Posted 2/2/2013 6:03 PM (GMT -6)
First of all, a little history about myself and I do apologize for the length of this post!)...
I am a middle-aged male with a history of GAD, OCD, Panic Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, Depression, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (as a child), Bi-Polar Disorder (a recent diagnosis), severe stress-intolerance, Cervical Arthritis at C4/C5 (w/bone spur), Chronic Sinusitis, Allergic Rhinitis, Deviated Septum, IBS, Diverticulosis, GERD and Gastritis. I also tend to have lots of nightmares and nocturnal panic attacks which are definitely no fun at all - possibly from a number of major stressors in my life recently.
My medical history consists of a vast array of specialists, tests anmd medications spanning decades and could fill a room full of shoe boxes. Outside of the conditions I suffer from above, no other issues have been found to date.
I have recently (or am currently) taking the following medications...
Keppra for Tourette's
Atenolol for panic attacks
Prevacid for GERD
Ativan for anxiety
Unisom Sleep Tabs (Doxylamine Succinate) for sleep
My Routine is as follows...
Wake up. Make coffee (and have one cup). Do routine things at the computer (check email, etc). Sometimes (but rarely I'll exercise). Feed animals. Do house cleaning. Make dinner. Watch TV/eat snacks (chips and soda). Stay up very late. Take my meds. Go to bed.
The "go to bed" part is actually where the problems begin...
I have no trouble falling asleep (a Unisom Sleep Tab helps) but during what I believe is the second half of the night during deep REM sleep I have these terrifying and very stressful nightmares that seem to go on forever and occur almost every night. I wake up feeling like I've been hit by a freight train and the feeling stays with me throughout the entire day and might only get just a tiny bit better as the evening approaches. When I wake up my nose and sinuses are very stuffy and there is lots of pressure in my head, forehead, behind my eyes, etc. It actually feels like someone gave me both barrels of a whipped cream canister up the nostrils. Just really stuffed up!. Thats how bad it can feel. When I blow my nose I get these big globs of clear mucous. It just feels like my whole head is full of snot (pardon the expression). My eyes also feel puffy and water sometimes. I notice this much more when I have the heater on all night. Could this be caused my Chronic Sinusitis, Allergic Rhinitis or the fact that I run the heater all night?.
I also notice that my neck hurts when I turn it from side-to-side and this is always worse in the mornings and gets better as the day progresses. I have no problem touching my chin to my chest or actually moving it from side-to-side however. I wonder if this could be from my Cervical Arthritis and/or my head-jerking Tourettes tics. Sometimes, I also wake up with lots of head pressure and a mild sinus or neck arthritis-type headache too which makes me wonder if the Arthritis, Tourettes and sinus issues could all have something to do with this.
My temperature is always within the normal range. Blood pressure is also always within the normal range. Stools are normal for the most part. Eyes/ears/skin are fine. Appetite is normal. Nothing else "unusual" about me except what I have described above.
Interestingly, I had slowly tapered off of the Keppra at one point because of side affects but then a few weeks later I decided to give it another try and felt really happy, motivated, slept really well and had no nightmares at all, went shopping and had a great time, etc. I felt like I was on top of the world during that 2-day period until the side affects started up again but I still felt pretty good/normal while I was on it. As soon as I went off of it, the nightmares and all the other things came back in full force again.
So at this point I'm just wondering if all of my symptoms (nightmares, sinus/head/eye pressure, head/neck issues, etc) are being caused by (or alleviated by) the Keppra or if all of this has to do with any/all of my other issues or even the meds I'm taking. It's just so absolutely confusing and frustrating and I just really want to feel normal again. I have lots of appointments coming up so seeing a doctor/specialist isn't a problem for me at the moment. I'm just wondering if anyone here has ever suffered from the same conditions or issues that I have described and what it all sounds like to you. Can anyone relate or offer any input on any of this...I mean, what does it sound like is going on here?.
Thanks so very much and again I apologize for the length of this post (thank you all for reading it!).