Monday, August 6, 2007

Diagnosis: Benign Sinus Tachycadria

Scared the pee out of me!

I showed up at work 1845 sharp. Collected my things and started getting ready for report. I'd woken up just an hour or two earlier (my usual routine) and was feeling a little "queer" - which I attributed to my having to grab some food via drive through while having just a "Vault" energy drink and thus miss usual food intake. I fully intended to eat something during report.

So, I get to work and I notice that for some reason, my mouth/oral mucosa was feeling super dry. It irritates me when my throat is parched so I drank a full glass of water. Still felt queasy.

Then noticed that my heart was thumping.
Made me feel worse. You know that kind of uneasy, queasy feeling you get when your heart is pounding but won't stop? Like you just ran 2 miles and stopped all of a sudden and felt your heart hammering away? That's what I was feeling.

All the way walking from kitchenette to report room, it seemed like I was struggling for air.

I went in and sat down but my discomfort didn't go away. I was sitting there fidgeting and a co-worker asked if I was ok. "You fine? You're flushed red".

No chest pain. But noticeable SOB now. Thumping chest still there. I keep telling myself "anytime now. It's gonna stop anytime now. Just give yourself a minute and relax..."

I walked outside and took a vital sign cart and hit the BP button while I slapped on the pulse ox probe to finger....

Heart Rate: 157/min
Blood Pressure: 161/102

Holy Toledo! My baseline is HR 58-62. BP 130/70

I took a few deep breaths, pursed my lips and tried a Valsalva or two.

No good... HR still 158 and climbing.

Began my massage my carotids to stimulate baro receptor response while slow breathing.

HR still 160! Feeling all queasy and crummy. Definitely panting for breath by now (breathing 44 times a minute).

Co-worker dragged me to an empty patient room and slapped a 3 lead monitor on my chest. Strip seemed fine. Definitely sinus tachycardia.

For the next half hour or so, I tried everything I could remember and everything the charge nurse suggested. No help. HR still up and so is the BP. She kept insisting that I needed to go to the ER NOW... but I kept demurring and deferring.

My mind kept saying "This is nuts. This shouldn't be happening!" over and over again.

Finally, grudgingly, 60 minutes post onset of symptoms; I let charge nurse wheelchair me down to ER. 12 lead EKG comes out ok. Kept me under observation for 90 mins then turned me lose. Told me to stay off stimulants and to follow up with my primary doctor.

Slowly drove home.

Very bothered by the whole episode.

I know I can stand to lose about 5 lbs. I drink that "Vault" and "Mountain Dew" and tons of good "coffee" on a regular basis without any trouble so far. I've also been cutting back on my meat intake and don't eat candy, pies, chocolate or ice cream.

There was no expectation for prolonged, unabatted, tachycardia! I don't take any meds, eat a pretty decent diet (better than when I was in college anyway) and don't have any medical history or allergies.

Like I said: Scared the pee outta me!

Guess I can add "benign tachycardia" to my medical history now!


Ambulance Driver said...

Find the cutest co-worker of the opposite sex...

...and then ask for the circumferential digital sweep of the anus.

If the vagal stimulus doesn't break the tachycardia, at least you've made a friend. ;)

Jaime said...

Scary stuff!