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Pulsations in the head and BP problems?
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Pulsations in the head and BP problems?

I finally got a chance to post a question here. I posted this a few days ago as a response to someone else's question, but I'd like to get an opinion from an MD on the board as well. The full story is in this URL: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/cardio/messages/35673.html, under the name feelsick2. I'd appreciate if you could read the full story instead of this post. The summaryis as follows:

I'm 28, 178 pounds, normal resting blood pressure 115/75, pulse 72. No major health problems before. No heart problems in parents (both alive, 55 yrs old) or grandparents (all passed away around 82 yrs old)

One day, woke up with a sore throat and mild fever (99.8), took a TheraFlu (aspirin). Then 2 hours later, started feeling weird, dizzy, started feeling a bit of pulsations in my chest and head. Things started to get worse in 10 mins, and suddenly, my heart was racing, my hands and feet were tingling and numb and I was sweating and flushing. (no chest pain, shortness of breath). Went back home to rest. Major complaint the next couple days were a strong feeling of pulsations INSIDE my head, often in my neck, face, ears and jaw. No pain or headache. Couldn't go to work because these feelings were making me dizzy, After 2 days of rest, one night these pulsations started getting worse again, so that morning I went to my PCP.

Since then (it has been 3 months now), I have these pulsations in my head. I have had 2 MRI/MRAs, 2 Chest-x-rays, Cardio consult, Neuro consult, ENT consult, all non-conclusive. The details of these workups are in my long post. Thanks in advance,
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Hello feelsick2,

I am sorry to hear about your recent health problems. I looked very briefly at your previous post, but for time reasons, we focus only on what will fit in a single day post.

I do not have a unifying answer to all your concerns.  Believe it or not, sometimes it is better to not have a definite diagnosis.  There isn't much they can find on MRI's to explain headaches and pulsation that you want to have.

I have run across a few patients that get pulsation-like sensations with their migraines.  I can tell  you that when I have an occassional migraine, there is often a residual headache for a few days and I get pulsation in my head when I cough and stand up quickly.  This is one possibility.  Otherwise I am not sure what else to except to be persistent in looking for an answer.  Sometimes you have to connect with the right sub-sub specialist in a tertiary care hospital.

I hope this helps, good luck.
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Well I figured I can actually copy&paste my long message as a comment here as well, for those of you who'd care to read. Thanks again!

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I'm 28, 178 pounds, normal resting blood pressure 115/75, pulse 72. No major health problems before. No heart problems in parents (both alive, 55 yrs old) or grandparents (all passed away around 82 yrs old)

One day, woke up with a little sore throat and very mild fever (99.8); after breakfast took a TheraFlu (with aspirin). Then about 2 hours later, while driving started feeling weird, dizzy, started feeling a bit of pulsations in my chest and head, so I stopped. Just started to walk around a little bit to get some fresh air, went into a store, etc. Then things started to get worse in 10 minutes, and suddenly, my heart was racing, I felt my blood pressure was increasing. For about 30 seconds my hands and feet were tingling and numb and I was sweating and flushing. There was no chest pain, no shortness of breath. Didn't call EMS or go to ER given my medical history. I wasn't very worried at that time, despite the scary episode. Went back home.

My major complaint the next couple days were a very strong feeling of pulsations INSIDE my head, often in my neck, face, ears and jaw. No pain or headache, just strong feeling of pulsations. Couldn't go to work because these feelings were making me dizzy, I didn't want to drive, moreover, I was afraid the initial episode could repeat. It first felt like these symptoms were getting better while I was resting at home, but after 2 days of rest, one night these pulsations started getting worse again, so that morning I went to my PCP.

Described her what was going on, she listened and said it is probably a viral syndrome, told me to just go back home, take advil for pain/fever, plenty of fluids, etc. No blood tests. That's what I did. The next day, in the afternoon, I started to feel terrible, very strong pulsations in my head, which were making me really dizzy and weak. I was lying down and when I got up to go to the bathroom, almost lost my balance and fell down, couldn't stand up. Things didn't get better for 15 minutes, so we called 911.

