It has been a couple of days and I am just now getting to the point where I can write about the situation, am not sure what it is going to be like to go back to work on Saturday.
I work in a Progressive Care Cardiac Unit and while in group report on Tuesday suddenly began feeling HORRIBLE, pounding heart rate, dizzy, nauseous, the whole deal. When I left the report room I checked a quick pulse ox which showed a rate of 157 and I really started to freak out!!!! Instead I sat down for a couple of minutes and tried to convince myself that it was all just going to go away, and when that didn't work forced myself to roll over to where the charge nurse was changing over the board, and quietly let her know what was happening.
Ofcourse she rightly took my report sheets, reassigned my patients and made me go put myself on tele which showed SVT, very regular, ranging over about a 30 minute time frame from 160=130's.
Now remember that this is during change of shift, everyone is being wonderful, but it seems that all of both shifts of this very large 46 bed unit knows what is going on and I soon find myself getting a quick exam from one of the area cards docs, receiving carotid massage and trying valsalva surrounded by 10 coworkers!!!! I knew that they were all concerned but I was more than a little scared, highly symptomatic, and entirely embarrassed to be in this situation, and I ended up unfortunately snapping at a group that were there at this point out of embarrassment.
So carotid massage failed, the doc told me to keep trying to Valsalva and that if I didn't convert that I was going to have to go to the ED to "get some adenosine" which I REALLY didn't want to hear. All I could think about was that I was going to end up in a bed on my own unit, and how many days it had been since I had last shaved my legs!!!!
I did end up going down to the ED, getting several ecg's, labs, O2, fluids and a total of 20 mg IV Cardizem to slow down my rate. My labs came back normal except for a slightly low K, which they replaced, and they sent me home on Toprol.
So now I find myself in the position of having to go back to work on Saturday and apologize to the people that I snapped at, and trying to move on. I am now considering whether I should wait to see if the Toprol controls my rate with the help of a primary care doc or just making an appointment with the nice doc that saw me the other night and who also happens to be the local top EPS guy in case this whole thing keeps happening.
By the way, this is a new thing for me, happened only twice before, both when I was at home and since September, and both times I was able to deny my way past it as it stopped on its own.
Of course, because I just finished moving to another state, changing jobs, buying a house and settling in, I hadn't yet set up a primary doc, and had been off of my bp meds for a few months, so I was correctly lectured on why nurses are often LESS compliant, despite being BETTER educated than the general public about our health. By the way, my bp was really up there although it didn't have anything to do with the rate issue since I had been on an ARB and not something that would control rate and bp.
Thank all of you who read this, and if you have any ideas of what I can do for my coworkers to thank them for their concern and apologise for having snapped at them, please let me know