Disabling symptoms since distal bicep repair surgery. Any suggestions?

Posted by CoachT @stevetaylor721, Sep 5, 2021

Hello everyone, I have had some very debilitating symptoms for the past 6 weeks since undergoing a distal bicep repair surgery and desperately need your help. Prior to the surgery I was an active, pretty healthy 48 year old. The surgery was conducted under general anesthesia in which I was put on a ventilator. All indications are the surgery went well. I wasn’t worried about the surgery in the least, and had debated even getting it repaired as it didn’t hurt and wasn’t impacting my golf game. However, a day and a half after the surgery I got a very strange feeling that led to what I believed was a panic attack (I have no history of anxiety/panic so I wasn’t sure). Long story short after 5 hours of debilitating symptoms my wife drug me to the ER. Over the next week the symptoms never left and I had two more ER visits. For the first week and a half I never managed more than 2 hours of sleep a night due to the symptoms. For the past 6 weeks it has been a daily occurrence with only a short break in symptoms here and there. The best way to describe the symptoms is a rush of something akin to intense anxiety/panic that makes me feel sick and often leads to vomiting (especially early morning). However, my heart rate actually has plummeted into the low 50s over the past 6 weeks and never gets over about 62 even during the worst of the attacks. I bought an iWatch to monitor my heart rate and it is always low. I have lost 35 pounds in 6 weeks despite eating, and eating pretty normally the past week. I also get why I can beat describe as an altered state of consciousness, disorientation that comes and goes. I’ve tested negative for pheochromocytoma and even underwent a psychiatric evaluation which was completely normal. The psychiatrist even asked why someone would send me there as this was clearly a medical issue. Simply put, none of this is thought driven and I do not feel anxiety has anything to do with it. I’ve undergone extensive blood work which hasn’t shown cause, and the doctors are baffled. The endocrinologist I saw was sufficiently alarmed to refer me to Mayo, but my referral was rejected. At this point I can’t work, can barely function and am in a constant state of misery. Trazodone helps me get about 5 hours of sleep but I wake up at 4am and the symptoms start immediately. Any suggestions that I can take to my doctor would be so much appreciated!

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Thanks Rachel! Mayo is definitely a place I’d like to get to, and my doctor has said he can refer me if I don’t improve. He wants to take a wait and see approach and for me to keep trying meds. It’s been frustrating but I also realize that while it seems like a lifetime to me, it’s only been 6 months. I will indeed post updates. Thanks for the reply and it is great to hear from you!


Hello Coach, I have developed very similar symptoms following a cholecystectomy. I was also found to have B12 deficiency with high homocysteine and few others as well. Dehydration makes tips of my fingers wrinkle even though I drink plenty of fluids. The bouts of what felt like anxiety/panic attack (never had it prior to surgery), as well as muscle fasciculations improved (but not gone) for me after B12, B1, D3, and electrolytes (magnesium/potassium) but insomnia persists. Drs at Cleveland Clinic in Florida didn't offer much help. Neurologist gaslighted me throughout the whole process and offered to refer me to psychiatrist, which I refused given the clear onset of symptoms following the surgery. If you're still participating here, it might be helpful to compare notes as far as anesthesia injections and findings.

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