The paramedics took an EKG on the spot, got my blood pressure (160/100) and pulse (105). I was taken to ER. In the ER they did another EKG, standard ER blood tests, flu and mono test, chest x-ray. My blood pressure and the pulsations in the head were better in 4 hours. They said they saw a patchy area in the lung, and started treating me with Levaquin antibiotics, for possible suspicion of pneumonia (I had no runny nose, no cough, no shortness of breath). They wanted to discharge me right away, I objected and was admitted to the hospital for that night. I was not being monitored during the night for my heart rate and BP. They did a couple more blood tests, and a blood culture (negative). My blood pressure standing was higher than my BP sitting down, which was higher than my BP lying down. They said this might be due to dehydration, so I got almost 5 liters of IV. Also, they gave me a potassium pill because my potassium was a little bit low in the blood tests. Overnight my BP and pulse were ok, in the morning after breakfast, BP went up to 150/100, pulse 105. The resident said this is nothing to be worried about, I went back lying on my hospital bed. After the first day, my BP and pulse were still not stable, so they let me stay there one more night, but again without any continuos monitoring. Next day I was discharged and sent home with a 10-day course of levaquin and advised to take tylenol for fewer/aches. Since then (it has been 3 months now), I have these pulsations in my head.

I followed up with my PCP. She ordered more bloodwork, all negative. My only positive result was cholesterol (256) with LDL of 186. Also, a slightly elevated ALT(SGPT) of 53 (normal range 7-40). She said we'll address my cholesterol later when I get better. Over the next two weeks, I was feeling quite bad. Every once in a while, while I was lying down at home, reading a book, or watching TV, my BP was suddenly rising to 150-160/90-100, and pulse to 100, and it would come back to normal sometimes after half an hour, sometimes after 3 hours. All these were accompanied by strong pulsating sensation in my head, regardless of my BP, but when my BP was higher, the pulsations were worse.

Two weeks later, my PCP ordered a 24-hour urine test to test for possible pheochromocytoma , negativePCP insisted that everything should be ok in a few weeks, it is probably a viral/post-viral syndrome. I insisted on a cardiac evaluation and eventually referred to cardio. The cardiologist did some blood tests, all negative. ANTI-DNA was 3 (normal range 0-25). Also checked C-reactive protein, which was at 3.0mg/L (normal range as reported by that hospital is 1.0-3.0). He also did an echocardiogram, results had no significance. He said my heart is probably reacting to something else that is going on in my body. I was put on an event monitor for 30 days. The event monitor didn't reveal any significant results. The doc said that he saw that sometimes my pulse was going from 75 to 100 on the monitor, but with normal sinus rhytm. There were occasional PVCs and PACs in one of the readings which were of of no significance, he said. The 'conclusion' line on the reports says: "Overall no clear symptom correlation with any significant brady or tachyarrhythmia".

My symptoms kept continuing, sometimes getting a little better. I was sometimes having tingling feeling in my hands, sometimes sharp pains in my upper body that lasts for a few seconds and then goes away. I was sometimes having mild pain in specific spots in my chest (upper left chest, 2 inches above the heart, also on the side right above the rib cage). Not too painful but dull and unnerving. They would come and give me some pain for 10 seconds then go away, come back again in half an hour for another 20 seconds. Also, I was generally feeling very tired and weak.

I was able to start walking for 15-30 minutes after a month. However, my symptoms were still continuing and at random times in the day. I was put on atenolol of 12.5 mgs/day, which was then increased to 25 mgs/day after 10 days. After started taking atenolol, my BP was more stable, I wasn't having these 'episodes' as often, and when I had them my BP was going only up to 140/95 instead of 155/100, but the problem didn't go away completely. I was also continuously having the pulsations in my head.

Moreover, I was having sleep problems, most nights I was only getting 2-3 hours of sleep, so I was put on 0.5mg of lorazepam, only to be taken before going to bed. This felt like it helped in the first couple days, but then my sleep problem came back and persists to this day.

