So several days ago I had to go to the emergency room as I was completely unable to breathe. The doctors did some tests and at first sent me to trauma as my EKG was completely haywire. After sometime it was discovered that my high blood pressure is really out of control "not even going to post but it's stage 2" and that I have developed a thickening of the heart muscle. Im still a bit short of breath except I went back to the hospital and they did an arterial blood gas test as well as that finger oxygen meter thing and both came back completely normal. The head doctor gave me a prescription for Xanax and told me that I was experiencing a panic attack.
Im still having some trouble breathing and my exercise ability has been greatly reduced, the doctor said that I should live a normal life and my symptoms should dissapear once my blood pressure is under control and my anxiety is treated. He even said there was a fair chance that my heart muscle would reverse it's growth and go back to it's original size. He described it as the "beginning of hypertrophy".
They actually were going to discharge me that day but I requested to stay overnight in the cardiac ward with a heart monitor "doctor obliged" and next morning said all was normal and basically had to force me to leave the hospital and follow up with him in 2 weeks, now he is making me wait a month " I wanted to stay another night" .
I have several issues that I just needed some opinions/support on and I wanted to get your perspective on things.
1. I can't see the cardiologist for a whole month, a MONTH! Why won't he see me earlier and does this mean I might die before then?
2. Can my breathing problems be partially related to my anxiety? It's like I can't get a full breath, but when they tested my oxygen levels at the hospital everything was normal and the lowest I got on the pulse oximeter was 96 which the doctor said was completely normal.
3. Im also worried about my prescription of Xanax because it helps tremendously but I don't think my doctor will renew my prescription since everytime I ask him for anything he says "call the insurance company" and never seems to want to deal with anything himself. Ive been literally taking only half a pill and the ER doctor told me I must take 3 a day, an interesting thing is that when I was given Xanax my blood pressure dropped 20 points in 30 minutes, the doctor made it very clear that he believed this was also an important part of my blood pressure treatment as it is extremely labile and changes according to my stress level.
4. The doctor at the hospital refused to release to me my records because he said I would overeact and it would give me another panic attack... if I am supposedly "Going to live a normal life" why wont he let me see the records!?
5. I have read that shortness of breath can be due to coronary artery disease but when I asked the doctor to give me an angiogram he refused and said it wasn't necessary. How can he be so sure and what does this mean for me?!
I dont want to scare anyone, just at 23 dealing with all these problems plus tremendous anxiety is really difficult. Im not asking for any sort of medical advice but just some support/opinions about my situation and how to handle it. I am trying to be strong but the last few days I feel like an old man.
PS- I have 2 prescriptions from another doctor for Klonopin 0.5 MG, is this equivalent to the Alprazolam 0.25 mg I have been prescribed in case I run out and the doctor won't prescribe anymore?
Also I am worried because mostly I am short of breath when sitting it gets really bad, standing its also not good the only time I am not short of breath is when laying on my back. It's a struggle to get a breath and I feel the doctors arent taking my concerns seriously.
Thanks guys.. in rough shape
Last edited by dantescritic; 06-03-2012 at 01:32 PM.
The following user gives a hug of support to dantescritic: sjb (06-04-2012)
... Also I am worried because mostly I am short of breath when sitting it gets really bad, standing its also not good the only time I am not short of breath is when laying on my back. It's a struggle to get a breath and I feel the doctors arent taking my concerns seriously.
Sorry about your serious, stressful health problems. It has got to be miserable, not knowing what is causing your breathing problems, blood pressure problems, EKG irregularities and possible heart thickening.
There a quite a few possible things that can cause breathing problems. There could be an asthma connection. Personally, I have heart disease which causes some of my breathing problems. I will also get breathing problems if I consume too many carbohydrates, or too much potassium (conflicts with my Ace Inhibitor). Before my health and heart greatly improved, I'd also have breathing difficulties depending upon the position in which I was lying.
Have you come up with a theory or reason why you don't have breathing problems if you lie on your back? When you lie on your back, does your shortness of breath clear up immediately, or take some time?
Do you have to lie flat on your back for your breathing to improve, or can you lie reclined?
What happens if you lie on your right side or left side?
Thanks Machaon. Im still not sure why im able to breathe better on my back. However laying on my left side is difficult because I feel my heart beating. I really am not eating much because of the uncomfortability of this situation. Another time the SOB seems to temporarily decrease is when I am eating food although my bloodwork is completely normal so Im not really suspecting diabetes or anything. Your asthma suggestion is interesting as it does feel like what Asthma os supposed to feel like however my only symptom is shortness of breath can that still be Asthma?
Yep the shortness of breath clears up pretty quickly most but not all of the time that I lay down. My potassium was actually low in the ER 3.3 and I received IV potassium in the Er, probably due to my diuretic
The breathing problem also appears to be intermittent sometimes its light sob other times I am very close to going back to ER. However when that occurs I take a xanax and try to relax as ive already been turned away twice and accused of panic disorder.
Thanks so much for the quick response Machaon, really in need of support from others at this time. To tell you the truth I actually hope my pheo comes back positive... At least that could explain this crap.
And actually reclined is even better
Last edited by dantescritic; 06-03-2012 at 02:45 PM.