Living with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome: My Diagnosis

Mdds 2June is Mal de Debarquement awareness month so I’ll be focusing on my experiences with this rare syndrome during the five weeks. This is my second in the series. 
I was officially diagnosed with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome in December 2015, over a year after having the concussion that caused it.

I was diagnosed with it in a somewhat roundabout way. Right before Thanksgiving, I was scheduled to do a one day intensive at the functional neurologist and in the morning, I did a revaluation. They had slightly changed the stimulus in the testing program, and the change threw me into a full blown panic attack. I had never had one, so I didn’t realize what it was at the time and continued pushing through it.

We’re still not sure why I responded in such a way to the stimulus, but it could have been that I was slightly hypoglycemic. Anyways, the end result was that I felt weak and shaky but, miracle of miracles, I could lie flat on my back without getting dizzy. I hadn’t been able to do that since my second concussion.

That puzzled my functional neurologist and I think he pieced together the fact that the stimulus was similar to that used by Dr. Dai and my response was so extreme with an overall improvement to begin suspecting that I had Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. After he told me about his suspicions at my next appointment, I immediately went home and googled it and it all clicked. It was amazing to read about and realize that other people were experiencing what I was.