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What the Hell Just Happened to Me?

CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I went for a run today and went a lot further than normal--8 miles. I've never run that far before, and I've never run more than two miles at this altitude (I work in front computer all day and am in mediocre shape). I felt fine afterward and walked around a bit to cool down. I came inside, sat down at my computer, and started typing something.

Then I noticed something was wrong--my jaw was kind of stiff and my face was sort of "stiff" (with effort I could move it still) tending towards a slight grimace. I commented on this to myself and noticed I couldn't quite speak normally--my tongue was a bit stiff. I went to get my cell phone and was able to pick it up, but my hands clenched up and wouldn't respond to any commands. I could not dial any numbers. I was able to get the door of my apartment open and sort of lay down outside, cell phone still clutched in my inoperative claw-hands and unable to enunciate clear words. After a few minutes I was able to awkwardly pry open my clenched fingers on my knee and they started working again shortly after. I feel fine now--except for some pretty strong soreness in my fingers/wrists which I attribute to the clenching (feels about like they used to feel after cutting firewood for a few hours). At no point was I in any respiratory distress and I was fully conscious the whole time--my goddamn hands just stopped working, along with my tongue. None of it was painful, either--I just felt a tingly sensation in my fingers.

Well, what the fuck? I've never had anything like that happen to me before. The closest experience I've ever had is sitting on a hand by accident and cutting off the circulation for an extended period of time. Is this perhaps a blood flow issue, and maybe my ill-advised extended run decreased the blood flow to my extremities enough to cause something like this? I was kind of banking on the fact that, even if I overdid it, I'd pass out before doing any real damage (in retrospect "run until I pass out" is probably not a good plan either). I normally get uncomfortable tingly arms and hands when running--I'd assumed it was decreased blood flow (due to the increased demand in my legs) and nothing to worry about.

I'm not really concerned, necessarily, as this seems pretty directly related to suddenly running much further than I'm used to. I would like to find out what happened, though, and I can't seem to find much about this on the Internet.

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Posts

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    [Hit "reply" instead of "edit"; disregard.]

    CycloneRanger on
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  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
  • DurkhanusDurkhanus Commander Registered User regular
    Mmm, perhaps a micro stroke? All I can think of that would affect those different body parts in that manner is some sort of disruption in the brain.

    Zilla360
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Durkhanus wrote: »
    Mmm, perhaps a micro stroke? All I can think of that would affect those different body parts in that manner is some sort of disruption in the brain.
    Yeah, I thought about that at the time, but strokes are typically restricted to one side of the body. Also, everything is working normally now, and I'm in a very low-risk demographic for a stroke. Doesn't mean it can't happen, obviously, but I don't really suspect that's what happened, especially because the whole thing feels most similar to a time when I sat on my hand during a car trip without realizing I was doing it.

    And I guess I should have clarified, but I will probably ask a doctor about this anyway and I know these boards are no substitute for medical advice from a trained professional, etc. I just wondered if anyone else had had something similar happen at any point.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    Sounds a bit like dehydration, but I'm not a doctor.

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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    Durkhanus wrote: »
    Mmm, perhaps a micro stroke? All I can think of that would affect those different body parts in that manner is some sort of disruption in the brain.
    Yeah, I thought about that at the time, but strokes are typically restricted to one side of the body. Also, everything is working normally now, and I'm in a very low-risk demographic for a stroke. Doesn't mean it can't happen, obviously, but I don't really suspect that's what happened, especially because the whole thing feels most similar to a time when I sat on my hand during a car trip without realizing I was doing it.

    And I guess I should have clarified, but I will probably ask a doctor about this anyway and I know these boards are no substitute for medical advice from a trained professional, etc. I just wondered if anyone else had had something similar happen at any point.

    There is something called a transient ischemic attack, which is a kind of mini-stroke that resolves itself within a certain period of time. I doubt you've had one, though.

    I'd see a doctor about it.

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  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    it sounds like a cramp due to low sodium/dehydration.

    if you are going to do long excercises above and beyond what you are used to, drink a gatorade or something.

    I am not a doctor.

  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    When people hyperventilate their muscles will contract painfully. Were you still breathing quite hard afterward? The rush of oxygen to the muscles after you stopped running could have caused this.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    Lactic acid buildup?

  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    JebusUD wrote: »
    When people hyperventilate their muscles will contract painfully. Were you still breathing quite hard afterward? The rush of oxygen to the muscles after you stopped running could have caused this.

    This is what I suspect. I went to the hospital with a kidney stone back in December, and hyperventilated to the point of almost losing consciousness. That's basically how it started. Extremities start to clench up, start breathing faster, etc.