While out one day, felt a bit dizzy and the pulsations started to get stronger. We were near another hospital at the time and just walked into the ER when symptoms didn't go away for a while. Luckily we had our medical reports with us, they looked over them and said a lot had been covered already. They did blood tests which were all negative. They did a chest-xray. They said they saw 'something' in the chest x-ray, so they'd like to do a CT scan of my chest. They did that and said it was a 'false alarm', it is all clean. Also, they scheduled a brain MRI for 4 days later. MRI came clean.

Through my PCP, I was referred to a neurology consult, nothing came out of that. During all this time, along with the pulsating feeling in my head, I was (and i still do) having constant, hissing-like tinnitus, so I was also referred to an ENT. An audiogram was done, which came out ok. The ENT asked for a brain MRI and MRA to check for auditory canal blood vessels and tumors. The MRI/MRA came back negative. (By the way, do I also need a neck MRI?)

This was about 2 months into my condition. I had another visit to my PCP. He said there's nothing more that he can do, everything came clean, despite my symptoms. I think he saw that I was very depressed and emotional, so he said that he wants me to start taking an antidepressant. He put me on 20mg of Citalopram (Celexa). He also referred me to a psychologist for 10 sessions, claiming that during all this time I was probably having panic/anxiaty attacks.

This was another turning point during the course of my sickness. I felt so bad after starting Celexa. My BP was up again to 150/100, pulse to 95-100. I was feeling these pulsating even more strongly in my head, and I also started feeling them strongly in my chest and stomach. There were other weird symptoms, like my teeth were feeling weird and sensitive, my jaw was shaking uncontrollably a couple times a day for a few seconds. And the worst was, when I yawned, I was feeling like I was going to faint. Everytime I yawned a warmth/flushing sensation was happening, starting from my neck and spreading downwards.

After three days of taking that drug and feeling absolutely terrible, called my PCP. He said normally antidepressants are started with a low dose and then gradually increased, but since he saw that I was very depressed, he started me with 20 mgs! He told me to decrease the dosage to 10mgs. That's what I did. Immediately, the terrible feelings started to feel a little bit better, but I still had them. Apparently antidepressants cause insomnia during the first week/10 days. I wasn't able to sleep a single minute for 4 days straight. After about 7 days, I completely stopped taking that drug. In about two days, the bad symptoms started to go away, and in about a week, I think they went away completely. So I was back to square one, feeling like I felt before I started Celexa.

After all these experiences, changed my PCP. The new doc examined all my files and said I had a pretty extensive workup and there doesn't seem to be much she can do at this point. She ordered some bloodwork just to see if there's anything developing, also asked for another echocardiogram. I'm awaiting the results of these evaluations. My doctor strongly recommended me to stop using lorazepam, which I did. She also said that I should get back on my life immediately, go back to work, get out of the house etc, even if I'm feeling bad. So that's what I'm doing now. I don't feel as bad as 2-3 months ago, but I have the pulsations in my head continuosly. I am aware of them even more when I lay down, especially when I'm trying to go to sleep. I am generally sleepy/weak (maybe side effect of atenolol?), and sometimes have a fullness sensation in my head and chest that comes and goes. My BP is not as bad anymore, it usually doesnt exceed 135/85, but I was expecting it to be back to my normal BP by now after 3 months (120/75). Also, I'm afraid if I stop taking atenolol, it'll go right back up.

I don't know what else to do. I'm just waiting all this go get better by itself, as my doctor is telling me there's not much else that they can do. I'm still seeing the therapist, but I don't know if it is helping. I somehow don't think all these are anxiety related. I'm open to any suggestions and hear any similar experiences.

