Wow! Only 2 hours in ER! I wish our hospitals were that efficient here! lol. Did they put you on oxygen? It's my favourite thing ever when I'm having shortness of breath
Has your doctor tried you on different kinds of medications? Some work better for some people than others.. but also these kinds of medications can take over 2 weeks to start working. They're not an instant fix like sedatives unfortunately (I'm guessing Xanax is a bit like Valium? I take Valium when I am haing a panic attack).
You should definitely look into therapy. I live in Australia so I don't know about the US, but here if you get a referral from your doctor you can find some psychologists who bulk bill so it may not even cost you anything if you're lucky.
I was doubtful about seeing a psychologist myself but when I first got anxiety and panic attacks I really had no other choice so I went along. I think learning about anxiety and panic attacks helps, because then you understand what your body is doing and why, for me at least understanding what was happening helped a bit. I keep learning more about my anxiety as time goes by and I've learnt how to manage it quite well now
It makes it even scarier and unbearable when you dont understand what is going on.
My doctor told me that my body produces more adrenalin than it can use, which is why I get all of these symptoms. A really specific exmple is: my main anxiety symptom is nausea, so my psych told me that my body produces too much adrenalin which gets my heart pumping, my brain misinterprets it that I'm in a life or death situation, so it puts me into fight or flight mode. When you're in fight or flight mode, your body pumps blood away from your stomach and into your limbs so you can react faster/run for your life, which then makes me feel sick...
They haven't explained the shortness of breath to me in that much detail but I think if you ask your doc or a therapist they could explain what's going on to you.
I think it's important for you to get as much support as possible though, so give therapy a go, you won't know if it will help or not until you give it a try. If the first person you talk to doesn't seem to help, you can always try seeing someone different.
It's no fun trying to get through this sort of thing alone. It's great that we can find places like healthboard where we can talk to other people who are going through the same thing too. The more support we can all find the better