Thursday, June 23, 2011

On the Carpopedal Spasm

I'm a relatively healthy person. Other than the recurrent bouts of infections to the throat and nose and maybe the obesity, I have never fainted or being admitted to a hospital. Touch wood. But there was once when I almost did, like I was having a fit.

It was one of those afternoon during my first year here after I was on my way home from Bukit Bintang with one of my housemates, and the LRT was jam-packed, and I was trying so hard to breath. Maybe I was too fat back then. I could hardly walk up a flight of stairs without stopping in the middle gasping for air. So anyways, back in the crowded LRT cube, we were just one station away from our destination, that, when the door opened to another station prior to ours, fresh air flowed in.

And I was breathing as much and as fast as I could. It was like coming out from a stuffy room, and for once in your life, you're so ever relieved that there was air again. SO yeah, I was breathing fast...

And then I started to stiffen. My fingers and hands are curled up... I quickly dashed out of the train and headed to the nearest bench. I panicked, and breathed faster. And I realized my legs are curling up as well. I was bending forward, and I nearly curled into a sleeping baby position. The spasm of the muscles were very strong, I couldn't even resist it.

My housemate saw me, and followed. But being first years and know nuts about what was happening, the only thing that came into mind was, I probably didn't eat anything and was having some hypoglycemic attack or something. Housemate went to get some sweets, and came back with some staff of the station. Well... rest assured, I was fine. Headed to some neurologist the week after as Mum was worried I might have some brain tumor or something. Neurologist checked the cerebellar system, the nerves, the power of the muscles... and found nothing. So I was discharged with a bloody expensive consultation fee but no explanation as to what happened.


5 years later. I finally found out why. I had carpopedal spasm.

Hyperventilation (breathing fast) -> alkalosis (pH level inside the body affected to become more alkaline) -> decreased in hydrogen ion in the body-> calcium ion taken up by something -> something something... then muscles contraction.... Soooomething like that. Bloody pathophysiology. Somebody who knows it in detail please do enlighten me.

So yeah. That's why you see in those medical drama series, when the girl started to breath fast, and you see some medical personnel pass them a bag and ask them to breath INTO the bag.

There you go. Some piece of medical stuff explained in the simplest laymen term. Something I haven't been doing for the past 2 months.

3 Jujus:

Tempus said...

oo thanks for the tip. will do study that once i hit the subject XD

hospital admission? kena once in std 5. almost died of dehydration. 30 minutes later and I'm history

Twilight Man said...

The girl breathed fast while having sex and BOOM! She climaxed & bag exploded! Right?

I think you breathed too much filthy air and germs to trigger the whole attack. Next time, ask your friend to get you a cold beer! You will be fine instantly. How much are you paying me for this consultation fee?

Anonymous said...

i dont think u r studying enough then since u cant even explain the cause of carpopedal spasm although u r already in your 5th year of medical school.....is this wat u will b telling your patients "Hyperventilation (breathing fast) -> alkalosis (pH level inside the body affected to become more alkaline) -> decreased in hydrogen ion in the body-> calcium ion taken up by something -> something something... then muscles contraction.... Soooomething like that. Bloody pathophysiology."??