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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8885
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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On 12/20/11 I woke up early in the am with a hard/fast fluttering

Resolved Question:

On 12/20/11 I woke up early in the am with a hard/fast fluttering feeling in my chest. I was short of breath and had some pain in my body, but the pain in itself is not unusual. Due to a family history of heart disease my first thoughts were of a heart attack. In the time I tried to find my bp machine I decided if I was having a heart attack I would already be dead so I figured I was having a panic attack. I had gotten a series of bad news and I assumed that stress was behind everything going on.

My issues are too many and complicated to go into, but the brief version is that I had infection stemming from the hardware from a spinal fusion (3 total) and the infection had started spreading through my body. I had surgery 2/3/12 to remove the hardware and started iv antibiotics. A week after stopping the antibiotics one of the incision sites became infected and I had surgery on 3/16 to treat the site. I went on iv antibiotics again. During this time my bp was up/down. Sometimes it would be very low, 110/60 and sometimes high, 210/100. Periodically I would have the same fluttering, fast heart beat that I had on 12/20.

Last night I had another episode. It happened right after I had eaten dinner. I tried to take my bp but kept getting an error on my machine. I finally tried to take it on my forearm and was able to get a reading. On the right arm it was 142/77, heart rate 139 and 120/70, heart rate 119 on the left. After a couple of hours I could feel my heart slow down and eventually felt 'normal'.

I am a 47 yo, 230 pd, 5'1, wf with diabetes. Due to the issues stemming from my multiple back surgeries (6 total) I have not been very active, particularly in the last few months. I had a wound vac that came off last week and am now having one of the incision sites packed with silver nitrate packing (not sure of the correct name).

I have had a few of these episodes, no particular pattern, such as time or activity, when they happen.

All of that is to ask...I noticed this morning that my hands look like they are covered with lots of little red dots. Generally I am not very fair skinned, though I have not spent a great deal of time outside this winter/spring. It almost looks like broken blood vessels. The bp cup got very tight last night when I kept trying to take my bp, I noticed at the time that my hands turned blook red a couple of time.

Is this something I should be concerned with? I know I need to see my general dr, but I was hoping to wait until I finally got an all clear from the infection issues. But should I be more concerned and see someone sooner? I know it's hard to say with just a few facts, but any suggestions or insight would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 2 years ago.

Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to Justanswer, I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I am sorry to hear about your conditions

Dr Brims :

First I need to ask you, have you had an EKG while you had the heart symptoms?

Customer:

No, and I mentioned it to the different doctors I've seen before and after my surgery. I thought they may do one before they did the surgery.

Dr Brims :

Okay, any shortness of breath or chest pain when they occur/

Customer:

Some shortness of breath, but I've gotten so out of shape I get short of breath pretty easy. I can't really say about the chest pain, I tend to ignore pain, I've just gotten use to it. Though I do notice I tend to rub at my chest when this happens.

Customer:

When I had my surgery 2/3 the anasteiologist (please ignore the spelling) did a pb line. I think that is what is called. They did a line in my wrist to monitor my pb during surgery.

Dr Brims :

I see, an arterial line

Customer:

Exactly.

Dr Brims :

I think the most important thing you will require at this point is an EKG, and possibly an echocardiogram, you may suffer from an abnormal heart rhythm like atrial fibrillation that may be the cause of your symptoms

Customer:

Would you suggest I see my general practicioner or my endocrindiologist (again, the spelling)?

Customer:

I don't really see my gp unless I am sick, like the flu, but I've not really seen her in a few years.

Dr Brims :

I think your GP to start, not an endocrinologist

Customer:

Great, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Could the red spots on my hands be from the bp cup being too tight?

Dr Brims :

That is possible, do the come and go?

Customer:

This is the first time I've seen them.

Dr Brims :

Are they still present?

Customer:

Yes, though they do seem to be getting less obvious.

Dr Brims :

Okay, they may be caused by a rash

Customer:

I wondered if that may be the case.

Customer:

I appreciate your time and suggestions. I will follow up with my gp.

Dr Brims :

You're welcome

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Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8885
Experience: U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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