Doctor Unsure, could use some advice
For a few years now I have had these bouts of strange chest left side chest pain that last from a few weeks to a few months. I am only 24 years old now and as a child I use to get bronchitis twice a year like clockwork and I had pneumonia once. Other than that I have no significant related medical history. I have been to the ER twice now... In December 2011 and before that back in 2007 or 2008. Both times they did the standard tests you would give to someone having a heart attack and both times it came back normal. They would dismiss me with a diagnosis of chest wall pain and a prescription for Naproxen. Both times I followed up with my regular doctor and had blood work done. Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose were all fine, but a very high sedimentation rate. I finally got on a waiting list to see a Rheumetologist but I wont be able to see him for 2 more months.
The symptoms are very difficult to explain. The pain is almost always on the left side of my chest. It is usually a very fast sharp jolt that immediately draws your attention to it. Sometimes it can be dull like someone had just punched me in that spot. Many times it responds to various body movements such as bringing my arm across my chest, bending over and picking things up with my left arm, bending backwards, bending sideways, tilting my neck back... its never the same. Pressing down on the area will sometimes trigger a response but not always. Here is where it gets weird; sometimes I will feel pain in my left arm to go along with the left side chest pain. They usually don't happen at the same time, but will both occur during an "episode". Sometimes I get a slight pins and needles feeling in my hand which the doctor thought may be a slight onset of carpal tunnel but he wasn't sure. Occasionally I feel like my heart skips a beat but I don't know if that is linked to the costo or whatever is going on since that seems to happen at any given time of the year. I have seen 6 or 7 doctors about this now over the years and none of them seem to think its a cardiac issue but I get very panic-y during these times and would like to avoid another ER visit. I just had an episode about an hour ago that was particularly bad and even now as I am typing this I am getting a periodic jolt of pain. Sometimes I think it may actually be triggering a panic attack but I don't know what those feel like exactly.
The last 6 months have been symptom free for the most part but ever since I have been back to the gym it seems like that is about the time the pain started back up again. The episodes can sometimes trigger during my workout which really makes me think I am about to have a heart attack. Ibuprofen does not seem to be helping matters. My pain does not sound as bad as some of the horror stories I have been reading on these boards but it does get pretty bad. The pain is not as bad as the mental hysteria I get worked up into when the symptoms change a little bit. I spend hours trying to calm myself down and tell myself its just the costocondritis again and my heart is healthy. It makes me hesitant to go out and do things where I will be away from the safety net of my family if something goes wrong... which is the textbook definition of an anxiety attack I believe. So thats my self diagnosis so far... the costocondritis (which can feel like a heart attack) is triggering a panic attack (Which feels even more like a heart attack) leads me to believe I am about to die a few hours out of the day for a few weeks to a few months at a time.
Does this sound like costo and or anxiety to anyone?
Last edited by Vertra; 07-20-2012 at 12:26 AM.