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Do You Feel Drunk?


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#1 ~Naomi~

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 01:07 PM

This is by far my worst symptom. I feel drunk all the time to varying degrees. It's very hard for me to see straight, to focus my eyes (though my vision tests perfect). It feels like the eyes want to move around. I have constant pressure in my head and ears. I have severe cognitive problems. Any activity that requires sustained eye focus (reading, getting ready in the mirror, driving, going to a movie) or any place with lots of stimuli (stores, museums, the dreaded Chuck E. Cheese) all make me feel even more drunk. I kind of feel like I am swaying all the time. When it's really bad even my speech is affected. I am on the verge of being diagnosed with a vestibular disorder -- I see the ear Dr. soon to follow up on some tests, but I know he is going to tell me this. He called it vestibular/visual mismatch. I am just wondering if all this weird head/eye stuff is from the POTS -- is blood not making it to my head? or if it's from an inner ear problem or is it both-- I have read that the vestibular system controls some of the Autonomic System (or is it vice versa?) I am just wondering if a lot of people with POTS also have these vestibular type symptoms? Honestly if I could get these under control I could deal with all the rest -- I'll take a pounding heart over this weird dizzy feeling. I really feel like I have very little quality of life and I just want someone to HELP ME. I have seen sooo many Dr's over the course of 12 years -- I just don't know where to go next? :( Anyway, does anyone else feel like this is your worst symptom? Can you describe how it feels?

Thanks,
Naomi

#2 Erik

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:31 PM

I had a few months of significant swaying & drunk feeling a couple years back... on top of my more typical vague dizziness. At the time my vitals were also eluding docs (low pulse & bp) and I was just generally sick but not from a clear cause. There were also longer periods of milder "drunk" feelings. I wondered if a liver toxin "clearance" could have been creeping up, but over the years my liver has tested strong.

I took antibiotics for a while, since I'd been in a known leptospirosis area... I took doxycycline. Either time or the doxy or whatever did get it to pass. Some other folks here take antibiotics either for known Lyme disease, suspected Lyme or similar infection, or just general benefit (anti-biotics can have other properties such as anti-inflamatory & neuro-protective effects). Sometimes, infections "settle" in places and can be behind disturbances like dizziness. If other things don't show up to give a clearer cause... this might be something to consider down the road.

Aside from that major period of this symptom, I do have bouts of staggering and such... enough that friends I was with joked about me being drunk (despite being the one of us that hadn't drank). I do think it can come by itself just from POTS alone... but I'd recommend not assuming this especially if it is persistent.

#3 sue1234

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 10:28 PM

This is exactly why I quit driving. I've always told my husband it feels like I am drunk. When I try to drive, it's like I have to keep trying to refocus on the road, and then the faster I go, it gets overwhelming to the eyes to watch the road and see all the periphery flying by at 55 MPH. So, I quit driving. I call it having "bouncy eyes".

#4 ramakentesh

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:59 AM

Reductions in cerebral blood perfusion can result in all those symptoms - Id say that it kind of feels like being drunk but without any of the nice feelings.

#5 casper

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 07:18 AM

hi..

i do feel like that , not as much as i used to. But the more i do the more i feel like that.. And I i look drunk somthimes to. Gett teast about that. And yes whit out the positive stuff.

So maby not strange that when i still was abel to take a tripp on the town people thout i was drunk, when totaly sober... :blink:

#6 daisy

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 12:23 PM

Yes - the vestibular stuff is the worst for me. Like you, I can deal with the racing heart but on my "dizzy days" I am useless. My neurologist said that in addition to POTS I have a deep seeded vestibular dysfunction that would not show up on any traditional tests that an ENT would do. It flares under stress, bad weather, and sometimes for no reason at all. I never quite understood this but it is by far my worst symptom. It feels like my brain is growing from the inside out and the pressure in my head is unbearable. Then I feel like I'm swaying on a boat and if I'm walking it's like I'm being pushed downward by a heavy hand or like someone literally shoves me from behind. Definitely not fun......I often joke that if I'm going to feel this way, I should at least get the benefit of a pina colada or two - but no such luck.....
My neuro said that Xanax can help (not because it has anything to do with anxiety but because it calms that system down) but I usually just tough it out because the meds make me feel even loopier. I hope you can find some relief and get some answers......I often think that there has to be a connection between the POTS and this vestibular problem since they are all autonomic controlled....

#7 Dawg Tired

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

Yep! Like Daisy, the Xanax helps calm things down but is by no means a cure. I quit driving years ago.

#8 skyblu

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:08 PM

Reductions in cerebral blood perfusion can result in all those symptoms - Id say that it kind of feels like being drunk but without any of the nice feelings.



Exactly...I often feel altered and drugged but not in a good way. Nothing pleasant about it.

Can you explain what reduction in cerebral blood perfusion means? Thanks.

#9 erikainorlando

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:05 PM

I'd say when I have been upright too long I feel druggged somewhat. But I begin to feel soooooooooo soooooooo sooooo :P sick after any activity or just being upright (even sitting with legs down). I feel like I will die...it is this real sick feeling that is my worst symptom.
Erika

#10 HoudiniCat

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:27 PM

I?ve had every symptom you mention. When first dx?d, I would get this 24/7. Now, it?s been almost 3 years and it feels like its subsiding. Still, at least once a week or so I get that ?drunk? feeling ? the kind of light-headed and floaty, out-of-balance feeling. Almost always still get this sensation in the supermarket ? between crowds, florescent lights, loading and pushing the cart around, etc. ? I know this brings it on for me. Changes in weather, stress, and the ever popular ?no-reason-at-all? also bring it on.

Vision and hearing go crazy. Hard to keep things in focus (doubly so if in an over-stimulated environment). Sometimes it feels like I?m ?over-focusing? on everything. Ears feel full and buzzing ? difficult to concentrate on conversations ? especially if there?s lots of background noise. Brain fog really kicks in - short-term memory lapses, confusion, total mental and/or physical fatigue.

My POTS doc said all these symptoms could definitely be POTS-related but encouraged me to go for further testing (since I was convinced it was way more than POTS). And after years of testing, they came back with nothing ? just POTS. I tried Klonopin which seemed to help but knew that wouldn?t be a permanent fix so I?ve just learned to live with it.

#11 ~Naomi~

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:41 PM

Wow, Houdini -- you describe it EXACTLY. I wonder if there is a good way to look at blood flow to the brain while standing? I took part in a POTS study that looked at exactly this, but the Dr. did not tell me (despite my asking) whether I was one of the people affected.