  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    See a doctor. Hopefully it's just cramps, and you should drink a sports drink next time, but DEFINITELY see a doctor.

    Also, go to the doctor.

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    JebusUD wrote: »
    When people hyperventilate their muscles will contract painfully. Were you still breathing quite hard afterward? The rush of oxygen to the muscles after you stopped running could have caused this.

    This is what I suspect. I went to the hospital with a kidney stone back in December, and hyperventilated to the point of almost losing consciousness. That's basically how it started. Extremities start to clench up, start breathing faster, etc.
    Having done some more looking around, this sounds exactly right--hyperventilation apparently causes tetany, especially in the extremities, slurred speech, and can be brought on by (among other things) exercising beyond one's VO2 max. I've never hyperventilated before so I didn't even think of it at first.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    That's part of the differential, though. You haven't ruled out TIA yet - which doesn't need to be unilateral, or seizure, or predispositions to hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, blood, or nervous system disorders such as endocrine disease, diabetes, heart disease, brain etc that could make strenuous exercise dangerous for you. The fact that you get loss of sensation in your extremities even with normal exercise isn't a good sign, either. The doctor will at the very least get a metabolic panel to see if you have any electrolyte and acid/base abnormalities that could point to an abnormal cause - which could give you greater exercise tolerance if treated, or at least guide you to make sure you don't die on your next jog. You're probably going to the doctor anyway, but just in case you don't wanna, it's a good thing to diagnose early.

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I know how to "see a doctor". I've got great health insurance but have never had occasion to use it--I don't have a GP and haven't since I was a kid. Do I just start Google searching for doctors in my area? What kind of criteria should I use to pick one? And is this something I would need to set up an appointment for or something I can discuss over the phone? I'd really like to not end up taking more time off work for this.

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  • Colt45Colt45 Registered User regular
    My brother and I are both fitness nuts and we both have low blood pressure. Just yesterday we went to Six Flags and I experienced some pretty serious greyouts on a lot of the rides because of a combination of dehydration and low blood pressure. When I run I am always sure to keep my breathing regular and start and end any exercise with some serious hydration. I've gone on 50+ mile bike rides and come home without much problems, and then a few days later I'll exercise for a far smaller amount of time and I'll get horrible cramps in the muscles under my tongue that keep me from being able to close my mouth and cramps in varied other places.

    Your case sounds like it's probably got a lot to do with overexertion, dehydration and low oxygen in the air if you're at a high altitude. Any one would be fine on it's own but together they did a pretty good job of scaring the shit out of you. It's probably just a serious cramp from your muscles getting overworked. Were your hands balled up when you were running? And just out of curiosity, how long were you immobilized?

    Seeing a doctor is tricky because anything but a general practitioner is going to be expensive, but a general practitioner is going to refer you to a specialist anyways to actually get any results. If you haven't ever had anything like this and you can't afford(literally or figuratively) to take too much time off of work I would chalk it up to a severe cramp. If you don't have any serious side effects I would go about my business. If it happens again under less extreme circumstances, see a doctor.
    But that's just me and I'm not an expert. I don't have health insurance either and I have gotten used to assuming that my flu or neck pain etc. would eventually go away. Peace of mind is priceless however, so do whatever you feel the strongest about.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    Talk to your friends or family and see who likes their doctor; that's one possible way. Ideally you should find one who gives you some time for an exam-not just five minutes of not paying attention to you and then out the door-as well as someone who isn't impatient with your questions, especially on your first visit.

    And you really SHOULD have a GP who knows you. You are probably not so young that you don't need to think about this stuff at all.

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  • Rawkking GoodguyRawkking Goodguy Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Even if you're an early twentysomething you should know and visit a GP. Granted it isn't as risky as not seeing one when you're older, but they can really help you prevent having problems down the line with general advice on staying healthy and such.

    I'll echo ceres's advice on the kind of GP you want to have.

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  • godmodegodmode Nooo-ooo-ooo... That ain't dancin', SallyRegistered User regular
    Having experienced this before as a non-doctor, there's a 90% chance you have nothing to worry about. It was probably the combination of breathing hard and exercising strenuously. Hydrate well: before, during, and after your workout. And make sure to do a proper warm-up and cooldown. You can go see a doctor if you're really worried, but again you probably have nothing to worry about, especially considering how much trips to the doctor cost if you live in the States.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    By the way, in case anyone was wondering, acute hyperventilation reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the body because you breathe all the CO2 out. CO2 is basically equivalent to carbonic acid (H2CO3, or CO2 and water) and therefore you could say that CO2 is the measure of the acid in the body. Having less CO2 means you're less acidic, and since your kidneys don't work very fast to compensate for this loss of CO2, you become alkalotic; basically your blood becomes basic.

