Update- New Discovery

Hi everyone! 

Ok so for quite a while now I have not been able to sleep on my right side. At first I couldn't breathe well, then it turned into the presyncope feeling if I stayed in the position too long. It happened quite a few times but lately its even worse. I think I found something but not sure what it means. SO when laying on my back I measured my BP. It was 118/77. I then laid on my right side and measured my BP within two mins of the first. It was then 94/61. My BP tanked in two mins just turning into this position. I even brought my knees to my chest while laying on my right side and that made it even worse! I felt AWFUL after for like 30 mins. My docs have been less than helpful but I'm emailing them everything and keeping a copy for myself. Not sure what else I can do other than not sleep on my right side.... Thoughts from anyone who may have experienced similar? 


You are a nice challenge !!

by Gemita - 2021-07-30 04:52:23

Alejandro, which arm(s) did you use to take your blood pressure.  Was it always the same arm?  What was your heart rate doing?  You do not tell us.

Did you for example take your blood pressure with the same arm in all situations - lying on back, on left side, on right side, or did you use different arms?  If different arms were used and you got wild fluctuations in blood pressure numbers this could be significant for something say like a partial blockage in an arm artery for example?  Alternatively, could lying on right side be somehow impairing blood flow, drainage of food waste or something like this perhaps, triggering your sudden changes in blood pressure/heart rate?   

Of course your monitor might well have been affected by a change in lying position.  You need ideally to wait a minute or so before taking your blood pressure when changing position otherwise monitor accuracy could be affected.  Your symptoms though and blood pressure right side lying only, might well indicate flow of something is being impaired in this position.  If this is the case, then where and why?  

Action:  I would ask for a 24 hour blood pressure monitor to confirm what happens in each lying position, although once placed by your technician, your blood pressure cuff would probably need to stay on the same arm where it was placed for the duration of monitoring but I would get evidence of these blood pressure changes on their own monitoring equipment.  You might need an event heart monitor too to confirm what your heart rate and rhythm are doing at the same time.  Take the evidence to them but on their own monitoring device is the best way, rather than using your own.  Keep up the pressure Alejandro, especially if you feel you are in trouble.

A few random thoughts and I have plenty don’t I.  Do you have a hiatal hernia which might be putting pressure on your heart or squeezing other organs in that area, stomach for instance, triggering blood pressure sudden changes?? 

I can experience rapid changes in either blood pressure and/or heart rate, or both due to my arrhythmias.  My blood pressure will easily fluctuate during an arrhythmia - in fact my blood pressure crashes more noticeably than yours and this can often be adversely affected by lying on the right side.  A change in sleeping position can quickly change the course of my arrhythmia and also my blood pressure.  Left side position, possibly due to fact that our stomach lies on left side and stomach emptying is facilitated when in this position, can help to ease my symptoms.  If you suffer from gastric reflux which can directly cause many unwanted symptoms, including, for me, sudden heart rhythm, heart rate and blood pressure changes, lying on left side could well help alleviate this by aiding gastric emptying.  Lying on the left side allows food waste to easily move from the large intestine into the descending colon.  Gastric reflux and stomach problems can be a strong trigger for many of us for heart rhythm, heart rate and blood pressure sudden changes.  I believe there is a strong heart/gastric connection Alejandro and this connection is well known and well documented.

Hi Gemita!

by arentas80 - 2021-07-30 06:30:52

It's 2:24am I just woke up. I feel what I'm explaining upon waking. All night tonight no matter on my back or on my side it's happening. I wake up weak, lightheaded, tingly all over and like my chest is clogged. It's hard to pull in a deep breath. 

The BP was done on the left arm only. Left arm on my back then left arm when lying down on my right. Another way I can explain it is if someone has tied a rubber band around me somewhere. Mostly in my midsection or upper legs.

You mentioned hernia and one doc said I do, the other said I didn't. I'm telling you these docs never cease to amaze me. I am thankful for all of your responses and will continue to pursue this until I get a resolution. I am thinking of having my wife take me now just to be safe. But before I do I'm going to lay on my left side for a while. It's always harder on that side because of the PM placement under my muscle but I'm going to see if that side helps any or makes it worse. It's just never happened this frequent or on my back. It was always just my right side.

Lastly my heart rates stay pretty steady for the most part while I'm awake. When I awake from sleep my heart rate does jump to the early 90's and pound while coming back down but that could be my anxiety or the pressure building up and my Body reacting to it upon waking. I thank you as always for your wonderful words. 

Seek help if you need to

by Gemita - 2021-07-30 07:21:54

Dear Alejandro,

None of us can imagine what you are going through.  All I can say is that if you feel you need help at any time, don't be proud, call for help, so that doctors, ambulance crew can actually see what is happening to you, when it is actually happening, where it happens and maybe put all the pieces "together".  Many of us know by the time we present to ER/A&E the symptoms may have resolved.  This is so frustrating and worrying.  You know yourself best, so trust yourself with whatever you do from now on, while staying as calm as you can.  Go down all possible routes, again and again if you need to.

The feeling you have of a tight band around you sounds familiar (presumably diaphragm/chest wall area).  Can have many causes, including Costochondritis (fairly common) or less common, auto immune MS (Multiple Sclerosis).  I believe in MS they call it the MS hug.  But this is all pure speculation.  A good general doctor should help to establish a diagnosis; I am not so sure your EP alone will be able to anymore.  You are a complex case.

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