Post-AVM dizziness and uncontrollable shaking of right hand

My wife suffered a brain AVM in April and was rushed to Hospital for emergency surgery. She was released from Hospital two and a half weeks later but then had to return for a procedure a few weeks later. Fortunately, when she returned, the embolisation procedure was a success and managed to seal off the AVM completely and she came home the following day. Since then, she has been making slow but steady progress and is gradually managing to do more and more things with each passing day. However, there are two things that don’t seem to be improving - her dizziness and an uncontrollable shaking of her right hand. The problem is that she can get no firm advice as to whether these will sort themselves out or even if there is anything she can do to help that process. She does have a number of physiotherapy exercises but so far they have not made any difference.

I was wondering if anyone has experience of these two conditions and if there is any general advice that they can offer. For example, how long might she expect to suffer these symptoms or if there are any tips as to what she might do to alleviate them. As you can imagine, they are causing her a lot of frustration and in the past 24 hours we have lost a glass and a sugar bowl!

Hi Brian. You didn’t mention if your wife had a bleed or not? It sounds as though she did?? And she still has the AVM, correct?

I can tell you my experience. I have bouts of dizziness very frequently, several times a day. My hands shake too, but mostly when I’m overly tired. It may sound crazy but a glass of wine or a beer seems to help with the shaking.

I had an AVM bleed/hemorrhagic stroke about 2 1/2 years ago and these symptoms still persist. I’ve just resigned myself to the possibility that I may always have these issues, just part of the “new” me. Like I said, it’s worse some times than others. It’s funny you mention your wife losing things! I spend most of my day looking for things that I’ve just put down but can’t remember where I left them! And yes, it is extraordinarily frustrating!

Hi Trish
Many thanks for your reply. My wife did indeed have a bleed, which occurred 13 weeks ago. Last month she was back in Hospital for the embolisation procedure, which was a 100% success in that it completely blocked off the AVM. I’m not sure if that means that she stil has the AVM or not.

I should also apologise for not being clear when I wrote that we had “lost” a couple of things. What I actually meant was that we had lost them because they had broken - falling out of my wife’s hand because of the shaking. For that reason, I have to carry cups etc that contain hot liquids and of course, this is one of the reasons why she is dreading the prospect of this shaking being permanent.

Hi Jenny

Many thanks for your reply and my wife appreciated your best wishes. She was also very pleased to hear that with exercises, your dizziness and hand shaking have much improved. We have now done some Internet searching for vestibular exercises and have found that most sites recommend a programme called the Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises and so she is going to start doing them. We are also going to get her to use the Nintendo Wii Fit Balance Board for some other exercises.

I was very interested to hear that you were given some shoulder/arm exercises that helped with the shaking. My wife has been doing some things that were recommended to her but so far, without any noticeable improvement. These involve things like raising her arms over her head, letting her arm hang loose and then swinging it backwards & forwards, from side to side and in a circular motion, and lifting her arms behind her back. Were these the sorts of exercises that you were given or if not, is there anything else that you could recommend? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Brian