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Had a horrible episode last night


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Last night I had a rather scary episode that involved me having to get out of a Uber that was driving me home from the emergency room because the driver was running red lights and driving recklessly. Normally I would avoid exercise because I am so deconditioned but I guess last night I was feeling brave...what a dumdum. 

I had quite a bit of anxiety in the car and was shaken, but was pretty sure I could make it walking the 4 blocks home. What a mistake that was!

Pots Tachycardia, narrow pulse pressure (noticed this at the hospital, BP was 130/118 ***, doctor didnt seem to care at all, no wonder I felt so crappy) freezing temperatures that hurt your lungs to breathe, deconditioning and being stuck in the house for the past year and a half, premenstrual syndrome (POTS always worsens around then), blood draws at the hospital + anxiety + fatigue + hyperventilating + dehydration are NOT a good mix, let me tell you. Much less walking deserted streets at midnight like a low inhibition fool.

I started walking very fast and pushing myself because I dont like the underpass there, got about two blocks in and could feel my heart racing, I guess I started breathing very deep and fast to compensate? Which was hurting my lungs due to the cold air. 

And then started feeling woozy like I was about to drop, hands went numb, realized I was hyperventilating very badly. So I’m feeling like I’m about to pass out alone there and then in this freezing dark street, while trying to calm myself down. Heart started racing and skipping, started hyperventilating more unintentionally, really don’t want to faint, trying to grab onto a nearby railing, vision starts dotting. Was trying to force myself to walk but I really couldn’t, had to sit down on the pavement and force myself to breathe slower, and could not get back up or even attempt to walk again.

Thank goodness my mother convinced me to take her phone with me because I don’t know what I would have done with my broken one and sitting there alone on the verge of fainting in the middle of the road with zero help available.
I was very close to calling an ambulance but decided against it because I had literally just been to the ER and that would be pretty embarrassing. Finally managed to get another cab after 10 minutes (different driver!) who was rather bemused by this unfit lady who can’t even manage a block or two (I think he thought I was drunk because I was slurring my words and stumbling) 

Anyway today I feel like crap and have been laying low and drinking lots of water, feel like I might have done myself some hurt by pushing myself too hard. Lesson learned - don’t push yourself if you can’t handle it, dont attempt intense exercise if you are very deconditioned, don’t panic even when you feel like you are about to hit the deck, breathe properly, and always ALWAYS keep hydrated. Oh and have a cell phone on you at all times. 

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@peachychou123 - Oh my, what a scary disaster! I feel for you, although it was a bad idea to attempt the walk I can see that staying in that car was an equally bad idea!!!! -- I have been in similar situations where I had to willingly make a bad choice and pay for it with weeks of bedrest. I am glad you made it home OK and that you can find the necessary time t rest and slowly recondition. 

One word of wisdom: if you are discharged from the ER but still find yourself as unstable as you were ( and a BP of 130/118 whilst being symptomatic is NOT NORMAL ) then going back would be the thing to do. Any patient that comes back to the ER within 24 hours has to be checked more properly and warrants admission to the hospital. You obviously were to sick to go home and the ER just did not know what to do with you ( they probably did not see the emergency b/c they did not know about POTS ) and going back would not have been unreasonable. They really should give you IV fluids when you are so bad, since that is a known and proven way to temporarily improve a POTS flare. I was in the ER every 6-8 weeks when I was at my worst and IV fluids always turned me around. You may want to discuss that option with your doc. With a prescription you can get IV fluids in most Urgent Care centers or in the ER. 

I wish you a speedy recovery!!!!!!

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33 minutes ago, Pistol said:

@peachychou123 - Oh my, what a scary disaster! I feel for you, although it was a bad idea to attempt the walk I can see that staying in that car was an equally bad idea!!!! -- I have been in similar situations where I had to willingly make a bad choice and pay for it with weeks of bedrest. I am glad you made it home OK and that you can find the necessary time t rest and slowly recondition. 

One word of wisdom: if you are discharged from the ER but still find yourself as unstable as you were ( and a BP of 130/118 whilst being symptomatic is NOT NORMAL ) then going back would be the thing to do. Any patient that comes back to the ER within 24 hours has to be checked more properly and warrants admission to the hospital. You obviously were to sick to go home and the ER just did not know what to do with you ( they probably did not see the emergency b/c they did not know about POTS ) and going back would not have been unreasonable. They really should give you IV fluids when you are so bad, since that is a known and proven way to temporarily improve a POTS flare. I was in the ER every 6-8 weeks when I was at my worst and IV fluids always turned me around. You may want to discuss that option with your doc. With a prescription you can get IV fluids in most Urgent Care centers or in the ER. 

I wish you a speedy recovery!!!!!!

Yeah honestly my BP concerned me. I have slight hypertension and usually have a very wide pulse pressure (like 50-55, normal for me is 135/80) so no idea why I only had a 12 or so last night, I was worried something was up and have no idea what may have caused it, aside from mild dehydration. I dont know if maybe it was a faulty reading because I was bending my arm at times? I even asked the doc if they were gonna take it again and he said there was no need. I said something about pulse pressure to the nurse and she just stared at me like what? My BP is kind of loopy sometimes. Basically they gave me an ECG and sent me on my way. No fluids of anything offered. My home BP machine is broken so I can’t even check it. 

It seems some other users here have struggled with very narrow or very wide pulse pressures too. Narrow pulse pressure scare me because they are often associated with heart failure or hypovolemic shock. But the dr said my ecg was perfect (and I wasn’t tachycardic when they took it) so he didn’t seem to give a crap. I guess POTS patients have a lot of pooling and less blood passing through their heart so it might explain the narrow pulse pressure. I was sitting waiting out there over an hour before they even triaged me. 

I hope I can get out of this rut, feeling slightly better after downing lots of water. I really need to take it easier. Thanks for the kind words. 

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Now that I think about it I think I see why my blood pressure was a bit out of whack.

Yesterday I had a pretty rough morning and cried for a few hours, crying tends to really wipe my energy levels, as well as dehydrating me/losing salts. I drank a lot of water then tried to salt load a few hours later instead of mixing the water and salts properly. Which might explain the high diastolic and somewhat high systolic and feeling rough, too much water and too much salt both make me feel crappy. 

I have also been laying off carbs recently, because they worsen my tachy. BUT...I also think they act as a vasodilator, which helps keep my blood flowing better and helps lower my high blood pressure. So even though I am tachy when eating carbs they actually help in a way. But yesterday I barely ate anything except salt and a banana in the morning.

When they gave me nitroglycerin in the ambulance a few weeks ago, my blood pressure dropped from 145/90 to about 80/50. I immediately felt way better. Vasodilation seems to make me feel good.

I was very stressed in the waiting room and sitting around too long plus very hungry and a bit thirsty but also loaded up on salt. Also been having diarrhea lately which isn’t helping my hydration levels. So I was having a stressful adrenaline rush, not enough vasodilation and too much sodium/not enough water which was hurting my blood flow. I definitely suspect I have always had hyperadrenergic POTS.

If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it maybe? I guess I will stop trying new methods and stick to eating carbs and drinking electrolyte sachets mixed with water from now on. 

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