I have permanent tinitus, and have a bad back due to a car accident some years ago but otherwise am okay except when I get these headaches. Over the past two years they have progressed worse from nausea, pounding+whooshing in head, pain and feeling of pressure in head and especially behind eyes, with severe lethargy.
Every hour or so I get a “peak”, things build up getting more uncomfortable to it where something happens, a combination of the following (may have missed some…)
- Sweat heavily
- visual disturbance, anything from squiggles to complete loss of vision in right eye/double vision in both (had that then continue for several weeks)
- Muscle Weakness/Drop attack, normally for several minutes
- Blank out, people who observe me say I lay there for ~3 minutes still with eyes rolled back, I come back around without feeling absolutely okay.
After this peak I feel better and it then builds up again and I repeat this loop for hour after hour… Or I feel fine and its all over, actually normally I feel absolutely fantastic (tired but elated) with manic levels of energy for a few hours when its stopped. I used to think it was a side effect from the codeine, but this happens without taking it too.
Just recently I purchased a Oximeter, a Masimo radical-7 since it has long term monitoring and the apnea group recommended it, because I woke up during the night feeling like I couldn’t breathe so I suspected possible sleep apnea.
I’ve tried wearing it during these headaches though and found some surprises.
Sometimes the alarm on it will go off as I’ll find my SpO2 (oxygen) goes below 88%, lowest I recorded was 78%, before going back up to the usual 96-100%. When this happens I do feel confused.
Other times I have had the pulse rate alarm go off when my heart beat has been recorded below 50, the lowest I saw here was 43, this is accompanied by a severe pain in the head so its certainly not imagined and the worse of it lasts around 5-10 seconds.
Both events do not seem to happen at the same time though. While both are happening I’m sitting/laying still.
Has anyone else measured and seen this?
I have had my heart beat measured before where it crashed during these “peaks” in an ambulance (apparently I went grey), another time it went completely the other way and went right up one time when I blacked out (I had 188bpp noted on the chart at the end of my bed - I blacked out at the end of a 6 day headache).
But I’ve not seen this with the SpO2, nor can I understand what would cause this to happen, I think I saw my heart beat go a little irregular on the pleth display, but I couldn’t really be sure it happened both times and that part of the meter isn’t very accurate (would need to buy a proper heart monitor for that…).
Currently while a Chiari malformation was diagnosed back in January 2017 the neurologists I have seen still do not believe it has anything to do with the headaches I suffer from and have called them migraines. Although no one has said what type of migraine it is specifically, I’m seeing one on Monday, and will be asking exactly which migraine matches all my symptoms, which would be amusing