Worst Timing!

Hi everyone!

For the past few days in the morning I have been having episodes of presyncope, weakness, lightheaded/dizzy, chest burning/pain/tightness, sometimes nausea and an overall sense of panic/anxiety. I don't know if I'm having issues with my heart or it's a panic attack. Sometimes hours later in the afternoon my legs feel weak, I feel lightheaded but it comes and goes. I'm terrified to go to the ER because of this virus but I'm also terrified not to. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare. I'm working from home and I know if my work finds out I'm back in the hospital again they'll for sure lay me off or put me on a furlough. I know I have an overwhelming amount of stress in my life right now like most of us do but I don't want to make the wrong decision here. The episodes tend to go away after a bit but they leave me feeling lightheaded, weak and tired. I'm still battling with shortness of breath that comes and goes but I am able to exercise more and it's actually much easier. I sure hope this is panic/anxiety related. The docs all said I was fine but they aren't God either. I don't know what to do here. I would hate to go to the ER, they tell me I'm fine and then I catch the virus or give it to my Fiancée. Ugh! Tough times we live in that's for sure! I hope everyone had a blessed Easter and thanks or listening. I needed to vent. 



My story... Hope this helps with your decision

by nsmith54321 - 2020-04-13 12:43:39

Hi Alejandro,

I'll keep this a short as possible. I literally joined this club minutes ago and clicked on the forum to see your message.  I am 52 years old, 6'4" 200lbs and would deem myself healthy as a horse.  HOWEVER, for the past 2 weeks I had symptoms similar to yours:  Dizzyness, shortness of breath after climbing stairs or a short walk, trouble thinking, tighness in chest- however I was still doing 2 mile walks with my wife each night, but they were uncomfortable.  Where my case is a little different is that when I called my primary care Dr. and described my symptoms, he told me to go straight to the ER!  ASAP!  I did this last Thursday night and they fast-tracked me in the ER, performing heart tests, bloodwork, x-rays, chest tests, etc.  They found that the electrical system in my heart was not firing correctly and my hearbeat was averaging around 38ppm, about half of what is should be.  I was diagnosed with Complete Heart Block and a pacemaker was needed to make my heart work correctly again.  Pacemaker surgery was performed on Friday and I was released from the ICU on Saturday!  I am far from an expert here as I'm just learning about everything that I spoke about above, but if I can give you some incentive to "Listen To Your Body" that may save you from something catastrophic happening.  I hope my little story was helpful.  I'm sure glad I did what I did, when I did!!!  You are welcome to private message me if you would like, but I would urge you to go get checked out.  

Neal Smith
New Member 4-13-2020

Anxiety and Worry

by Swangirl - 2020-04-13 13:29:52

Alejandro you already have an implanted device so I don't think Neal's advice is pertinent to your situation.  I'm a psychotherapist with a pacemaker and there is a huge amount of panic, stress, and anxiety in the country because of the strange way we have to live, and the radical uncertainty about what is going to happen.  I think you can do some heuristic research to determine whether your symptoms are psychological or physical and decide whether you need medical intervention or not.  

All--yes all anxiety is caused by your thinking and all the symptoms you describe could be anxiety and panic ones.  When you get your symptoms consider whether you are in your head imagining and trying to manage worst case senarios.  At this time try some mindfulness exercises where you identify sights, sounds, feeling sensations, and the like and come back to present reality and see if you feel better.  Force yourself to do something distracting like making some food or organizing something to focus on present reality.  Find some music, go outside and watch the birds.  See if these things help to resolve your symptoms. The intention is to stop the obsessive negative thinking if that is the culprit.  Take some slow deep breaths and follow your breaths all the way in and all the way out.  Remember a beautiful experience in nature and find some pictures of that time.  

If these things mitigate your symptoms my hunch is that you are in panic mode and don't need to go to the ER.  If it is panic and you go to the ER after they rule out a physical cause they will give you a benzodiazapine like Xanax or Valium or Klonopin, or Atavan.  If you have one of those you could take it and see if it resolves your symptoms. If you have telemed or other ways of remotely contacting your Dr you could ask for one of those drugs to help you through this time. 

You can learn CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy free which might help you--google it and find free websites.  I wish you the best! 


by arentas80 - 2020-04-13 13:52:24

Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond. I will look into everything mentioned. I do have Ativan which I avoid taking at all costs. I took it this morning after it happened and it did calm me down a lot. I still feel weak and tired but hopefully it will pass soon. Again thank you for taking time out of your life and day to respond to me. All the best to you and your family!



Distract your mind

by AgentX86 - 2020-04-13 15:00:33

A good way to lose the world is a good book, even if's trashy.  Find what you really like to do and dive right in.  I'd advise against self-medication with either food or binge buying, though.  Neither are good for your (physical or financial) health. ;-)

(Just found out I've been furloughed for six weeks.  I get to try out retirement!)


by Tracey_E - 2020-04-13 15:09:33

If you are stressing, take the ativan. I get not wanting to take it unless it's necessary but these are not normal times. I would call my doctor and do a video appointment rather than go to the ER. But first? I'd take the ativan and see what happens. There's no shame in taking help wherever you need it right now. Rule out anxiety then see where you are. 

You are all GREAT!

by arentas80 - 2020-04-13 15:27:40

AgentX86 & Tracey_E - thank you both for responding!! The support is SO appreciated. I have been reading and it definitely helps. I'm currently reading a book called "Factfulness by Hans Rosling". It's pretty phenomenal so far! 

I did take the Ativan and it pretty much took away all of the symptoms within 30 mins. I just now feel weak and tired. This is such a roller coaster. I've been strong all my life. Nothing has ever rocked me, until now! But I will get through this a much stronger, wiser and better person. God bless you all!

not normal times

by Tracey_E - 2020-04-13 17:45:12

It's ok to not be strong right now, doesn't mean you aren't still a strong person. Even the strongest people get knocked down and sometimes need a hand back up. Glad to hear you are feeling better! Get some rest, stress is exhausting. (says she who just woke up from a two hour nap) Don't know about you, but I haven't been sleeping well. Overall I feel like I'm dealing with things well and I'm in a good place, but tell my brain that at 2am. So, naps happen. 

Listen to Tracey

by heartu - 2020-04-13 18:04:20

I got my PM back in Feb 2010 for complete heart block which came out of nowhere. A couple of months later things just did not feel right. Long story short, in Sept 2010 found that I was in 2nd degree heart block and only pacing 20% of the time instead of 100%. The doctor tweaked my settings after that and I felt so much better afterwards. I did eventually start pacing 99% of the time a few years later, but my settings were only changed to increase my upper limit to 160 bpm so I could feel better while exercising.

So call the doctor and have a talk or teleconference to figure this out. It is your well being that matters.

Understood and will do!

by arentas80 - 2020-04-13 18:24:15

Tracey yes! I know what you mean. I don't like naps though. I always wake up grouchy lol!!

Heartu- I got a call from the doc today as well surprisingly. They went over my PM transmission from a few days ago. Everything checked out great. I'm only using the PM 4% of the time so according to them my heart is functioning well on its own. They also say it didn't report any events either. I know a PM won't catch them all but this was good to hear that I'm barely using it.... For now. I'm sure eventually I'll end up using it full time! 

God bless all of you! Amen!! 


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