Thanks in advance,
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Hi there... I know these problems can be terrifying as i have had some of the same issues, only a little different. Mine is pvc related. Im not sure what causes them but i am here to tell you that anxiety can and DOES cause a multitude of symptoms. Im not saying that is definately what you are experiencing but it is possible that the anxiety is making whatever is going on much worse. Im not a doctor but honestly with all the testing that you have gone thru I would be willing to bet that you are pretty healthy. Ill give you one example of what anxiety can do. This is really strange but a true experience for me. Several yrs ago i owned my own business and had an exceptionally bad day... everything was going wrong and i was kind of freaking out getting very nervous... my work involved pretty strenuous bodily activity. well that afternoon driving home i just felt very hyper and nervous from the day. I started having a kind of tingling feeling at my lips which gradually over the period of about 10 minutes went from there to my tounge then the side of my head then as it started advancing down my arms i felt like i had 100s of volts of electricity jolting my muscles. It was unbelievably frigtening. It lasted say about 5 minutes then gradually subsided. I went to my rural hospital and they did an ekg and said my heart was perfect. To this day nothing even similar has happenend to me, and there were no lasting effects i dont guess... btw, i am a very nervous type person. So, I said all that to say that hopefully this is at least partially anxiety related. I hope you the best of luck and  from experience, which i finally started doing, you must trust your Drs, and the testing. have a great day, Russ
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Hope you get the answers you're looking for. One thing you *can* do is work on lowering your cholesterol.

Good luck!
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I was having very similar feelings and did not know what they meant.  Pounding in the head and stiff neck and shoulder with pain down my left arm sometimes and tingling in my fingers.  I took my blood pressure one day at my mom's house b/c I felt as if a rush of blood went from my neck up thru my head and suddenly felt as if I would pass out.  My BP was 165/110 and my mom was like, oh my God.

Long story short, it turns out I have high blood pressure and even though they say you don't "feel" high blood pressure, I guarantee you that I DO!  When my pressure gets high, I have many of the symptoms you describe, and then my anxiety about it makes me feel worse b/c I think I'm dying.  For three months the anxiety and the constant worrrying about it made me crazy. Dr. put me on something that didn't work and told me to do lifestyle changes. Finally, I found a really good PCP and he put me on Altace + Toprol (hypertension) and now I exercise, eat right (sort of LOL), and feel great.  Every now and then I get panic attacks and can feel these things start to come over me.  Just relax, do some deep breathing and tell yourself it's ok, it will pass.  I hope this helps you b/c I know how you feel.
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Dafan is right, anxiety/panic can do a lot of things.  I screw up all my test results because of anxiety.  Have severe white coat syndrome, and was admitted to the ER one time because of severe high BP way over 200 don't want to mention how high because it gives me anxiety just to type the number, had an appointment about a test result, I cannot stand any suspense whether its medical or other my BP did shoot through the roof before I was put on BP meds.  At that time in the ER my EKG came out as "I had a previous heart attack". I know you can have silent heart attacks, but all my EKG's since then do not show a "past heart attack".  Cardiologist said if EKG is taken when your BP is extremely high like mine was and combined with extreme anxiety like I had it can shoot out false reports as in a "previous heart attack".  Then came the echocardiogram, the result was "severe mitral recurgation" (spelled wrong, severe mitral valve problem) again the TEE test (tube down my throat to view the heart and its valves)showed the exact opposite "very minimal", Cardiologist said even the way you breathe due to severe anxiety can mess up an echocardiogram.