    Calcium is found in several forms in the blood, but the forms that matter are the ionized (active) and albumin bound (one of the inactive) forms. Albumin is a negatively charged protein glob that acts as a reservoir for lots of stuff in your body including calcium, which is positively charged so it sticks to the albumin. The H+ in your blood also sticks to the albumin. When you lose H+ because of that alkalosis, some other positive ion has to pick up the slack, so calcium goes ahead and binds albumin, which inactivates it and effectively reduces the amount of ionized, active calcium.

    So now that you've got less ionized calcium in your blood, you've got hypocalcemia. Internet says that extracellular calcium helps to stabilize the neuron membrane and help it not to depolarize so often, and the loss of that protective calcium makes the membrane depolarize like crazy and constrict your muscles to the max. Nobody's actually proved that's the way it works but it makes the most sense.

    That's one way of doing it. Metabolic alkalosis can also cause tetany by itself without affecting calcium, so go figure it's not as easy as it sounds.

    You can see how already underlying problems with your whatever system can make it so you're extra susceptible to hypocalcemia, if that is what this is. You could have a problem with your thyroid or parathyroid, which regulate calcium. You could have a problem with the amount of albumin in your serum. You could have a problem with parathyroid hormone receptors on the things PTH is actually supposed to work on, which is called pseudohypoparathyroidism. There is also pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, which nobody knows what the deal is. Or you could have a lot of other issues that change or do not change serum calcium or acid/base balance.

    Or nothing could be wrong and you could just have a problem with trying to run 8 miles deconditioned. That's the most likely cause most people in the world are perfectly healthy and not mutants - well, not very mutant. You probably already know this stuff but just in case you didn't and wanted to learn stuff here it is in the simplest form.


    Also be sure to mention the tingling in your hands and arms when running under normal circumstances to your doctor. That's not actually very common and it leads me to believe you may have something going on other than a really hard workout shock.

    Paladin on
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    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Also be sure to mention the tingling in your hands and arms when running under normal circumstances to your doctor. That's not actually very common and it leads me to believe you may have something going on other than a really hard workout shock.

    There are nerves that run right through the neck that when pressure is applied (muscles in contraction) can cause tingling in the fingers.. like if he had a cramp of some sort. He could also have balls palsy (edit I'm totally leaving this for the spelling error) or something too, but eh, after a workout? Probably some level of imbalance.
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    it sounds like a cramp due to low sodium/dehydration.

    if you are going to do long excercises above and beyond what you are used to, drink a gatorade or something.

    I am not a doctor.

    I'm thinking this.

    I am also not a doctor.

    bowen on
  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    godmode wrote: »
    Having experienced this before as a non-doctor, there's a 90% chance you have nothing to worry about. It was probably the combination of breathing hard and exercising strenuously. Hydrate well: before, during, and after your workout. And make sure to do a proper warm-up and cooldown. You can go see a doctor if you're really worried, but again you probably have nothing to worry about, especially considering how much trips to the doctor cost if you live in the States.

    This is the absolute worst advice I have seen on these forums. The symptoms could be any number of things that are completely unrelated to dehydration or exertion and could be potentially life threatening. There isn't a 90% chance of anything. You aren't his doctor, you don't know his medical history. You don't know the percentages or the probablys. Telling someone this like you do is both grossly irresponsible and incorrect, especially when you are telling him not to see a trained professional.

    OP, go get yourself acquainted with a General Practitioner in your area and talk with them about this. Then, if they think it is nothing to worry about worse thing that happens is you have a General Practitioner set up. Since you have health insurance, there is no reason not to do so and every reason to get it done quickly.

    Enc on
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  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    !!! I've had this happen! It scared the shit out of me!

    It lasted for like 5 or 6 minutes and I got terrified..kept thinking stroke..and tried to alert my friend, but couldn't make my damn mouth work right.

    Went to the ER immediately and they checked my BP, did a heart monitor, and ran labs.

    Turns out its an imbalance between water, salt, and potassium that can happen after a workout - when I asked how to prevent that kind of thing again...my Doctor looked at me in a sagely way, narrowed his eyes, and said, "Bananas?"

    I left the ER feeling really dumb.

    I'd recommend getting it checked out - and if you haven't already, start a double dose of multivitamin in the morning.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Gatorade also works.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Gatorade also works.

    Gatorade also has sugar though - If you're exercising to lose weight - its the same sugar-to-calorie ratio of a Coke.
    200 calories of salt and sugar w/ no vitamins.

    A banana is half that in calories and has vitamins.


