I'm a 50 y/o Male, 6' 2" 240 lbs, former high school athlete (probably still athletic for 5-7 yrs after HS), whom now is in poor aerobic shape. My daily meds include LEVOTHYROXINE NA (SYNTHROID) 0.1MG TAB in mornings for Hypo-thyroid, SIMVASTATIN 40MG TAB in evenings for high cholesterol. I have a difficult time consuming enough water to stay safely hydrated, a battle of mine. My only exercise is golfing (walking) 2X weekly & bowling 1X weekly. A few weeks back I wore a Garmin GPS HR monitor during a recent golf round, during the 6.5 mile walk, my HR cycled from a low of 90-100 bpm on the greens & prior tee shots to 140-170 bpm while pushing the cart to each shot. I felt no real discomfort, just got winded occasionally while pushing the cart.
Now jump to this past weekend, I was playing my normal game, but before the round I had taken (2) Excedrin Migraine caplets (combined total of 500 mg Acetaminophen/500 mg Aspirin/130 mg Caffeine), this was done as a preventative measure for occasional migraines. Upon teeing off on this cold morning (40 degrees), I felt a slight increase in my HR while walking toward my tee shot. I also noticed a little tunnel vision as if I may pass out (although I've never passed out, just seemed like that feeling). I stopped & recovered enough to hit the next shot & walk to hit...slowly. I completed that hole & teed off on the next hole, where I noticed the same discomfort/feeling as I walked to the shot. I then decided to stop playing for the day & go to the ER. After being driven off the golf course, I attempted to drive myself to the ER, but felt the same feeling again as walked to the car so I decided to call 911. While in the ambulance, my HR was between 155-195, though it didn't feel like it did when I felt the 'attack'. By the time I arrived at the ER (5-10 mins), my HR had lowered to 85-90 bpm (only oxygen was given to me via little hose in nostrils). While being treated at the ER, they ran the standard tests I guess (Blood, EKG, X-Ray & kept monitoring my BP & oxygen level for 5 hrs). Everything was normal, including my BP averaged about 117/69 the entire time. Since I had definitely had an elevated HR (witnessed by EMT in ambulance), the ER Doc felt compelled to prescribe me Toprol-XL 50 mg 2X daily, to eliminate the chance of another high HR, until I meet with my PCM.
As stated, I rarely exercise & my resting HR is probably around 75-85 (before Toprol XL) & since I was able to easily reach 140-170 bpm by just walking/pushing a golf cart, I'm pretty sure that means I'm out of shape. Could the slight increase in caffeine on that morning, along with cold weather & me pushing a golf cart, have caused my HR to escalate that high & cause me to feel lightheaded/like I was going to pass out? Although out of shape, I've never had any problems with my heart before & with the blood tests/EKG not showing any indication of a problem after this episode, I'm concerned as to why it happened. If the caffeine was enough, than ok, but that worries me a little. Of course, I know I need to start working out aerobically, but this episode scares me with that regard...I may cause another High HR with any exercise.