Dizziness and Nausea

I just received this email…..

“Good day. My brother had a stroke of the left cerebellum a month ago. He had decompression surgery and was in Critical care for 3.5 weeks. He went to rehab 4 days ago but he is having trouble completing the exercises because he is so dizzy and nauseous. Was this your experience? Do you have any suggestions? Trying desperately to find resources to help him.”
My reply…..
“It’s wonderful that you’re trying to help your brother. I wish I had someone do such things for me. That didn’t happen to me but I’ve heard of others saying the same thing. I wish I could give you names to get in contact. I’m sorry.

My suggestion is while the physical exercises make him dizzy and nauseous, get him into meditation ASAP. ”

Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.


Can anyone give him any suggestions?



Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , ,

42 replies

  1. I had a left cerebellar stroke due to an artery dissection. I was in hospital Neuro ICU for 9 days and narrowly escaped surgery for decompression. My PT was absolutely amazing! Although I had damage to quite a large amount of the left side of the cerebellum, I am 100% recovered save for a light tremor in three fingers. I would be happy to correspond with them. You’re welcome to give her my email address. Let me know if you don’t still have it. 😀

  2. Dizziness and nausea were very much my experience and it is absolutely overwhelming.

    . I think at this point in his recovery there are three things I would share.

    One is that this is going to take a much longer time to improve than one expects, much longer, but you have to just keep working at the exercises and I agree about the meditation. I would add look into all those things that are basic good health.. watch the blood pressure, watch the diet, try and get enough rest. Try therapeutic massage. Some times medications you need to take can make the situation worse and aggravate an already horrible situation. Your body might take a while to adjust to some medications and sometimes the dr might need to make changes.

    The second thing is that if you are considered medically okay to exercise you just HAVE to do it. I really thought that anything that felt that awful must also be bad for me and might cause further injury. Worried about having another stroke, worried that I would vomit somewhere embarrassing, worried with good cause that I would fall. The fact is that movements that make you feel awful are just what you have to do over and over and over and there is very gradual improvement that you can hardly notice. Then one day you realize that you just did something that would have had you collapsing in the past. Just lead your life as normally as possible to encourage healing and rewiring your brain so it works again.

    One more kind of warning about something that many of us found.. you start to do better and think okay that is fixed! but then you are extra worn out one day or feeling sick with a cold and the problem is right back there to your shock and horror. It really is kind of a two steps forward and one step back.. but you do keep going the right direction.

    • “The fact is that movements that make you feel awful are just what you have to do over and over and over and there is very gradual improvement that you can hardly notice. Then one day you realize that you just did something that would have had you collapsing in the past. ”

      That’s great advice.


  4. I had the same stroke (PICA, left side) 3 1/2 yrs ago. Also possibly due to arterial dissection which the MRI suggested. There are several items of evidence buttressing this assumption; I’ve had some numbness along my right side for 30-40 years, dizzy spells now & then, and I noticed after the stroke if I drooped my head I’d get another mini-stroke so I do head-up stretches every day and have avoided any further such episodes. I had no known heart anomalies back then but I did develop atrial fib. just before the stroke. I still favor the dissection theory.

    My main problems are ataxia, and fatigue and breathlessness when doing relatively easy jobs like sweeping the sidewalk. I walk 2-4 miles a day in my back yard. Dizziness is not a big problem. I agree that daily exercise is of paramount importance, as much as you can tolerate. I still prefer my wheelchair for getting around the house but I can walk also. With time, walking is becoming more frequent – a good sign.

    I was in hospital 5 nights, no surgery, following which they put me in an inpatient rehab facility. No way could I do the 3 hrs daily exercises as required by Medicare. So I asked to be transferred to a nursing home where I received ‘kinder and gentler’ rehab for 2 months. Been home now 3 1/3 years, live by myself (widower), use a caregiver to clean house every 2 weeks, otherwise am self-reliant. I now take bus and car rides but haven’t driven since the stroke and don’t intend to.

    I agree essentially with what the experts say: you make pretty rapid improvements at first, thank goodness, but then it plateaus out and further improvements are very slow to come by. This may partly be due to my advanced age (75 at this point) so don’t be too discouraged.

  5. How are you Amy?? I hope you are doing great.

    When my husband began therapy after the stroke, he used to get dizzy and nauseous. When this happened, he used to stop exercising. It took some time for these symptoms to disappear. It has been almost three years and he is still recovering every day thank God. Doctors said that he would never walk, and now he is using a walker with help. The trembling of his body has decreased a lot with time. Faith and Hope!!



    Sent from my iPhone


  6. DEFINATELY meditation!! I suffered cerebellum stroke as well and sleep and meditation, with patience…mechlazine helped altho’ my doc cautioned about being dependent on it as the brain needs to deal with the dizziness in order to heal…but I used it ….2years post stroke and I still have intermittent dizziness…but I feel lucky that’s all! Still love lots of sleep

    • Wow. Your doctor said you need to deal with the bad stuff in order to heal? He didn’t just tell you there will be no further recovery for you or try to force a drug down your throat? Wow. Keep that doctor.