I'm now on BP meds, but my cardiologist said to take my BP at home and bring in the readings to any doctor, not just him. Never again at a doctor's office.  But even at home I sometimes get anxiety when taking my BP and the first reading is always high, not as high as before the meds or when at a doctor's office in the past. Want to know what started all that anxiety/phobia?  Many yrs ago when I was 27 yrs old I had to go to the doctor and I was VERY nervous about something (I think it was because of a positive pap smear)I was very nervous.  Doctor took my BP and it was 170/120 yes very high, (that was before I knew that I react hypertensive when waiting for an outcome i.e. suspense) she said "oh my god we need to bring this pressure down NOW, do you realize you could have a stroke??" Oh my god "look at her pressure" she told the nurse.  Ever since this incident I developed a phobia of BP readings, I look at a BP monitor and get anxiety.  I developed a phobia of anything that has to do with heart and BP. I do NOT want to see a FEMALE doctor ever again, (I'm sure there a plenty good ones out there, but a female doctor sent me into this phobia, I will never see one again, male doctors always kept me at ease).  We spent a bunch of money on therapists the part which the Insurance companies did/do not pay.  I had biofeedback, deep breathing exercises, EMDR, confronting the phobia can't remember the word for it, they went with me to ER's and confronted me with BP machines which gave me panic attacks and I ran out. I was on meds i.e. Valium, Atavan, Xanax, Elavil to no evail.  Am now off all these tranquelizers.  And since I don't have to have my BP taken at the doctor's office anymore I can at least go to see a doctor if I need to without falling apart and on the verge of a heart attack or stroke.

And last but not least my Cardiologist explained to me that no matter how many BP pills you are on and no matter how good they are once a severe anxiety or anger hits you NONE of these BP pills will help you at that moment.  They might wont send the BP totally around the machine, but they will not keep your BP at a normal level if you are having severe anxiety about something or have severe anger about something.  The anger hardly effects my BP, but the anxiety does.

Dannon, I too had the pins and needles in my face and head, they told me it was caused by nerves/anxiety.  And as for PVC's I don't even want to think about these, it was a nightmare for me at times, I had them off and on for a very long time, but since I'm on the BP meds I only have a skip once in awhile.
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Hi FeelSick2 you are not alone. LEt me share my with you.

It started all in sept when i travel to MSP.(minopolis)
Right after I came back to my home (24 hrs flight) I started
to feel I could "hear" or "Feel" my heart beat. I thought it
was okay and ignore it.
For the next 2 weeks I started to have sleeping problems (i uesd
to sleep like a log)Then I started to experience what you have.
(strong pulsations in my neck area) The pulsations in my neck and my heart get worst when I laid down on my bed or after lunch or dinner.
I went to a GP and she ordered a thyroid check which came back negative. Then I went to a cadio and he ordered a EKG which
came back negative too.he told me it is anxiety.
But how could anxiety be constantly felt in my body for the 6 months NON-STOP. I just refused to accept the facts.
something is not right in my body.
I started to feel depressed and eventuaslly lose my job till today. Its been 6 months for me and it seems no one can ever solve my problem. If you happens to get rid of your "pulsation"
I would be most glad to hear about it.
Every night is a torment for me as I was put on anti-depressant.
I was a happygolucky guy till this **** hit me. And it hits me real hard.
I feel like the end of the rope for me.

thanks everyone for listening.





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Hi megaking,

Sorry to hear that you're having undiagnosed symptoms as well. Atenolol seems to help my pulsations a bit, but it doesn't 'cure' it. I am currently on 50mgs of Atenolol.

Are you on any meds? Which anti-depressant are you taking? Taking an antidepressant made my symptoms worse. What else did your doctors tell you? I'd be very interested if you make any progress as well. If you are ok with it, you can give me your e-mail and we can chat a bit more about it over e-mail.

Whatever you do, whatever happens, just don't give up hope!

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Hi Feelsick2

my email is ***@****

I will be taking a 24hours hotler monitor to monitor my heart
in the next 2 weeks or so. I am not sure if it helps.
Really this is getting more and more depressed for me.
I am currently on Remeron. (to make me at least have few hours of sleep)

I am really not sure what happens to me, GOD knows.

Let me know your mail.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi

I have had pulsing in my head,only since yesterday.They are short and fast pules, and it only lasts about 10 seconds at the most.. but it is very painful. I am 30 years old, and exercise regulary and eat plenty of fruits, veggies, good fats, fish, meat, grains and fibre. I have a pretty stress free life, and am a pretty happy person. I do get head aches often.. sometimes migranes (migraines), but this isn't a typical head ache.. its so fast and short that i have no idea what could be causing this??
Any thoughts anyone?
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It is HAUNTING to read your posts feelsick2 and megaking. I have been experiencing nearly identical symptoms since September and the medical community seems to be at a complete loss to help me.

