Heart problems or anxiety and hypocondria?
I am new to this site and hoping I can find some help. First, let me say I have always had anxiety when it comes to my health. My mother passed away when I was 8 of ovarian cancer and my father when I was 9 of liver problems. I have 3 beautiful children and my biggest fear is dying on them and them growing up like I had to. All of the women in my family have past away at very young ages of cancer. I am 36, and have always worried that I either have or will have cancer. Recently, I have been sure something is wrong with my heart. It has been going on for a month now. My symptoms are chest pressure/heaviness, pain in the left side of my chest, left shoulder, left side of neck, between shoulder blades, left arm, as well as numbness that comes and goes in the left arm and sometimes neck. I also am very tired, weak, nauseous, and can no longer do all if the things that I normally did (I get winded very easily). I have had an EKG, echocardiogram, stress test and chest ct that were all normal. I was hospitalized at one point and when they put the nitro patch on (for the heart) the pain and pressure DID go away. The drs do not think it is my heart at this point. However, the cardiologist and my PCP agreed maybe the cardiac catheterization was the way to go to give us a definitive answer one way or the other (though I feel as though it is more for my peace of mind). I want very much to have it done, but am worried about the risks (though small percentage, very serious) involved with that procedure. I am so lost as to what to do. Could all of this be from anxiety and hypocondria? I have always been anxious but never felt like this!! It has been completely debilitating. I have discomfort constantly, but at times it comes on almost as "episodes" where the pressure, pain, lightheadness get so bad I fell like I am going to die. When these episodes happen I am not overly stressed or thinking about it. Last night it happened and I was simply making dinner. The only thing that helps then is lying down. When this happens I feel like maybe it is Angina and is my body's way of telling me that it is my heart. Anyone ever go through something similar? Also, the pain is worse when I am standing and pain relievers do not work. I have been taking a very low dose of xanax which I don't feel is helping either. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!