Home from ER w/ weird readings after dyspnea/lightheaded
So, I am 40/F/non-smoker/relatively sedentary/normal weight to thin and have recently had severe shortness of breath with lightheadedness bad enough to cause me to see stars and have to stay seated or else risk walking into the wall; I don't have vertigo but lightheadedness with any exertion. Also, it woke me up ALL NIGHT short of breath, sigh. I had to go to the ER yesterday because of how serious it was, which my doctor had advised me to do two months ago. The ER doc gave me tons of tests, and they diagnosed me with "bronchospasm" with advice to see a respiratory specialist for a full workup since they weren't sure of the cause. I had stridor. There gave me a breathing treatment which absolutely worked, although I got a bit lightheaded later that night. I then woke up lightheaded today as badly as yesterday.
My tests don't make sense to me from what I've read online, and I'm a little surprised to read how bad my peak flow test was. They had me repeat it five times, and my highest reading before the breathing treatment was 180. The lower were 150, and I was doing it right, they said. After the breathing treatment, it was 250 before I was released. I thought that was good, but I come home and read that for a 40 woman, 5' 3", that's low.
Also, my oxygen sat was 100%, my respiratory rate was low, averaging just 6 breaths a minute for a few hours, my blood pressure was normal at 100/60, my EKG was normal, my chest x-ray was clear, and my pulse was between 60-90 while there with no heart problems (I have a past history of SVT, but I wasn't having it yesterday). My lungs sounded clear although I had stridor that anyone could hear, and my chest x-ray was normal. My other blood work was normal, but I don't know what they checked except my RBC and D-Dimer for blood clots.
I have a family history of COPD and blood clots both, but these were both heavy smokers.
I won't have an appointment with the respiratory specialist for two months! I have an inhaler, but I cannot pick it up for a few days since it's the weekend :/
*******I don't understand my test results? Why is my oxygen fine but I was seeing stars anyways? Also, why might my respiratory rate be so low? Because it was slow, but my pulse and blood pressure were normal, could that have made me more light-headed? Why on earth was my peak flow so low, or what kinds of things could it be?*****
They DID say they didn't think I was anxious, for once, because my heart, breathing, and all of that weren't elevated for the entire time I was there (three hours). I also didn't feel anxious, and I have nothing going on in my life that is unusual right now.
My past medical history is I had thyroid cancer, but I'm fine and my levels were fine. I do have occasional difficulty with my throat still and had a schatzki's ring removed, but it wasn't much of a problem except for swallowing. I didn't have these symptoms though at that time. I've had pneumonia six times and some allergies, but nothing serious. I've had a tilt table test that was normal, and I've had some light heart problems of SVT and PVT, but I was not having them yesterday. I had a serious, knock-out concussion in the Spring as well, but I don't know if that could even be related, still it's worth mentioning.
The doctor at the ER didn't even take this much of my medical history. I don't think he knew I even had five surgeries to my throat or anything.
Recently, my thinking feels murky, I can't exercise easily without feeling winded, I've seen stars, I had episodes of passing out two months ago with shortness of breath (with exertion). My family doctor gave up on me at that time and said to come to ER if it was bad, so that's what I did, and now they're sending me for more tests.
Mainly, I'm just concerned by the low peak flow and low respiratory rate and what these could mean? I have to wait for months, and I've literally had so many tests that I'm giving up on the idea that anyone will figure it out. Then again, I'm not very functional right now, and it's making working VERY hard, which I don't like whatsoever.
9 hours and no one has any input. This seems like a "dead forum." Like all of the other Medhelp.org forums. I won't check back here and will post elsewhere from no on since I see many other forums that are much, much more lively and thoughtful.
Thank you for your time.
The inhaler helped today, and I have a consult for a referral for Tuesday to ask to see a pulmonologist. I would also like an echocardiogram, but I don't think that the doctor's group will refer me to one. After a day of looking, I wonder if I might have some form of heart failure -- which I was told by my doctor before, only he used the term "heart weakness" from previously being hyperthyroid for five+ years before the thyroidectomy, and then kept on post-cancer "suppression" doses of thyroid meds which made me thyrotoxic for fifteen years. I'm now at normal meds, and my heart is doing flip-flops when I exert myself (I'm sure it's PVT; I've had it before). It's also weak and might not be pumping blood well or something could be wrong with my throat too, as before.
Again, after five or six posts to Medhelp, I've not seen replies, so I am not really sure that this forum is active and plan to seek help elsewhere. I'd love it if anyone did have anything to add. Today, I walked through the mall and was okay, but now my eyes felt swollen (maybe PMS), and again, I was short of breath all day and often had to sit down at the mall, although I would have best liked to lie down given the lightheadedness. My heart is beating hardest while sitting forward and talking, and that's what I most do at work. Very annoying.
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