I'm an otherwise healthy 25 year old male. Like both of you, I have had many medical tests that have not revealed the cause of the problem. I am also on 50mg of atenolol, which has helped, but only marginally. The pulsation through my neck into my head remains constant, with maddening effect.

Keep posting any of your progress, as will I. We have to team up to beat this ASAP. I can't take this much longer!
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I have the same exact problem.  Sometimes at night I am sitting up or lying down in bed doing nothing, my pulse rate literally shoot through the roof!  I have the BP wrist monitor on my nightstand so I immediately grab it every time I feel my heart racing at night.  My pulse runs to 120 and my BP starts at about 123/84 and then 10 minutes later it jumps to 190/98 with a pulse still at 115-120. I pop a clonidine .02 mg.
I too have asked my doctor about this.  I have HBP, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol - all controlled with medication, diet and a little exercise.  This happens always at night.  My doctor, also, told me it was "probably" stress and/or anxiety attacks, but whatever, it scares me to death.  Fortunately my symptoms have never been accompanied by arm or chest pain, just light headiness and massive pounding in my chest.  I lay down and get a cold cloth for my head until it passes and try to think happy relaxing thoughts or look at TV to relax my mind.
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Hello,
It sounds pretty hopeless.
I was hoping for some answers here. I have been having pulsations in my neck, some durring the day, but mostly always at night. I really dread bedtime. I get almost no sleep at all most nights because of these symptoms. It feels like a rush that comes and goes all night, that I feel in my neck.
I too, get no answers from the doctors. I had my personal doctor take blood tests, and tested my thyroid, and all came back normal. Then they took an ultrasound and ct scan of my neck after feeling a nodule in my neck. I was referred to a thyroid specialist that told me that it is a very slim chance that it is cancerous, and even if it was cancerous, it would not be the cause of my symptoms. So I didn't bother with a biopsy, and chose to just monitor the lump every 6 months with a sonogram. My main concern is to find out what is causing all my symptoms. I also suffer dizziness, vision problems that come and go, flushing that comes and goes with feeling of almost passing out. And at night, I also feel different sensations, like numbing and tingling in arms. I have to be so very careful not to touch my arms at all when I am lying in bed, or they will have tingling or numbness or pain. I try to take deep breathes when I feel the worst at night and I can feel a clearing effect in my brain when I do. So it makes me wonder if there's a block somewhere to the blood and oxygen getting through to my brain.?
My doctor and other doctors always suggest anxiety also. But the only time I experience anxiety is AFTER I am already experiencing the symptoms and I think that I am just going to have a heart attack or stroke and die, and nobody will ever know what happened to me, and what was wrong with me. That is what is causing anxiety. I guess I will try a heart monitor at night, if I can get a doctor who will do that, and try to get a test done on my carotid arteries in my neck to see if plaque is built up in there causing a blood flow blockage.
Anymore, I feel as though if we want to know what the problem is with our bodies, we have to become doctors ourselves and do all the research ourselves, to get any answers. I am very frustrated, and tired.
Until I do get answers, I have been writing letters to my seven children and husband (in the case of my death) and making memory books, and trying to prepare my husband on what to do if I should pass away.Been praying a lot.
If and when I get any answers I will post them here. God bless you all! Thanks for sharing! At least I am not alone in this.
