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  #1  
Old Sun Aug 14, 2011, 12:46 AM
mscrzy1 mscrzy1 is offline
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AA and fainting

It's been a while since I've had my counts checked, but the last cbc showed my hemoglobin at a solid 11, platlets at 117, and wbc at 2.1. Those counts are awesome compared to what I've seen in my past battle. But, ya'll know my story of having counts above normal until this last year and now seeing a slight drop that seems to be lingering in the range previously stated. I'm hopeful that my counts will simply stay here and not be a problem. However, lately, I have been having problems with fainting. I had the problem on the plane and I've had three episodes since then (May) which was the last time I had my cbc run. I'm not sure if I'm experiencing panic attacks or fainting spells due to something else. I notice that in each scenario, I'm feeling hot, but I'm not sure it it's due to bout of fainting or I get hot and then feel faint. I don't really remember a lot of fainting when I was in the middle of my battle. I was wondering if any of you have had problems like this? I will be seeing my new hematologist on the 30th and I plan to bring this up with him as well. I should also note that I have problems with reynauld's, too, which is a vasospastic disorder I've developed since the drop in my counts and I'm wondering if it is related to my fainting (squeezing of my blood vessels or something)? Any ideas?
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Angie

36 yr. old, dx SAA in Jan 1996, treated with ATG in Mar. 1996, off cyclosporine Sept. 1996, last blood transfusion in Aug. 1997, slow decline in counts again November 2010, AA and current count decline thought to be caused by lupus, currently taking 400mg Plaquinil

Last edited by mscrzy1 : Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: added more to post
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  #2  
Old Tue Aug 16, 2011, 10:34 AM
Marlene Marlene is offline
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John never had any fainting spells. How's your blood pressure. Some get dizzy and can pass out when BP is very low when they get up from laying down or sitting. The pressure's not high enough to respond to the increase need for blood to the brain.

Pay attention to your breathing when it starts. If you are hyperventilating with shallow chest breathing it could cause you to pass out.

The other thing to consider is pre-menopause/menopause hotflashes. Some faint with hotflashes when they first start.

I don't think a hgb of 11 would be the cause. Have you seen your GP about this.
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Marlene, wife to John DX w/SAA April 2002, Stable partial remission; Treated with High Dose Cytoxan, Johns Hopkins, June 2002. Final phlebotomy 11/2016. As of January 2017, FE is 233, HGB 11.7, WBC 5.1/ANC 4.0, Plts 146K.
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  #3  
Old Wed Aug 17, 2011, 01:13 AM
mscrzy1 mscrzy1 is offline
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Thank you, Marlene.
I haven't had a CBC run since May, but find it hard to believe that my counts are much lower than what I saw in May which is why I'm confused why I'm having fainting spells. I agree that a hemoglobin of 11 shouldn't be causing this. I do have blackouts from getting up too fast or standing but this is different. One of these spells happened while simply sitting reading a book. I think I may be seeing something totally unrelated to my previous AA issues. I don't think it's menopause just yet. I'm definitely going to be mentioning it to my dr on my next visit. I'm really wondering if I'm having panic attacks, although I'm not quite sure what's so panicky about sitting quietly reading a book! Lol!
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Angie

36 yr. old, dx SAA in Jan 1996, treated with ATG in Mar. 1996, off cyclosporine Sept. 1996, last blood transfusion in Aug. 1997, slow decline in counts again November 2010, AA and current count decline thought to be caused by lupus, currently taking 400mg Plaquinil
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  #4  
Old Wed Aug 17, 2011, 06:15 AM
lindy lindy is offline
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Could it be some eye related issues.
I remember previously when I had dizzy spells, my doctor will always check my eyes & also whether I have problems with my inner ear, balance issue.
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  #5  
Old Wed Aug 17, 2011, 07:54 AM
Marlene Marlene is offline
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I'm sure you've check this but just in case, here's a description of panic attacks. Once you've had one, you know it. And you can get them in your sleep.
++++++++
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms:

Racing" heart
Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
Sense of terror, of impending doom or death
Feeling sweaty or having chills
Chest pains
Breathing difficulties
Feeling a loss of control

Panic attacks are generally brief, lasting less than ten minutes, although some of the symptoms may persist for a longer time.
+++++++++++

Even though you are just 35, peri-menopause could be setting in. Have your doc check your hormones just in case.

Vertigo/inner ear problems will cause dizziness. More like the room is spinning.
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Marlene, wife to John DX w/SAA April 2002, Stable partial remission; Treated with High Dose Cytoxan, Johns Hopkins, June 2002. Final phlebotomy 11/2016. As of January 2017, FE is 233, HGB 11.7, WBC 5.1/ANC 4.0, Plts 146K.
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  #6  
Old Thu Aug 18, 2011, 01:18 AM
mscrzy1 mscrzy1 is offline
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Well, the symptoms for a panic attack don't totally correlate. It usually happens like this: I'll be sitting doing whatever then I will suddenly notice that I feel my heart do something strange. I'll start to think about it, then start getting hot and start shaking and put my head between my legs because I know I'm getting ready to pass out. I don't have any dizziness whatsoever. They ran a check on my thyroid a year ago, but maybe we need to run it again. I keep thinking that I'm causing myself to feel faint because I can't help but think about how strange I feel when an episode starts. I try to figure out exactly what brings it to my attention and it's usually my heart. Almost like it slows down or something. It sounds so weird. I sound like a crazy hypochondriac or something. Anyways, thank you for the responses. I thought there was no harm throwing it out there to see if anyone could relate. After having AA I try to take note of anything I find strange or unusual.
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Angie

36 yr. old, dx SAA in Jan 1996, treated with ATG in Mar. 1996, off cyclosporine Sept. 1996, last blood transfusion in Aug. 1997, slow decline in counts again November 2010, AA and current count decline thought to be caused by lupus, currently taking 400mg Plaquinil
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  #7  
Old Thu Aug 18, 2011, 08:07 AM
Marlene Marlene is offline
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You don't sound like a hypochondriac to me . Your fainting is very real so do pursuit it.

