My symptoms may or may not be typical but all I can do is write about how it was affecting me prior to my diagnosis.
In mid 2013 I started to get dizzy spells. Usually though, it would manifest itself only when I was bending down and getting up quickly so I simply put it down to the sudden change in movement.
Over time they gradually became more frequent, about 2/3 a week as opposed to 2 a month at the beginning They were also becoming worse and would take slightly longer to recover from…a minute or two instead of the previous 20 seconds.
The worst feeling though and the one that finally led me to the doctors was the strange and uncomfortable feeling of what I described as “full head-edness”. Later on, this would be diagnosed as Hydrocephalus.
It was like my head was stuffed full of cotton wool and although I was coherent and lucid, the feeling was just so strange and I just knew something wasn’t right, although I never felt there was anything really bad happening.
IMPORTANT – MY MISDIAGNOSIS
When I went to the Doctor, they originally diagnosed me with an inner ear infection and depression (due to the lack of sleep and the pressures of running my own business) and prescribed me Fluoxetine, more commonly known as Prozac, a well known anti-depressant drug.
Incientally, I never took it as I just knew that my problems were not down to being clinically depressed. Fed up, tired and angry but not depressed – even I knew the difference.
The 2nd time I met with them they diagnosed me with Ménière’s Disease (also known as endolymphatic hydrops), a type of inner ear infection that can affect hearing and balance and cause Vertigo.
This was because I also had slight Tinnitus but the reason I had this is because I used to be a mobile DJ and the years of loud music took their toll on me, hence the Tinnitus.
They confirmed their diagnosis that I had Ménière’s Disease the 3rd time I met with them too and only ruled this out after my first MRI, some 6 months after my first visit to the Doctor.
The other major things to note:
The biggest ones for me personally, were my massive mood swings and inability to sleep.
Running your own business is hard. Forget the ‘glory’ stories of guys making millions, I was just trying to put food on the table for my family and I worked at least 12 hours a day in the week and 4 hours each day at weekends.
There was no respite as I had to deal with staffing issues, supplier problems, cashflow problems, etc.
As an aside, I do feel that the massive pressure I was under contributed to the Colloid Cyst. There is no medical evidence of course but using a mobile (cell) phone for at least 4 hours a day every day for the last 20 years or so, must have take its toll in addition to the huge amount of stress I was under.
One day, I threw my PC monitor against the wall. Another day I turned over a desk in the office.
It wasn’t like me and now (in hindsight) I believe that the Cyst was to blame or at least partly to blame.
The first time I went to the doctor was about the ‘fuzziness in my head’ but I also realised when talking to him that I was only getting 3/4 hours a sleep a night. Some days, I wouldn’t even go to bed and I was at my wits end.
Is that a symptom of a Colloid Cyst?
I don’t know but again, it is what affected me at that time and that is all I can tell you.
It got so bad that my family were scared to give me bad news or make me aware of a problem with the business for fear of setting me off.
This just isn’t like me and since the operation, I am back to how I was when my wife and I first met…laid back, pleasant, accommodating and thoughtful.
Not this monster who would scream and shout (and I did) at every minor issue.
Symptoms of a Colloid Cyst in order of the effect on me
- Full headedness or fuzziness (numerous times a day every day)
- Mood swings (every day)
- Inability to sleep (every other day)
- Dizzy spells (every few days)
- Mild headaches (hardly ever – perhaps 1 a month)
I think you can see from this that the headaches that people speak about in relation to a Colloid Cyst, rarely bothered me.
I keep saying it but the feeling of being fuzzy headed or full headed was the most prevalent. It was just odd. Like my head was permanently under water and that is the feeling and symptom I most remember.
I’m not saying that these symptoms will be the same for everyone, far from it. What I am saying (and what I have learned from my own search for knowledge) is that everyone appears to suffer a different level and different type of symptom.
Sure, nearly all Colloid Cyst sufferers will experience mood swings, dizziness, full headedness and sleep disruption but it does appear that the impact will vary from one case to another.
This is my experience and I hope it helps.