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Almost passed out, terrified. RLR? (Read 4496 times)
Andrea
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Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
May 27th, 2011, 10:09am
 
Well I never thought I'd need to look for reassurance here again but.... here's the story.

I've been in Las Vegas since Tuesday, I got married on Wednesday Smiley Thursday I was walking around all day, for about 8 hours. By the end of the night I was heading back to my hotel room when...

my legs started feeling like jello, my vision got all blurry, and I felt like I was going to PASS OUT. My heart was pounding like crazy. I sat down for a second, drank some of the bottle of water I just bought, and managed to get back to the hotel room. I was nauseated for about an hour after that. Fell asleep and I woke up feeling a little shaky, but ok.

Now, I don't drink alcohol so it wasn't that. But now I'm just worried that it's something with my heart because it was pounding for awhile after that episode. I also know that an abnormal heart rhythm can cause that type of stuff. Basically this episode or whatever you want to call it has snowballed out of control in my mind.

I was doing so well too. Argh. This kind of crap always happens to me.

Please tell me I was just dehydrated. I felt like I drank enough stuff yesterday but maybe not. I don't know. I don't think I have been drinking enough water throughout the entire trip but now I'm not sure.

No palpitations at all during this, either.

Help? :/
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AbbyH
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #1 - May 27th, 2011, 12:45pm
 
My oh my, you had alot going on in your life at the time that happened huh? Sounds to me like you were a bit burnt out, probably a bit dehydrated. Oddly your feelings you described sound EXACTLY like my first panic attack, I felt just like that out of the blue.

You did not pass out, so I would not worry. I'm sure your just fine!

Abby

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Andrea
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #2 - May 28th, 2011, 8:03pm
 
Well, I was in the car today and something pretty scary happened.

For about 10 seconds my heart was completely out of rhythm. It felt like every part of my heart was beating independently. I've never experienced this and while my usual THUMP-type beats don't scare me anymore... this scared me so much that I scared everyone in the car with my terrified outburst, too.

Has anyone else ever felt something like this?
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TomLewis
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #3 - May 29th, 2011, 6:21pm
 
From my experience, a panic attack feels like I am dying.  Physically, I am faint, chest pain, tunnel vision, extreme tightness in the chest, I can barely breath, and I become flush, and feel a warm sensation come over me.  It is terrifying and I feel your pain.
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Matt84
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #4 - May 30th, 2011, 2:02pm
 
Exactly what Tom said.

Had to go on a trip two years ago-- so much commotion was leading up to the event (usher at a wedding) that I fell into a panic attack, and it is a hell-- mainly because you have no idea at that moment in time if you are going to be o.k., because the symptoms are so all over the place. The larger issue I feel with the type of attacks that Tom mentioned (you didn't quite have this) seem to mask themselves very close to a heart attack.

I know for me as well, the heat doesn't help one bit either, and Vegas can be steamy.

Hopefully RLR can offer some insight.
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RLR
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #5 - May 30th, 2011, 4:34pm
 
Okay, well what you feel or sense virtually always differs from what actually takes place at the level of the heart. Yes, it may have differed in characteristics from what you normally experience, but that does not suggest in any manner that it now constitutes something pathological.

This is the point that I've shared in numerous postings and it demonstrates that subjective fear and even hysteria can cause an individual to believe more rigidly in their personal interpretations than medical fact, which in this instance is clearly that a benign circumstance cannot turn pathological simply by virtue of its presentation. The sufferer reasons "my heart was completely out of rhythm." This is what was sensed, but not what was actually taking place.

Sensory disturbances such as "legs like jello," "blurry vision" and feeling like "PASSING OUT" are all sympathetic/parasympathetic fear response. The reason that the heart pounds heavily afterward is merely due the common brief down-spike in blood pressure, to which baroreceptors in the carotid arteries respond by sending feedback to the cardiac center in the brain. The fastest method to restore adequate blood pressure and perfusion to avoid syncope (passing out) is to increase cardiac force. Thus, the patient experiences forceful pounding heart beats which constitute an entirely normal physiological response.

There is also the statement "I also know that an abnormal heart rhythm can cause that type of stuff." This is a good example of subjective reasoning that induces pure belief and in the mind of the individual, constitutes both truth and fact. It is the mistaken association between what was experienced and that of actual clinical pathology which causes the "snowball out of control." What a patient experiences during true compromise of heart function has absolutely no similarity to what was experienced here. There is no universality which can be applied in the instance of medicine. If the clinical symptom is syncope, the sufferer says "well I almost PASSED OUT." Feeling light-headed in the instance of benign palpitations is merely due to a vasovagal response subsequent to a fear response that something terrible is about to happen. Syncopal episodes due to cardiac insufficiency cause a lapse in perfusion, or blood to the brain. The result is immediate syncope. No comparison between these two variations can be drawn in any respect.

In order to unravel the circumstances, I reiterate once again that you must return to logic and the medical facts with respect to the issue and not old familiar patterns steeped in irrational beliefs. There is nothing wrong with your heart.