  7. This happened to me too.

    What’s happening is the brother’s brain is having to learn to re-route the messages around the bits that don’t work any more. That’s just going to take a little time: the more you try to do things the harder the brain has to work to reroute the messages: if the damage isn’t too catastrophic then this happens.

    Everything takes time: longer than you ever imagine but much shorter than it seems it at the time.

    I’m five years out and my blog is at http://www.AfterStrokeParty.com.

  8. It sounds strange but it might work a cold wet cloth on the back of the neck can help. Fighter pilots use this trick after a very bad exercise where the inner ear is telling them one thing and the eyes are telling them something else. I have read all over the net this works for a lot of people

  9. I know just after my stroke, I couldn’t look up or down without getting dizzy and nauseous. My eyes weren’t focusing well.. It took time to build up my eye muscles again. I might add that I still can’t look up without the same effects after four years.

  10. Another thing to consider is VOR (vestibular-ocular reflex) exercises. When your VOR system is disrupted, as it often is in cerebellar injuries, eye movement can cause debilitating nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Early on post-bleed, anything that caused me to focus or change focus would make me so dizzy and nauseated that I’d need an immediate nap. The VOR exercises might be the most important thing that helped me get a grip on that, which then helped me get my life back.

    This article from ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) gives an excellent overview of the process of vestibular rehabilitation. I wish I’d learned of it somewhere along the way:


    A search on YouTube with keywords of

    VOR exercises or gaze stabilization or vestibular rehabilitation

    will give hundreds of examples of ways to do them.

    My left cerebellar stroke was 3.5 years ago. But mine crossed over into the brain stem, and was deep, so they didn’t operate. They don’t know the cause, but suspect an AVM. Feel free to pass on my email to the sister. Anybody else is also welcome to write me privately: deboheath at gmail dot com.

    • I know that this is an older sight…I came upon it searching for nausea and dizziness after an AVM fistula hemorrhage…I am a retired trauma nurse and my best friend was life-flighted to our main trauma hospital…she had a craniotomy Aug 12th, 2019. The bleed was in the cerebellum and some bleeding was in the ventricles…she was in neuro ICU for 7 days…transferred to stepdown for 4 days then to our facility that rehabs brain trauma , stroke and spinal injury. The nausea and dizziness is overwhelming for her…she does get through all the therapies…is starting to walk with a walker, has down some stairs…her hardest part is OT…reading all the stories has helped me and I m going to share them with her…I would love to email with you…Thank you for sharing you ideas and stories!

  11. I didn’t not have a stroke in my cerebellum, so my experience might be irrelevant. My stroke was deep brain, basal ganglia, just outside the brainstem. I could not stop barfing or open my ryes without barfing for at least 2 weeks straight. When I got into rehab, I kept barfing…they starting giving me zofran around the clock. It helped the barfing stop but I was still very dizzy for months. Eventually, I got vision therapy that helped tremendously. I still get dizzy when I’m super tired, but overall I’m much better. You can find a vision therapy specialist at http://www.Nora.cc if his eyes are part of the problem. Good luck. Its so hard!

  12. Thank you all to rekindling my hope. My cerebellar stroke happened 4 months ago, which shattered all my hopes and aspirations. My major problem is difficulty walking due to lack of coordination an dragging sensation in my Head while walking , I have been wondering when will it stop or get better. I was admitted in hospital for 14days where I was monitored. Nausea and vomiting has stopped. Iam now independent because I can take Care of myself. My worry is when will my walking like drunkard stop. ? 0

  13. Hi, my Husband had a cerebellar stroke 8 months ago, the side effect is his Balance, He got double vision, Dizziness always , all he wants to go to sleep. Every time he tells me that he can’t stand to stay longer this side effects he wants to go back to a normal his very frustrated.

    He try very hard I want to help him I try to calm him down and explain that it will better just he need to be positive. Always pray to god hopefully it will over.

    Please, maybe you guys can be able to help him or suggest me about this dizziness and balance. He had Physio and Speech every once a week but I try to help him at home to do it more once a week.

    Thank you

    • My husband had a cerebellar stroke. I requested a neurothomologist and took him to Casa Colina for PT. We have a personal trainer come to our house and he is slowly progressing. Have put him on special diet from book Grain Brain. It is written by neurologist and very insightful.

  14. Very hard for me to see him struggling with his dizziness and trying his best stay longer to do his activity

    • Vestibular rehab has been ESSENTIAL and very informative. You have to find a good vestibular rehab specialist and it takes a lot of work. And it’s not easy, it’s not pretty. It is essentially doing the things that make you feel dizzy on a smaller scale over and over to retrain your brain. I’ve been doing it for 15 of the 19 months since my cerebellar stroke. I also have some problems with my eyes that seem to trigger dizziness. It can be very frustrating and disheartening but it does get better. I also do some visual therapy that helps as well. Most people dont realize how your eyes can impact your balance system. Doctors kind of overlook this very important part of the problem. After a lot of specialists and tests, my vest rehab doctor figured it out. When I get upset and frustrated and cry, she reminds me that although the work is slow, your body and brain has an amazing ability to heal and compensate. I refuse to give up on myself. I say no to the plateau!

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