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Wow, I have been having this pulsating feeling in my head, and at least it is some comfort to know I am not alone, although I wouldn't wish this on anyone!  Mine started about six weeks ago.  I am 49 years old.  I have a history of migraines and chronic sinus problems (I was once told by an ENT that I have very large sinus cavities) for approx. 25 yrs. I do have deviated septum which was once corrected with surgery but now has gone back to its original state.  For the last 6-9 months, my headaches come almost every day.  I take three Excedrin Migraine, or if at night and worse I take Darvocet with Promethezine (generic for Phenergen - to prevent nausea).    Sometimes I would take a new headache drug called Axert, along with ibuprophen.  It had gotten to where these weren't working anymore, or making it worse, with side effects such as dizziness or "hangover" feeling.  Approx. 2 months ago I had a severe headache (worse than any other) that lasted all day. It was a blood pressure headache, felt like someone had a vise grip around my entire head.  I had stopped taking BP medicine because the only reason it was given me in the first place was due to increased BP from pain/lack of sleep from a bulging disk (back), so I thought I didn't need it anymore.  I read somewhere that once you have a headache of that magnitude (thus, a "symptom" of high BP), that damage has already been done to your organs...but it didn't say WHAT organs.  I'm guessing kidneys, which help regulate BP. Anyway, back to the story.  After that episode I started back on 12.5mg Atenolol for BP, but was advised to increase to 25mg.  It was ok for about 1 1/2 weeks.  At that point (Six weeks ago) I packed up and moved from Louisiana to northern Alabama (very near Tennessee).  When I arrived that evening, felt awful with headache, dizziness, etc. which turned into an anxiety attack.  Continued headache, dizziness, off-center feeling for the next few days.  I attempted all my previous headache remedies, with same resulting side effects, and no relief.  (Thought it might have something to do with change in altitude here, as I had a similar experience in 2004 after trying parasailing for the first time).  Anyway, within a week, this "pulsating" in the head began, which in my case it is in the back of my head where the cerebellum is, and mostly on the right, threatening to turn into another BP headache.  I would have to sit up straight in the bed and then I would feel dizzy and nauseated.  Upon getting up to go to bathroom, felt woozy like I was going to pass out and had to hold on to walls, doors because I couldn't walk straight and my legs & arms were weak.    I got no sleep for 3 nights straight, propping myself straight up in bed with 6 pillows; several times the episodes turned into an anxiety attack. Took myself off any meds except 25mg Atenolol, which now seemed to make the pounding headache last ALL DAY LONG.  Stopped taking Atenolol, headache finally went away.  Following Monday went to GP who did CT which was clear. (Being in-between jobs I of course do not have insurance, so CT was cheaper than MRI).  Wanted to get MRI done too, but I see that many of you had that and found nothing.  Dr. gave me a diuretic for BP as alternative for Atenolol.  He also gave me another medicine for headache called ESGIC-plus.  Started taking diuretic and first night potassium fell, but started feeling some better.  Took the Esgic-plus for headache, eventually became VERY dizzy; took Promethezine to prevent vomiting.  The next day I felt wonderful and the next evening I did not have the pulsating.  However the following day, all my symptoms returned.  I do not want to become dependent on this headache medicine everyday.  But one thing I noticed.  When I take the Promethezine with either the ESGIC-plus, or the Darvocet, my symptoms all but disappear for approximately 24 hours.  Found out Promethezine is, or contains, antihistamine.  So maybe it is a combination of allergies??  Tried taking low doses of the Promethezine on a daily basis, but effect is not the same when taken alone.  I never know how I am going to feel from one day to the next or one hour to the next.  Pulsating with or without headache still continues every night.  Occasionally I can lay my head down flat, but mostly have to sit up.  I wake up 3:30 or 4:00 in morning, and have to move to supportive chair (back) for an hour or two, until the pulsating stops. Usually do not get back to sleep.   By the way, I am approx. 100 lbs overweight, which I'm sure hinders everything.  
Thanks for listening.  I have been praying and have everyone I know praying for me.  As far as knowing what this is or what to do, I'm at a loss.  Don't know why I ended up having headaches with the Atenolol, maybe I wasn't taking enough.  BP cuff is on the blink, but it feels as though my BP is better, but not back to normal as such.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, P.S.  before I left Louisiana, I had a carotid artery test done, which came back normal.  My dad died of stroke in 1983, which years before was preceded by several "mini-strokes".  He did have a brain operation, in which they had to remove a portion which had turned to "mush" (I guess from lack of oxygen or blood flow).  That is the main reason I am concerned.
Thanks.
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