tingling hands post surgery

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steph2346
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/15/2012 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone!
 
I had a very minor surgery three weeks ago where I had a benign lump removed from one of my breasts.  Ever since two days after my surgery I have been experiencing tingling mostly in my hands.  Every once in a while the tingling will spread up my arms and sometimes the back of my neck or my face.  I called my surgeon immediately the first time it happened.  He thought maybe the tingling was cause from my arms being in an awkard position during the surgery and though that the feeling would go away.  After a couple hours the tingling stopped.
 
  about a week later I had to drive about an hour to the doctors office to have the stitches removed from my surgery.  The tingling started and I felt as though I was going to pass out.  I got of of the interstate and instead took an alternate route with less traffic and made it to the doctor and back, however my heart was racing and I felt faint the entire time.  Once I was back to work at the office, the feeling went away.
 
about a week after that the tingling started again for no reason at all. I was literally doing nothing on a Sunday and it started.  I tried ignoring it and breathing deeply and eventually it went away.  It happened again the next two days in a row and on the third day it became so serious that my whole body was tingly, I felt as though I wasn't breathing correctly and my chest felt extremely tight.  I had to have my husband pick me up from work and take me to the ER.  THey did an EKG, a chest x-ray and took blood.  Both the EKG and chest x-ray came back normal and my blood pressure way normal.  My potassium in my blood was slightly low and they said I was having panic attacks.  They gave me a small prescription of Xanax and advised me to follow up with my regular doctor. 
 
Every single day since the ER I have felt the tingling and tightness in my chest and I have had to take the Xanax in order to get through the work day without having a dull fledged panic attack, I have even had to take 2 some days. I see my primary care physician on Monday, but this whole thing is really freaking me out.
 
Do these symptoms seep typical with what you all have experienced?  I do not want to have to rely on Xanax for my entire life in order to avoid these episodes.  Before the surgery I had never had problems like this with anxiety, however I did have problems with IBS whenever I would get extremely nervous.  It seems as though I can't stop thinking about having a panic attack which causes me to start having one. 

frizzbee
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 9/15/2012 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
This sounds almost identical to the way my anxiety started....even down to finding out my potassium was slightly low when i went to the ER. my tingling started in my hands, feet, and lips, and i was so panicked when i got to the ER that i couldn't even speak thru my tears.

What i can tell you is that my anxiety has gotten a lot better over the past year. Sometimes i have needed medication, but other times i haven't. You are using some good skills like deep breathing. Daily practice of relaxation techniques helps me too. I like to use several guided imagery and guided mediation videos in you tube. This forum had some other great resources at the very top of the main page.

Medication is only of many many coping skills to deal with anxiety. You will find lots if people here who beat anxiety without needs or were able to get off meds. If your goal is to be med-free, we will be here routing for you and supporting you!! :)
dx: dysthymia, generalized anxiety, health anxiety (hypochondriasis)

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/15/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Tingling is an abnormal sensation that you can feel anywhere in your body but mostly felt in the hands, arms, legs and feet. Tingling hands as a symptom of anxiety are transient. 

If your hands start to get numb and tingle, be conscious of your breathing. Try to breathe as deeply and slowly as possible. Not only will this help you relax, but it will also help normalize your blood flow. Being in a relaxed state and having a normal blood flow will help dismiss the tingling sensation. Remember though that this is just a technique that offers a temporary relief. You still need to gather the strength and will power to completely get rid of anxiety.

Do visit with your PCP re anxiety and get a medical opinion/diagnosis  and if your Dr. agrees anxiety is your problem then look into ways to deal with your anxiety.

Check out our first topic at the top of this page for some great ideas : Anxiety-Panic Resources.

Hope you are feeling better soon.


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" ~ Louisa May Alcott

belleadonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 9/16/2012 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Steph
I had a similar sensation after I went under anesthetic to have my wisdom teeth out. I felt a pressure and tingling starting about half way up my forerms and down to my hands. they felt the way it does when your arm etc goes to sleep. I had problems with my blood pressure dropping a bit too low. I've had it happen a couple of time since and for me it seems to be when my blood pressure drops to low (low blood pressure runs in the family). It's quite a scary feeling and did trigger of an attack mainly because it wasn't one of my 'normal' panic attack symptoms. Happily I haven't had that feeling for months :)
take care
Belle

steph2346
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/17/2012 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
THank you so much for the support! This is a truly wonderful forum full of really kind peope. It really helps a lot to know that there are other people who have gone through the same thing and are doing better! I go to see my primary care physician today, so hopefully she can shed a little more light on this whole thing and help me get a recovery plan into place. I have noticed if I start to feel the tingling sensation coming on it helps if I get myself involved in a really big project to get my mind off of it...I cleaned my entire house this weekend!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/17/2012 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
 
It is good to know you have found some comfort in the responses you have received. I have been a member of HW for a  long time and I find the support and caring I receive here in the forum to be irrepalceable.
 
If you symptoms are from anxiety, Meditation and practicing breathing techniques on your own or with cognitive behavior therap can really help with these symptoms.  Here is a link to a free online CBT program that you can work right from home.
Free on-line CBT programs
 
I wish you good luck at the Drs. today and do let us know how you are doing.  We are here for you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt

~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" ~ Louisa May Alcott

tangledspines
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 9/17/2012 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
sometimes the tips of my fingers or my pinky finger will go numb when i'm feeling panicky or when i'm really stressed out.. my doctor said it was due to anxiety. it still scares me senseless every time it happens, but normally if it doesn't go away on its own i'll take a bubble bath, or do some meditation. if i'm conscious of my breathing and allow myself to relax and calm down, that will usually take care of it. i think it's a common symptom of anxiety! keep yourself busy and try to keep your mind off of it, and when it does happen, find a way to find a sense of calm or peace and you will get through it :) breathing always helps!

steph2346
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/18/2012 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful and anxiety free day!

I went to see my Doctor yesterday and she prescribed me Zoloft to help with the constant Panic Attacks. Have any of you been presecribed Zoloft for this? Did it work? What kind of side effects did you have? I am not very big on taking medicines, so this makes me a tad nervous.

frizzbee
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 9/18/2012 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
steph, i have not taken zoloft, but i can identify with not being big on taking meds. i wasn't big on them either. i have finally given effexor a shot, and i'm glad i did. i notice a big difference, and i'm also hopeful that i won't need it forever...maybe just for now so that i can cope with situations in my life that are triggering anxiety. but even if i did need medication forever, i'd gladly take it if it helps me lead a happier and more fulfilling life. i don't want to just be alive...i want to be LIVING!

as for side effects and whether zoloft works, hearing other people's experiences can be helpful, but keep in mind that everyone has a different experience with meds. just because one person had a certain side effect or noticed that zoloft worked a certain way for them doesn't mean you will have the same experience. keep in mind to have some patience and give it some time to work. psych meds generally take some time to build up in your system before you notice any difference. and some side effects only happen when you first start a medication and wear off after a little while (i had this experience with effexor). from one med-phobe to another, i encourage you to at least give it a shot. i am certainly glad that i did! :) best wishes!!!
dx: dysthymia, generalized anxiety, health anxiety (hypochondriasis)
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