Also, be sure to stay hydrated. You may want to try a water with electrolytes added.
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Marlene, wife to John DX w/SAA April 2002, Stable partial remission; Treated with High Dose Cytoxan, Johns Hopkins, June 2002. Final phlebotomy 11/2016. As of January 2017, FE is 233, HGB 11.7, WBC 5.1/ANC 4.0, Plts 146K.
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  #8  
Old Thu Aug 18, 2011, 09:08 AM
cheri cheri is offline
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Lightbulb Check your blood sugar.....

Hi mscrzy1~
I used to have situations like you describe from HYPOgylcemia....first I would feel clammy and then nauseaus, pounding heart, then I would have a buzzing in my ears, and sometimes even my vision would slowly disappear...then I would feel like I was going down. Until I sat down, or put my head beneath my knees. It felt like my blood pressure bottomed out. Hot weather, when I was exerting myself, like gardening, would exacerbate it.... And it started when I was 15, with no rhyme or reason.....these episodes became really pronounced after I had my 2nd baby and was eating a lot of pasta salad and fruit in order to lose the baby weight....breastfeeding too....also, I would fall asleep after eating sweets....like pancakes/danish in the morning for breakfast....(sugar with sugar on it!)

It took years to figure it out, but a friend suggessted I have a 3 hr glucose tolerance test, and sure enough, my blood sugar level had dropped to 40 (normal is around 100) and it triggered the symptoms. This is a bad situation, which diabetics have to worry about--LOW blood sugar...

Keep track of the sugars/artificial sweeteners you eat, especially on an empty stomach. All carb turn into sugars, but the fast ones are white ones...breads, pasta, flours, fruits..... Try eating a candy bar/big glass of juice on an empty stomach and see how you feel....if you start feeling weird after 30 minutes, you may have some sugar sensitivity.
Then try eating some whole grains (brown rice, lentils, oatmeal) and complex carbs/proteins/fats (nuts, olive oil) for a day and elimate all processed foods, soda, fast food (they hide sugar) and see how you feel. Just switching out sweet potatoes for white potatoes, brown rice for white rice, grain bread for flour bread, can all make a HUGE difference! And artificial sweetners are just as bad, as they fool your body. Small amounts of Stevia are ok....

After I got released from 2 1/2 months in the hospital, with all of the drugs, chemo, lousy food, etc, I went on a Macrobiotic diet (almost no sugar) and my Hypoglycemia went away after almost 40 years!!!!!!! I was addicted to sugar, and even now, if I eat it, it triggers cravings for more and more!

A whole food, plant based, organic diet can work wonders! Good luck!
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Cheri Age 54; dx Oct 2009 AML, induction chemo only;dx MDS July 2010,- PRBC transfusion dependent; Results BMB 8/4/11--- 6-8% blasts; Danazol 100 mg 3xday; quit Exjade/ GI distress; platelets holding 40's; Fluctuation in blasts in blood--Neupogen 3-4xweek; off Revlimid again! Procrit weekly
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  #9  
Old Thu Aug 18, 2011, 07:48 PM
mausmish mausmish is offline
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I also have had some similar episodes over the past 40 years due to occasional hypoglycemia or low blood pressure, less often in recent years.
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Karen, age 62, dx MDS RAEB-2 1/8/10: pancytopenia WBC 2.7k/Hgb 7.4/Hct 22.1/Plt 19k; complex cytogenetics -3,del(5)(q14q33),-6,+8,+mar,17% blasts. MUD BMT Johns Hopkins 11/30/10. Dx tongue cancer 8/31/12. ok now. blog mausmarrow.com
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  #10  
Old Sat Aug 20, 2011, 12:36 PM
evansmom evansmom is offline
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Angie,

To be honest, what you are describing sounds like a heart arrhythmia to me. Anytime the heart goes into a funky rhythm, it will manifest in feeling "strangeness" in your chest and maybe your throat too, and a feeling you're going to pass out. It could be something as common as PVC's or premature ventricular contractions that could be caused by a low magnesium level as is often seen in those taking cyclosporin or tacrolimus.

I wouldn't wait to see your doctor about this and 24 hour holter monitoring would be entirely appropriate here, assuming you're still experiencing this problem.

Take care,
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Nicole, mom to Evan (20); diagnosed SAA November 2007, hATG mid-November 2007, no response after 6 months, unrelated 9/10 BMT June 2008, no GVH, health completely restored thanks to our beloved donor Bryan from Tennessee.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/evanmacneil
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  #11  
Old Thu Aug 25, 2011, 12:24 AM
mscrzy1 mscrzy1 is offline
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Thank you, everyone, for all your input! Nicole, my sister also seems to think it may be what you mentioned after I described my incidents. I'm supposed to get on a 30 day event monitor for my heart. I'm not on cyclosporin and my magnesium levels were normal when tested last, but that was a year ago. Hopefully we'll get a solution soon.
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Angie

36 yr. old, dx SAA in Jan 1996, treated with ATG in Mar. 1996, off cyclosporine Sept. 1996, last blood transfusion in Aug. 1997, slow decline in counts again November 2010, AA and current count decline thought to be caused by lupus, currently taking 400mg Plaquinil
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