Unable To Detect Pulse At Times- Anyone Else?
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:37 PM
I've not been doing well lately.
When I'm feeling truly awful (many times a day), I grab my wrist and try to feel for my pulse, almost just to make sure that my heart is still beating.
What freaks me out is that when I'm REALLY bad, like today, I can't feel it no matter how hard or long I try. My pulse must just be that weak or indetectable.
I get so scared...
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:49 PM
Its usually (maybe always?) a sign of super low blood pressure. One of the old school tricks to estimating BP (when lacking equipment) is to note the spots on the body where you can find a pulse. Each area will fade out to be undetectable around a certain range of BP. So for example, if you can't find it on the wrist but you can on the carotid then you estimate the BP to be XXX.
I've only experienced it while sitting/laying a few times (though countless times trying to stand too long) and that is very scary to have the vitals drop out so badly. Do all you can for hydration, of course! Lay-down with feet up should usually help. If you aren't working with a doc already on this, definitely keep them informed and see what they think and can do... and get a BP meter if you don't already have one, so you can document/confirm that it is super low BP going on!
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:52 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:53 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:58 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:59 PM
Here's the "old school" trick to "field measurement"... ignore all the folks that assume "that's impossible"... scroll down to the Army medic answer. He knows more than the obvious! (Maybe vote up his answer while you're there if you're an "answers" person :)
Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:27 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:20 PM
So thank you for sharing your experiences because it makes me feel less like I'm about to die. Vasoconstriction makes a lot of sense to me! I can barely feel my pulse today (and am having periods where I can't feel it at all), but my blood pressure was okay for me (100/64...it's usually 85/65-95/650) when they checked it.
Can that cause your pulse in your neck to be hard to detect as well? I'm having an issue with that too!
It's very odd..I can NEVER feel my pulse on my left side...but I can usually (when im not like this) feel it on the right. What gives?
Thanks for sharing your wisdom you guys. I'm new at this. It's scary!
Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:22 PM
The neck thing would bother me, if you have a blocked artery there is a problem. But, if the artery is just deep or in a slightly different place, it would be hard to feel. Educate your doctor about dysautonomia, print out the summary articles and give them to your doc. IF the doc can hear the whoosh through the artery with a stethascope, it is probably just deep, but get it checked out the next time you go.
Your BPs are typical for low blood volume, it is called narrow pulse pressure (the numbers are close together.)
Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:45 PM
I also can't get a reading on a pulse/ox meter that clips onto your finger. Mine sometimes registers no HR or oxygenation. It really scares the nurses. They often ask me how I'm feeling???? Okey-dokey We usually chalk that peculiarity down to Reynaud's.
Don't worry too much about this. How awful that your doctor scared you instead of reassuring you!
Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:23 PM
Might be worth pressing as best you can with whatever docs you've got for some extended cardiac monitoring like a Holter. When screening for possibilities beyond "just POTS" it shouldn't matter as much if they're a POTS expert... looking for "differential diagnoses" like arrhythmia and such. Seems with a non-POTS expert you could get slotted as IST... but as POTS experts say, that is a challenging distinction.
And the doc has a point about "shock". From a quick read on the subject, it seems that either generalized or localized "hypoperfusion" (lack of blood supply to critical organs) can induce shock. Ideally, one should "end up" at POTS after excluding whatever else one can... even though it is most likely all that is involved, considering & screening other key things is worth pressing for as best you can. I wish the doc had given more options than "call 911"... like a Cardiologist referral or something. Dang.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:40 PM
Posted 19 November 2009 - 07:26 AM
I have freaked out my fair share of drs, but it's most fun to freak out my oldest children LOL [23 & 24]
my best line to dr's is - don't you have to have a heart to feel a pulse? lol some laugh some just glare at me...
Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:43 PM
Between what my doctor said and what I've read online, I'm still a little freaked out. It does help to know that I'm not alone in this whole "I have no pulse" thing. It's so good to hear that others have experienced this and that you're ALIVE!
It happens around the same time every day now and lasts for about 3 hours.
I'm wondering, for those of you who experience this, how disabled/debilitated are you? I'm mostly bedridden now and 100% housebound. I haven't been able to leave the house (aside from being loaded up to go to the doctor, which is quite an ordeal) in 6 months.
Thanks again for your input everyone.
Posted 20 November 2009 - 11:25 PM