd and lined up for the 4th...

yes it is my left ear.

no its not one of the easy fixes.

right now they put me on Gabapentin to help reduce the episodes but it has a TON of side effects... including mood swings and today I am swinging...

the Neurologist I have gone to thinks that the cure for the vertigo may be to literally destroy the left ear internals including the vestibular channels this will make me deaf in one ear. But it’s looking right now to be the best shot.

they have done a CT scan (unable to have MRI do to medical implants in ears).

they the 2nd ENT doctor thinks it might be the Stapedectomy in my left ear and removing the implant may fix the problem but will remove over 90% of the hearing in that ear or may completely loose hearing in that ear.

the Bigest problem I have is the ENT doctor who put the stapies implant in is the "MAIN DOCTOR and SPECALIST" for the area and it couldn’t be anything wrong with his surgery so I am having to go through other hospitals (that are covered by my insurance) to get 2nd and so opinions. the ENT doctor who removed my thyroid gave me the 2nd opinion and the Neurologist he recommended gave me my 3rd and I think they are sending me to Swedish in Seattle for my 4th opinion

Unfortunately for me all of the opinions I have gotten in one way or another have mentioned that I will probably lose all hearing in my left ear for any of the possible fixes. At least the right ear and its stapendectomy appears to have been a great success but I just fear that I may have problems with that ear later as well… who knows…

Oh well time to get back to what work I can do prior to my next 2 medical appointments today.

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

Do you have ringing with your vertigo, nasher?

I have Meniere's syndrome which gives me severe vertigo and a ringing in my left ear that just about drives me bonkers when it hits full force - is always there a little bit.

When I have an attack my vertigo is so bad that I literally crawl on my hands and knees to my bed and stay there until the Valium they gave me calms my central nervous system down.

It is caused by a build up of fluid all over my body but especially effecting my inner ear.

As long as I stay on a low salt (and I mean less than 1000 mg a day) diet, I don't have attacks.

It is worth a try and it isn't long before you see results.

Hope this helps.

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

yes i have ringing in the ears

yes already on a low salt diet.

they have me on meclizine 25mg 3x a day (instead of valium cause i can drive on meclizine)

they just put me on Gabapentin at 300mg 3x a day and it seems to be helping as well.

they also changed my BP med from hydraclorathyazide to maxzide suposidly it will also help

they issue right now is it is eithor Meniere's syndrom or disease or it is the implant in my left ear.. the only good news is all 3 are treated the same way for control...

once the doctors pull there head out and figure out what one it actualy is they will do the proper procedure to probalbly destroy my left ear and it may or may not or may mostly remove my hearing in that ear (depending on what they do)

when chatting with the doc they came up with the solution i am sure we are all used to by now

they dubbled my anti-depressant.

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