Two days ago I was on my home from shopping when I suddenly felt extremely sick in the car. I wasn't driving, thank goodness. First, I felt a tingling in my arms and legs, sort of like when your foot falls asleep and it feels like pins and needles. My breathing was hard and I had to take deep breaths. There was a sharp pain in my stomach and it felt like it had a rock in it and was being squeezed tight. On top of that I was nauseous, light-headed, dizzy and even my mouth felt like it was being squeezed and pricked. We pulled over and I got out hoping I could just walk it off or at least throw up. Instead the symptoms got worse, my left arm felt tight and my hand seized to where I couldn't move it. I was positive I was going to black out or faint, but I didn't. Instead I just laid on the ground and waited for an ambulance. While on the ground, I was able to feel every nerve in my body from head to toe vibrating and burning. At this point I was sure it was a seizure or a stroke, but I never lost consciousness.
Finally an ambulance arrived and I was able to answer their questions, like what my name was, my birthday, etc. They sat me up and after a few minutes and some help, I was able to walk into the ambulance, which I was very thankful for. Went to the ER, which was very busy, and had to wait four and a half hours before I was seen. Not including triage where they took my blood pressure and sugar level (147 at the time) and a urine sample. When I was finally seen, they gave me some sort of cocktail, took some blood, and hooked me up to an IV. After that was done, they said everything was normal and sent me on my merry way.
I already had a doctor's appointment the next day where I told him and an attending what happened. They both said it was a panic attack. I was diagnosed with GERD and gastritis a couple of months ago and it has been making my life hell. I've never experienced anything like this before, and I'm not sure what could have caused an attack. I've been having lots of other symptoms related to my GERD, like pain all through my abdomen, headaches, neck stiffness and pain, constipation and diarrhea, back pain, trouble sleeping, sore throat, barely eating. I have an appointment with a GI in three weeks, until then I'm just trying to deal and watch what I eat.
My question is has anyone ever experienced this sort of attack before? Is it normal for people with GERD? Was it actually a panic attack?