DH's GP thinks he might be suffering from panic attacks. I'd like to know what the collective wisdom here thinks. It's a bit of a mini-novel, so if you've got the time, thanks in advance for hearing me out.
Here's a bit of history:
DH dx'd ADHD in 2001. Takes Adderall XR for two years -- great improvement of symptoms, yahoo, life is good again. Suddenly, husband starts having "dizzy spells" that are accompanied by nausea, a feeling that he's going to lose his bowels, and breaking out in a cold sweat. These come and go, with no apparent pattern for several months, and finally after my urging he goes to see the GP. They tell him it's allergy related, rx Flonase and send him on his merry way.
The episodes subside for a while with the Flonase, but not completely. Then one day while driving to work, he gets that funny feeling again and wakes up on the other side of the boulevard with his bumper entangled in a chain link fence. PTL he is not injured and neither is anyone else for that matter. The angels were definitely watching over him that day. He waits to tell me about the little mishap until 9pm that NIGHT!!! I call the GP the next morning, he says to take him to the ER. So we go. He gets the once over, everything looks o.k. (labs, bp, EKG, etc.) and is referred to a neuro with instructions for no driving until cleared by that doc. Temporarily loses license to drive (nightmare in and of itself).
Neuro sends him for brain MRI and EEG. All normal. Refers him to cardio.
Cardio does EKG, 24-hr Holter monitor, treadmill stress test. All normal. Refers him to cardio-electrophysiologist.
Cardio specialist does tilt-table test. He FAILS faster than anyone they've ever seen. Doc asks about meds he's on. Tells him about the Adderall XR and he has to quit the med for a few days, then return for another tilt-table test. This time he passes the test. The chalk it up to the medication, tell him to discontinue it, clear him to drive, life goes back to the chaos it was before meds and he's happy.
So that was 2004. In 2005, he has another big episode in the airport while on our way to Hawaii with our 3 kids. He's tense, uptight and stressed -- snapping at the kids, confused about where to go with the luggage, nervous about going through the whole security screening circus. He starts to feel dizzy and nauseous and actually has to lie down on the floor next to the security line (neuro told him he'd better do that unless he wants to faceplant on the floor). You can imagine the attention that got us! Security was very helpful, but what a scene it caused!
Jump to late 2006 and he's still been having these dizzy spells, only more frequently now. Hmmm, can't really blame the Adderall XR now, can we? He isn't real good about taking the Flonase but religiously takes Claritin for nasal allergies. I drag him to the GP to rehash the symptoms and get another crack at the problem, this time I sit in on the appointment to make sure he doesn't forget to tell him anything.
We find out that the spells happen several times a week, and in a variety of settings: (not in his car, yet, thank G*d!), sitting at his desk reading a magazine, playing basketball, walking across a room, in meetings, working outside in the yard. No pattern.
Now I CAN tell you that DH is one who tends to ruminate over things. A LOT. His old pdoc once remarked that when DH comes in the room sometimes he looks like he's ready to explode -- you can just see how tight he's wound from his expression and body language. So I do think he has anxiety issues. When he went off the Adderall XR, the pdoc wanted to prescribe Pamelor -- I actually filled it, but DH was so paranoid about taking ANYTHING that might cause him to lose his license again, he refused it.
The GP wanted to rx another med (I think it was an SSRI, but my brain's a bit foggy right now) but DH felt it was allergy related, like the GP had told him way back when. GP agreed to just rx Allegra-D, with the understanding that DH would come back if the spells kept happening. Which they are. He had one tonight while I was sitting talking with him. He didn't get dizzy this time, but nauseous, pale, cold sweat, passed a lot of gas (feeling of bowels moving, I guess). And he's been taking the Allegra-D twice a day as instructed.
So what is going on here?
Thanks for your patient reading, and for any thoughts you have on our little mystery.
12yo son w/Crohn's, dx'd 5/06, currently in remission; also ADHD and mild asthma
Imuran 50mg/75mg am/pm; Daytrana patch; Fisol, Viactive chews, children's multi
Resection planned in 6/07 to remove fibrotic stricture in TI
10yo son ADHD & ?, Daytrana patch 30mg, Abilify 20mg