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don't know what is happening to me


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Hi. New here.

I'm a healthcare professional, and somewhat anxious about this "new" me, as I feel everything is on the line. I am 46 years old, have, over the past few years had bouts with prolonged menstrual periods, 6 years into a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, which over the past 6 months has been in constant flared state until I started on Methotrexate, which seems to have lessened the frequency and the severity of the flares thank God. Recently, I started having the prolonged periods 3.5 weeks this last one. Had enough norethindrone left for another week to stop the period. Also started on Nuvigil as I am a shift worker, and suffered from fatigue from the rheumatoid arthritis. I have never suffered from anything more than situation depression, never really had any anxiety disorder or depressive states prior. Recognized as a high achiever previously, but now can barely function and considering giving up my dog (of 9 years and always considered to be my side kick), as I think he deserves better. My children are grown and have started having families of their own. I have always been very active and the rheumatoid arthritis has decreased that somewhat.

Over the past 3 weeks, exactly how long I have been on Nuvigil (half a tablet only on days that I work at night), I have been tearful and full of worry. I have a lot going on at this time; moved to a new location a little over a year ago, still have my other house and am hoping to sell it soon. I have limited contact with people due to my new location and working nights. Yesterday, after working 2 night shifts and taking Nuvigil 1/2 tab each day, along with my usual RA meds and 15 mg prednisone, and the last dose of norethindrone, I was unable to sleep as I was certain that I would not wake up again. My heart was pounding in my head, feel head "fullness", my eyes felt so full that they felt as though they were bouncing in my head (I have had the feeling with the eyes before the Nuvigil). My fasting glucose was 133 mg/dl after a fasting of 12 hours, my BP was elevated 133/87 and heart rate 123. My palms were so sweaty that they were wrinkled and my desk had a puddle on it. I seriously thought I was suffering from an impending adrenal crisis. I went to the ED, and of course, they rolled their eyes, and stated that they thought it was anxiety, wanted to give me Ativan. My vitals were stable, a little tachy at 110, oxygen saturation 98% on room air. The nurse practitioner ordered a CT of my head (inappropriate and refused), told them that I was afraid to take the ativan, then he ordered a blood gas; a painful diagnostic test that was also inappropriate since I was no hyperventilating, not hypoventilating and my oxygen saturation was fine. It is my feeling, from years of ED nursing experience that the nurse practitioner wanted to teach me a painful lesson for coming to the ED with my problem. I left the ED not wanting to be tortured with unnecessary tests. Once home though, was afraid that I would die. I felt as though acid was coursing through my veins (previously had bout of vasculitis which felt the same as this). I returned to the ED later last night, took the ativan, and got the lab tests (though they did not insist on ABG test), stayed on the cardiac monitor. Diagnosis: Anxiety / stress reaction. I returned home, sure that I would not awaken in the morning but I did wake up, still hearing my heart beating in my head and feeling the need to take a deep breath occassionally just to survive.

Though the ED did check my TSH which was normal, they did not check on my adrenal or liver function, did not check labs to check the inflammatory state (and I understand that it is an ED and not a clinic), I wonder if all of the circulating hormones in my system, or lack of same (since I finished the norethindrone) have caused me to lose my mind. I am still worried, still feel as though I will not survive this, but am trying to hold it together because I feel that everyone thinks I have lost my mind. Have not cried since last night. Planning on showing up at an endocrinologists office on Monday morning and being evaluated. Now, if only I can hold it together until then.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this? I am really boggled by the reaction, still afraid and wanting to find out what this is and how to cope with this.

Thanks

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