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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Numbness, chest pain, dizziness

 LadyMars - Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:41 am

I am a 22 year old female. I just gave birth vaginally to a healthy baby girl in May (with epidural). I had a healty pregnancy, except that I went from 130 to 187lbs. I never exercised, but I did work up until 34 weeks which required me to walk. After my daughter was born, I relaxed a lot, pretty much sedentary lifestyle except for taking care of baby. I barely ate 1 meal a day, and drank very little for about 3 months (I became constipated and urinated maybe a little once a day). I am currently 148 lbs.
About a month after giving birth, I had a cold burning sensation at the site of the epidural injection that lasted a couple of weeks. I went to my doctor and he told me not to worry about it.
One month ago, I had a friend over with whom I smoked a cigarette with (not good in so many ways; I have asthma and I breastfeed). I felt a little congested the next day.
After falling asleep while breastfeeding my daughter, I awoke feeling not myself, and a bit off. I decided to take a bath, and when I got into the water, I noticed that my legs and arms felt weak, and slightly numb. I also felt numbness on the right side of my face. I called an ambulance, for fear that I might be having a stroke. They tested my blood sugar (92), and ran numerous tests at the ER. Everything came back normal, because the doctor told me I was having anxiety, and to go to my Physician for follow up. Well, we we're a day away from moving from FL to Co, and that was impossible at the time.
Well, the symptoms persisted, and we didn't get much further than Georgia before my next visit to the ER. I went in because after waking up, I felt the weakness in my arms and legs, but this time I felt like my skin was really hot, and I was having body spasms every 15 seconds or so. I felt dizzy, and sick to my stomach. They checked my blood pressure while standing, sitting up, and then lying down. The nurse said that my blood pressure went up 30 points, and that I was hypostatic (if I remember correctly). They took several vials of blood, not sure what they tested for, except for the fact that they said my electrolytes were normal, and everything was normal.
They gave me 3 liters of fluids, made me eat a meal, and sent me on my way with a diagnosis of dehydration.
Thank goodness we made it to Co. and when we got there, I still felt like junk, and continued with the dizziness, infrequent numbness, except it was on the left side of face, and general fatigue.
I was at my sisters house, when I had a wave of heat pass through my body, and I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out (this lasted about 1 1/2 hours). That morning, I recall feeling some numbness in my mouth along my gums on the top. I had to sit down because I felt awful, and shaky. The ground actually felt like it moved under my feet. I made an appointment to see a doctor the next day, and that doctor did a C-reactive protein test, CBC, and other tests to rule out more serious problems. All came back normal.
He diagnosed me with anxiety/panic disorder and gave me a script for zoloft (still haven't taken it yet). I was okay with that diagnosis, and for a week I felt pretty good, until the following saturday I was side swiped by another event where I felt dizzy, and like I was going to pass out after waking up from sleep. This time my left hand felt numb. This episode lasted 30 minutes, and I had to lay down. When I went to follow up, I ended up seeing a new doctor and after telling him my symptoms, he decided to do some further testing. He wrote me a script for a Holter test (scheduled tomorrow), glucose test. He wants to check for Mitral Valve Prolapse. I had a EKG, which was normal. And a MRI of my head, to check for MS because I also had an event where my forehead felt numb, and also my tongue and diffucutly swallowing. MRI: normal. I have been having chest pain in the center where my sternum is, and into my back sometimes into my shoulder on my right side, with dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, slight confusion. This lasts anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. It hits me when I am not nervous, and pretty much requires me to lay down. I don't feel depressed, and I have been through a lot, but I don't feel anxious other than when I am feeling these symptoms. I have been eating better, drinking more fluids. We also took a 3 hour walk in the mountains. I had to pace myself, but I felt okay until the next day.

My question is, could this in any way be related to my epidural that I had? I worry that the numbness and breathing problems are from the injection.
Does this sound like heart/lung disease? Could I have brought this on myself because of my extremely poor diet, and 20 lbs weight loss in such a short amount of time?
I had an auto accident that left me with some pretty bad whiplash, and I had chiro treatments for; could something in my neck be causing these symptoms?
Does this sound like anxiety disorder/postpartum with the constant chest pain, dizziness? Should I just stop thinking that this chest pain is something worse, and just take the Zoloft? I just don't know what to think if these tests keep coming back normal. I feel terrible most of the time. I've had a panic attack before, and this feels different.
Is it safe to take zoloft even though I am breastfeeding my daughter?
Any advise will be much appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time,
A scared first time mom,
LadyMars :cry:
 psgraham - Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:51 am

I am a 49 year old female with exactly the same symptoms, however, mine have worsened so that the fatigue now lasts for several days after each episode, keeping me flat on my back in bed. The symptoms appear quickly without warning, then, go away the same. I have had every test you can think of, cardiac catherization, MRI's, CT's, EEG, etc., etc. They can find nothing amiss so far. Just visited an endocrinologist yesterday and am doing a 24-hour urine collection. This is my last hope that someone can figure out why this is happening to me. I also have neck problems, broke my neck 10 years ago and had a fusion. Have had all of this checked, nothing is wrong there. Hope to see someone post possible causes for you....and me.
 VNurse2009 - Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:39 pm

Hi i suffered anxiety post giving birth and had to have antidepressants and there is no safe antidepressant to use while breast feeding small amounts will pass via your milk and the one you listed is use with caution but i gav up breastfeeding to take the medication as baby needs you to be fit and well and although breast is best, it is also very very important for you to be well. Formula is a great substitute for breast milk it is only missing your active immunity which was passed via placenta and colostrum in the first 48 hours of feeding, it just means you wont carry on passing on your immunity. Giving up breast feeding was very hard for me but im glad i did as im fit and well and have just had my second child. But discuss it further with your health visitor or midwife. Hope this helps

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