Vision Specialists of Michigan, Patient Stories

Spinning, Dizziness, Neck and Shoulder Pain

It was about 12 or 14 years ago I began to experience neck and shoulder pain. My neck hurt so bad I could hardly move. I had to sleep on a special pillow. The pain was agonizing. It never stopped. I went to several doctors, and massage therapists, and an acupuncturist. Nothing helped.

Then the dizzy spells began. I couldn’t walk straight. One day I was leaving a friend’s house. As I walked into the street to get into my car, I fell and could only sit there about 4 feet from the curb with my head against my knees while everything was spinning around me. I could see nothing because it was spinning so fast. After about 10 minutes I could pull myself to the curb and waited about 5 more minutes before I could get up.

This happened sometimes when I went out for walks in the morning. The spinning would start, my arms would flail in front of me and I would collapse down onto the sidewalk until I could see again.

One morning I woke up and had to hang on to the sides of the bed while the whole room was spinning so fast I could see nothing. It would not stop. I slid off the bed and managed to slide across the floor to the phone and waited until I could see the numbers to call a friend. I had to keep my head between my knees in order to feel somewhat balanced. I crawled to the bathroom and threw up. My friend drove me down to Monroe to a chiropractor I had been seeing. I had to keep my head between my knees the whole time.

Almost every morning I had to wait until the spinning would stop before I could get out of bed.

I went to a series of chiropractors. I saw an acupuncturist, neurologist, ear, nose and throat specialist, and many doctors. I had several days of tests, xrays, MRI’s, and nothing showed up. I was told, “Well, the good news is, I can tell you what it isn’t.” I was told it was stress.

I was told it was all in my head. I was even told to go to a psychiatrist.

I was always walking off the sidewalk, three feet off the sidewalk and into walls. I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle twice.

Twice, while driving a car, in heavy traffic the spinning began and I could not see out of the whidshield. I stopped my car and just sat there while cars flew by me. I always drove in the far right lane and drove slow in case I had to pull off. I was terrified.

A friend of mine noticing the damage I was doing to myself, found an article in the Free Press about Dr. Debby Feinberg in Birmingham, specializing in Vertical Heterophoria. I had never heard of this before, nor had any of the doctors I had seen. I did not believe I had this and did not believe she could help me. I had pretty much given up. The article lay on my kitchen counter for weeks. My friend kept asking me if I had called her yet. Finally, I made an appointment.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced. She was the first and only person I had spoken to about this who actually knew what I was talking about. She gave me glasses with prisms in them. My neck and shoulder pain disappeared. I was no longer dizzy. I get no more spinning spells. I feel normal. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had never met her.

Thank you, Dr. Debby.

-P. C., Age 54