Scary thing happened on way to work...

  1. I was on my way to work yesterday and all of a sudden out of nowhere my heart starting racing so fast and I became short of breath. I had the feeling like I might pass out. I made myself slow my breathing and checked my pulse. I was around 140. My hands started to get numb and tingly. I finally made it to work (I know I should have pulled over but I wanted to make it to the hospital) Once on my unit I took my BP and pulse and both were very high for me. SBP in the 140s when my baseline is in the 100s. HR was in the 130s. They checked my blood sugar and it was a little low but not bad. I was slightly dizzy. I drank some juice and laid down. At this time I am still short of breath and my face and hands are numb and tingly. They made me go to the ER but after waiting more than an hour I felt much better and was no longer short of breath. I ended up going home and just slept. I am making a DR appt. to have them check it out. The only thing I can think of is maybe it was a panic attack or SVT. I have no health probs whatsoever and take no meds. Has anyone had anything like this happen to them???
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   lady_jezebel
    Bilateral numbness, dizziness & rapid heartrate sounds like anxiety to me. Either generalized anxiety or possibly a panic attack. But of course other medical diagnoses should be ruled out first.

    Or carbon monoxide poisoning from the car somehow? Have any of these s/s? Symptoms: "Some of the most initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning would include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most severe symptoms of the poisoning are shortness of breath, chest pain, heart arrhythmia, bluish color to the skin and nailbeds, cherry-red skin, lips, and nailbeds, vision hanged, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, muscle breakdown, which results in kidney failure.
    Last edit by lady_jezebel on Jul 5, '04
  4. by   nurseygrrl
    I have had this happen to me many times over the past 10 years or so (I'm 30 now). I also get chest pain from time to time. I have been to numerous docs who can't find a problem, so I just lived with it for a long time. I had a pretty bad attack in early May and went back to my doc who sent me for yet another cardiac workup. I am awaiting results of my testing, and if nothing comes up, she is going to try me on anxiety meds and see what happens. I have been really reluctant to try meds in the past, but I'm really getting tired of this hapening to me. I wish you all the luck in the world and if you find out anything...let me know! I'll do the same.
  5. by   imenid37
    I had this happen to me several months postpartum. It was an absolutely awful feeling. It happened to me on my way to work for the first time. I had depression type sx's after baby #1 and 2, but the anxiety type stuff after #3. It was very scary. Have yourself worked up. I took elavil because I also had numbness and a water dripping sensation down one leg w/ it. My PCP politely told me my sx's were migraine w/o the headache I think because I was very resistant to the "anxiety" or "depression" label. This was 11 years ago before I knew that this kind of thing is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope you are better again soon and I wish you the best of luck.
  6. by   jessjoy
    Thanks to all who responded. While it is terrible that it has happened to you also, it is comforting to know that I am not alone. Thanks again.
  7. by   All_Smiles_RN
    JessJoy, sorry you had to experience this. As soon as I started reading your post, I thought panic attack. My best friend has these attacks frequently and what you are describing sounds exactly like what she describes to me. So no, you're not alone. I'm glad you're going to get checked out by a Dr. Take care and good luck hon.
    ...Jennifer...
  8. by   boggle
    I had a similar experience last year. Blacked out briefly too. The EKG didn't show anything, but the Holter monitor picked up episodes of SVT. It was reassuring to know what the problem was. The episodes were brief but very scary. You get into that "which came first" thinking: rapid heart beat leads to feelings of panic, feelings of panic lead to rapid heart beat.....

    Anti arhythmic meds have change my life! I truely appreciate the phrase, "a feeling of well being" now.

    Hope you find the cause of the problem and treatment soon. Feel better.:kiss
  9. by   MelissaRN
    What you've described has happened to me before. I find that I get panick attacks at times especially if I've had too much coffee and am racing around. Slow deep breathing really helps because a lot of the times the panick attacks are brought on by not breathing properly.

    I had the numb tingling feeling in my hands and my face would feel funny too. I thought I had MS or someting.
  10. by   Havin' A Party!
    (Ooooops -- double post.)
  11. by   Havin' A Party!
    Jess -- Glad to hear it passed. But do get checked.

    Were you well hydrated at the time?
  12. by   RedSox33RN
    I had panic attacks for many years, and you just described them to a T. They are so, so frightening, even if you KNOW what they are. I know they can be caused by any or no reason at all. Mine were triggered by anything over 50mg of caffeine. That was before I became a Type 1 diabetic, and now the symptoms of a low b.s. are very similar to a panic attack, which thankfully I only get about 1-2x a year now.

    I hope you can find the cause and prevent them from happening in the future, if that is what they are. I'm glad you're feeling better though!
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    my son had problems along these lines...holter monitor show irregular rythym md recommended cardic ablation.....harded son decided not to get it done...easier to worry mother to death
  14. by   J Lynn
    Oh, those dreadful panic attacks. I lived with them for 2 years before I sought help. Last 4th of July, I went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack b/c of the numb left arm thing. EKG came out fine, so the doc sent me home with a prescription for Xanax. I was kinda embarrassed. I didn't know how common this was. It started after the birth of my second child. I still wonder if it triggered anything. Panic attacks in your car or in a closed in place where there is no easy escape is the most horrible feeling I ever had. I hope you get some help immediatly so you can live your life and not let the attacks take over.

    P.S. I took my last Prozac today..........I'm offically weaned off of them.

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