    ....and it helps you poop.



  • CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    You should see a doctor. Even if this particular issue turns out to be nothing, it would be a good idea to start making a habit of annual physicals.

    To find a doctor, the first thing you're going to want to do is go to your insurance company's website. They will have a search engine that allows you to find doctors in your area. More importantly, these doctors will be in your insurance company's network (visiting doctors out of your network increases your personal costs considerably). When you do the search, look for a Primary Care Physician in the Internal Medicine category.

    As far as selecting one, you can definitely check if any doctors recommended by friends or family are in your network. Failing that, the database of doctors you search usually has details available to you such as the school the doctor graduated from, when they graduated, and any specialties the doctor may have. So if you have any preferences regarding, for example, the age of the doctor you can make a relatively informed decision (I've never seen them actually list the doctor's age, but you can get a general idea from their graduation date). Specialties is a good one to look at if you have any specific concerns. For example, if your family has a history of heart disease, an internist with a cardiology specialty might be a good idea.

    Don't let cost become a factor in looking after your health. In fact, I would say the whole idea of "health care in the US is expensive" is very much exaggerated. More than likely your health plan will completely cover an annual physical. And a physical is what you're going to want here. I know you're asking about a specific issue, but you can ask about whatever you want during the physical. Also, when you're scheduling an appointment, make it clear to them you want a physical. A physical takes longer than an average visit, so you need to be clear for them to reserve the time.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    WildEEP wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Gatorade also works.

    Gatorade also has sugar though - If you're exercising to lose weight - its the same sugar-to-calorie ratio of a Coke.
    200 calories of salt and sugar w/ no vitamins.

    A banana is half that in calories and has vitamins.


    ....and it helps you poop.



    Sugar is an essential mineral, something you still need. Regardless, G2 has less calories than a single banana. Your average banana has 100 calories, G2 has 30. Yes they're still better, but you may not be able to cram a banana down your throat right after working out (some people can't eat for a bit) and gatorade will likely be just as good, plus you can use it while working out.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    Sugar is not an essential mineral, that's crazy talk

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I typed mineral and never corrected it. Pardon me. Sugar is still essential, and bananas have it as well. You can get hypoglycemia just as much as hyponatremia or hypokalemia.

    bowen on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Pedialyte works better but good luck getting that down

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    ...Blood sugar?

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  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    you may not be able to cram a banana down your throat right after working out

    The dickens you say!

    The mighty power of Internet Porn has taught me otherwise!

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    WildEEP wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    you may not be able to cram a banana down your throat right after working out

    The dickens you say!

    The mighty power of Internet Porn has taught me otherwise!

    :winky:

  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    One more thing about finding a GP, as CyberJackal said, go visit your health insurance website and they should have a tool to find doctors in your area that are in network.

    Also, if you have an HMO plan, you need to declare that doctor as your GP with your insurance company prior to the first visit or it will be considered an out of service visit and will not be covered. This is what happened to me when i went to the doctor for the first time.

    Also, don't worry if you don't have any old records. They will look for them and just do a work up and start from scratch for you.

    Finally, if you don't like your doctor, then find a different one. They are people like the rest of us and some are a better fit for you then others. Don't be afraid to leave a doctor your unhappy with.

  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I know how to "see a doctor". I've got great health insurance but have never had occasion to use it--I don't have a GP and haven't since I was a kid. Do I just start Google searching for doctors in my area? What kind of criteria should I use to pick one? And is this something I would need to set up an appointment for or something I can discuss over the phone? I'd really like to not end up taking more time off work for this.

    Not sure if this applies to where you live, but I haven't seen it suggested in this thread and it's been a godsend to me (and several other people I know): http://www.zocdoc.com/

    Seriously, it's fantastic. Provided you live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, Phoenix, Washington, DC, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Detroit or Tampa, anyway.

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  • sayendavidsayendavid Registered User new member
    I too am experiencing the same thing.. I never ever run! and I f I ever did it's no more then 1 mile but nowi started running. I ran two miles and the day after 3 and then 4.. and finally I ran 7 miles.. and I worked out. I woke up with my hands real cramped.. my pinky and wedding finger are real hard to "un coil" in a stretched postion. it's discomforting. on both hands no were else. I did a lot of raw dips and I was sweating a ton were I felt like I pushed my self too much. now Its been 3 days and my fingers still feel cramped.. slowly getting more fluid but its still hard to uncoil my fingers. also I crak my fingers a lot but it never bothered until this inscident. I don't crack them now because of my cramps they only make it worse with cronic pain. how long does this last. also I have a poor diet literally and I drink water when I can and I push myself over my head.

This discussion has been closed.