The reason that you felt nauseated and tremulous was due to a fear-induced epinephrine (adrenaline) spike. Patients experiencing such a phenomenon typically also experience a washed out sensation that can last several hours following the incident.

You've convinced yourself that something is wrong with your heart based upon your interpretation and this is where you have to slam on the brakes. You're not a physician and you've not clinically observed a patient in cardiac insufficiency, nor do you have clinical familiarity with the underlying sequelae that actually produces the symptoms associated with such an event. You have read a list of symptoms and made the leap to your own circumstances, believing them to be one in the same. This is the focal point of the difficulty. Once again, there is absolutely nothing of what you experienced that constitutes the clinical equivalent of what cardiac insufficiency produces. Nothing.

In the midst of panic, you must grab hold and force logic into the circumstances. Heart disease or abnormality cannot materialize like a rabbit from the hat. It's not medically possible. The boundary clearly exists, but people with anxiety and panic disorder proceed across it without reservation as though it constitutes a form of reality.

Under such premise, it compels the sufferer time and again to go and have everything checked once again just to be absolutely certain that nothing is wrong. This common trespass of logic causes a nagging rumination and gut instinct that something is wrong and regardless of how they try to abstain, the voice and the urge simply grows until it preoccupies almost every waking thought until it is checked. The patient rarely, if ever, develops insight from negative test results and does not look internally to examine where the actual problem is, but rather becomes enveloped in the reassurance and brief satisfaction that nothing can be found. In other words, it's safe for the time being.

It is living in the constant fear that one's heart is unreliable due to the lack of perfection in its performance. Much like other circumstances in life that the individual with anxiety cannot place trust and reliability, they place their own life function in doubt and fragile to the extent that nothing must be done to upset the delicate balance which must be maintained in order to be safe from harm. The gym, walking, socializing and many other functions must be shelved because of the risk they pose.

Andrea, in every moment throughout the entire cycle of your long life ahead of you, absolutely nothing of these palpitation events, regardless of their odd and varied characterization, will ever place you at risk of a cardiac event or subsequent death. Never.

Best regards,

Rutheford Rane, MD (ret.)
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Best Regards and Good Health
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Andrea
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #6 - May 30th, 2011, 5:31pm
 
Thank you for your reply. As always, you give me "the business" so to speak, and it makes total sense.

I guess I don't understand how what happened to me came on out of nowhere. I was having a great time, walking around Las Vegas, I had just gotten married the day before... then wham. I didn't feel like I was anxious or panicky at all. All was well, and I suppose THAT'S why it scared me so much.

I have my random PVC's all the time and it's nothing to me anymore, but when it felt like I had about 10 in a ROW, it scared me half to death.

I guess because the circumstances were so different, that I wasn't prepared for them. I've been doing so well in terms of knowing not to worry about my heart so a setback like that was frustrating. Someday I'll figure out how to shake it all off and keep going forward.

Thank you again, RLR. The fact that you take your time to give a panicked fool like me advice and guidance truly means a lot.
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #7 - May 30th, 2011, 6:34pm
 
Hi here Andrea. I came to describe the exact same symptoms. This happened to me a while back after a stomach upset and I came here for reassurance from RLR which I got.

Like you, I get the thumps all day and just ignore them almost all of the time. I'd prefer not to have them, but well, its live with them or live in fear.

After the stomach bug and sudden erratic and fast beats...I did actually fall to the floor and seemed to black out for a few secs. But I was dehydrated from the bug.

However, its happened about 3 times since and out of the blue when I am okay and getting on with my life as best I can. My heart seems to suddenly beat erratically and lasts 10 - 15 secs. I get extremely lightheaded and feel if it continued, I would indeed pass out.

I am back afraid to go out or do much.

I like RLR's explanation and it helps...but what I cannot understand is what these fast and seemingly completely out of any kind of rhythm beats are.

My question to RLR is, why has this started happening out of the blue and randomly?
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Matt84
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Re: Almost passed out, terrified. RLR?
Reply #8 - May 30th, 2011, 8:32pm
 
Good question, Typer, and a great response from RLR- inspiring professionalism in his succinctness and detail of posts.

My own questions are-- just when does one have to really be worried; go take tests, and then, even if tests come out alright, how do you know your really o.k..? More specifically, my symptoms aren't just palpitations-- it's occasional chest pain with shortness of breath that occurs shortly after heavier periods of physical exertion-- everything I read leads me to believe that it's possible Cardiovasular disease of some type-- I haven't had tests, but then, even if I did, which ones would I take? It could be so many different things that at times I have periods of feeling helpless, like there's no way I want to bankrupt myself just trying to find something that may not be there-- however, if something is there, it's a potentially life/death situation I'm dealing with.

Guess my point is, it appears that palpitations alone based on RLR's posts aren't a terrible or even dangerous entity to be concerned with, if anyone is wondering this-- I, however, still think the palps with certain other symptoms could still show an underlying cause of other possible problems. Hopefully someday they'll have a test that is the grail of all this in science, which will be more affordable, wide-reaching in it's diagnosis, and non-invasive. Until then, I think we all have to focus on limiting the amount of fear we allow ourselves to live with.
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