Feb 05, 2009
My background. I'm a 43 year old male. I had 2 stents put in my right coronary artery on Dec 20, 2007. I had my gall bladder removed on Feb 21, 2008. My appendix was removed in April 1992. I have high cholesterol regardless of diet, regardless of medication(s). Same for my tryglicerides. My good cholesterol is low < 20, again regardless of diet, excercise, medication(s). As of May 2008 I was taking 13 medications for my heart, beta blockers, cholesterol, anxiety, etc.
In May 2008 I suffered from Anxiety attacks and my Dr put me on Xanax 1mg x 4/day ultimately, which helped with the chest pain. On Sept 15, 2008 I was rushed to the hospital barely breathing. The Dr's said I had a stroke and I was discharged 4 days later. On Oct 1, 2008 my wife awoke to find me lying on the living room floor, again barely breathing. By the time the ambulance came, I was no longer breathing and was intebated. I was on a breathing machine in ICU for 3 days before I awoke and could breathe on my own. The Dr's called this respiratory arrest. And I was released a few days later.
From Oct - 12/1/08 I was in and out of the hospital every 7-10 days from blacking out and trouble breathing. On Dec 1, 2008 I had my Dr's come into my hospital room and told them I want off all medications that I DO NOT need to sustain my life. Dramatically I went down to 5 medications. Plavix, Aspirin, Simvastatin, Celexa & Tylenol 3.
Since then I continue to have blackouts, however, I no longer have trouble breathing, nor is my breathing affected in anyway. The Dr's determined that the mixture of medications they all put me on caused my heart rate to slow to, my breathing to stop and basically for my body to shutdown.
Unfortunately, I've tried to return to work, but I blackout and the company calls EMS and I'm back in the hospital. Fortunately my company has good insurance and are working with me to keep my job and resolve this medical condition.
While I was taking the 13 medications, I would receive warning signs of when I was going to blackout (i.e. extreme lightheadedness, blurring vision, slurred speech, loss of balance, etc.) However, since I'm not taking them any more, most times I do not get a warning, I simply fall and loose consciousness. When I awake, I'm extremely drained of energy, a bit lethargic and have terrible headaches stemming from the center and back of my head. I also have no recolection of events prior to blacking out and am puzzled as to why I'm lying on the ground.
I have a Neurologist, Endocrinologist, Cardiologist and a new Primary care physician working on this. However, this has been going on for over 4 months now and besides my cortisol levels being low a couple of times (not all the time) there are very few leads with which they can come up with a diagnosis.
I'm looking for any idea's from anybody who has experienced this, has any idea's for tests, or conditions that could be causing this. I'm desperate to get back to my job and put this nightmare behind me. I appreciate any and all feedback!!!