I am a 31 year old male, in good shape with no history (or family history)of heart problems, and I've had a very strange sharp / dull pain in my chest for awhile now. Let me start at the beginning:
About 2 1/2 weeks ago on the Tuesday before Christmas, I was cooking supper with my son (4) and as I took a breath in I felt like someone stabbed me in the chest. I've had this happen before a couple of times over the years, but it always went away after a few seconds, and from what I understand is completely normal. But this time it didn't go away. I had to go lay down, which made me feel better, but I gave my son the phone we rehearsed how to call 911 if I needed him to. Well I felt better after awhile, and finally went to bed, but if I breathed in deeply that sharp pain was still there. I felt better over the next few days, but then in the beginning of the next week I was at work and all of the sudden it happened again. Pretty much the same scenario.
I felt better and then it hit me again on Monday, then I felt better and it hit me again on Thursday. The problem is that it's just a sharp pain when I breath deeply, sometimes I can breath fine, but my chest always has a hot sensation like I've been coughing, but I haven't.
Wow, I'm rambling. Here's the bottom line:
I have a sharp pain in my chest that sometimes comes on the left side under my collarbone, sometimes on the right side, sometimes (like right now) under my left and to the side of my left pec. It feels like I have a chest infection, but I have no fever, no coughing, no wheezing, etc. It feels like a heart attack, but no nausea, shortness of breath, and my heartbeat is strong and steady.
The thing that's bothering me is that I get this pain sometimes that goes up the left side of my neck, and sometimes in my left arm. I sometimes have anxiety issues, and it feels kind of like that, so I just don't know. I guess I'm just scared. I don't want to go to the ER and have them tell me nothings wrong because I don't have insurance. Is there any way I could be having serious heart problems?
The part that concerns me the most about your post is the fact you feel it in your left arm and neck. That was one thing for me that differentiated from harmless, benign angina or chest pain.
You could very well have a serious chest condition going on and even a dr. will tell you there is really no way to know unless you go in and get it all tested out...anxiety and cardiac are very similar so without the tests even a dr. wouldn't tell you it is just your anxiety.
I have always been told, it is better to come and be sent home then to wait until it is too late. I remember my first cardiac stent in the hospital and we were discussing how if we hadn't called the ambulance I would have been dead because I had pulmonary edema, but the nurse is normally an ER nurse and she had told me that just the day before a gentleman had walked into the ER and had time to say his name and he dropped dead from a massive heart attack...I am telling you this for the same reason it was told me...it is better to be safe than sorry, don't wait!
The problem is that it's just a sharp pain when I breath deeply,
The good news is that cardiac pain has never been described as 'sharp'.
If the pain is there only when you breathe deeply then it is not cardiac related - if it were your heart the pain would be there all the time not just when you breathe deeply.
You should still have it assessed by your doctor and if the pain really worries you, go to the ER and they will run some tests and be able to tell you for sure.
Thanks for the input. I guest the things that make me think it may not be heart related is that I'm relatively young for heart problems, and that there seems to be pain all over my chest, and that it hurts mostly when I breathe would make it seem lung related. I do have a dull hot sensation all over my chest pretty much all the time, that would lead me to believe it's an infection of some sort.
The pain in the arm and neck are troubling, but I sometimes feel it on the right side of my neck, although my right arm is unaffected. Also, my heart rhythm is normal. Can you have a heart attack without an arhythmic heartbeat?
Also, I've been having this for two weeks off and on, is that unusual for heart problems to go on that long and not kill you, or at least present some more serious symptoms?
I know I should go to the Dr. or ER, and I probably will tomorrow, but it's not something I take lightly considering the fact that I don't have insurance, and I'm trying to get some. So not only will it cost me dearly, but the cost for ins. will skyrocket, and I'll have a pre-existing condition. I obviously don't want to die, however, so it's a bit of a judgment call.
Hi I agree with the other posters, The Emergency Room is good to evaluate people with chest pain what good is money if a guy is not around anymore? Sometimes they can do a cardiac enzyme test to see if a person had a myocardial infarction or not even after the event by a bit. They say it is better to be safe than sorry. Have a nice day!