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  • I hope we can laugh at me!

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    Old 11-25-2016, 10:49 PM   #1
    Serenity Now
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    I hope we can laugh at me!

    So, here's my story, and I hope it helps someone. I hope someone is like me, and can offer help/insight. This kinda sucks! A lot...

    First of all, I consider Louis CK my spirit animal. I also subscribe to the saying, "To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, life is a comedy." Act accordingly.

    I'm in my early(ish) 30's. I have a few friends who seem to enjoy my company, a girlfriend who loves to roll her eyes at me (which is more than fair...), a steady job that I love. I make okay money, could always use more, but I can't complain, either! I side with Joe Walsh when he says, "Life's been good to me, so far!"

    I'm a happy person! I go to the gym 4 to 6 times a week. I eat healthy-ish. I'm a bit overweight, but my doctor isn't concerned, said I'm healthy. Fun times for everyone, right?

    Weeeeell.... Back in March I was doing hill sprints with my good neighbor buddy. We would sprint up a hill, and walk down. Lather, rinse, repeat. I made it 3 more times than our previous trip. I felt like I was going to puke, but having been in athletics previously, that is a good sign, right? So I got home, took a shower, ate dinner, and watched some tv about my Red Sox. Maybe that was what triggered it, the Red Sox...

    My heart started racing. Then it went down, then up again, then down. Weird... I waited it out. Felt normal again after about 10 minites of that. 30 minutes later, it shot up again and stayed there. I took my pulse, 130. I had been sitting for at least 45 minutes! My normal rate is in the 70s. What's going on??? My chest started hurting (about a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10), I started sweating, burping, threw up, and now I'm juuuuuuust a bit freaked out. Okay, a LOT! Hospital time!

    And they found nothing... EKG was "textbook." Blood tests fine. X-ray, fine. They did a scan with contrast, perfect. "Well, you are fine! Dunno why your heart rate was 130 when you got here, but it's in the 90s now. Off you go! We recommend you visit a cardiologist, but it's our opinion you won't die soon!" Hooray!!!

    So I went to my primary care physician (PCP), and they looked over the ER records. They agreed I should see a cardiologist. So I found one and off I went!

    He did an EKG and a stress test. I maxed out on the stress test, and the EKG was perfect. I heard the words, "It is my medical opinion you are young and healthy and have nothing to worry about!"

    Until a few weeks later... This time, I KNEW it was a heart attack! The pain was more severe! Everything was more severe! I threw up again, and this time my right arm was tingling. Right arm?!? Uhhhh.... Wrong arm, but whatever!!! Let's go ER!

    Nothing... Same story.

    So back to the cardiologist I go. One ecocardiogram and 3 day holter moniter later and we're back to, "you, sir, are as healthy as a healthy person! Off you go! Enjoy!"

    Back to my PCP. "Take this test. I'm curious..." And I did. Slight anxiety and depression was the result. "Let's set you up on some happy pills, sir! And here's an additional emergency pill if you go into freak out mode, but don't take it unless you absolutely have to, because it makes babies cry when you take it. Also, maybe don't go to the ER next time, unless you feel really bad and they're the only option. Care Now can do an EKG and your insurance will probably appreciate it." Okay, sounds good!

    One month later, I'm feeling a bit rough, but not too bad. I've been worse! No need to panic. Until My good gym buddy came over to go to the gym. "Uh... Your leg okay?" Nope!!! It's pretty swollen! I'll go to Care Now and see what's up. I walked into Care Now and they directed me to the ER. Oh boy...

    ER asks what's wrong. "Well, minor chest pain, not bad. Slight arm tingling, hardly noticeable. Check out my leg, though! Kinda cool!" And back I go. Same tests, but added a sonogram on my leg for clots. That was ice cold gel, by the way. And the results? Nothing.

    Ugh!!!! Now I'm annoyed and frusterated! This isn't cheap!!! Back to the cardiologist. I got to wear a holter for a whole month! I got to do an echo stress test! It was fun, if your idea of fun is spending lots of money to find out everything looks good!

    So... Now what? I went to a psychiatrist. I saw her numerous times. Her thoughts? I'm not depressed or anxious, but I might be caught in a loop. I had symptoms of a heart attack, they made me anxious when I had never been anxious before. But now I look for things that feel weird and when something feels off, I get anxious. But the leg swelling? Who knows... Great mystery of life!

    My PCP decided to up my dose of zoloft to 100, from 50. She also put me on Prilosec OTC and a perscription antacid, wondering if it was GERD. And it seems to have worked.

    Until early November. I went 4 months between ER visits, but in November I had a heavy chest all day. I thought maybe I was tired. Went to bed early. Woke up at 4am because of the discomfort. My arm tingling was on the left now (good job, brain!), I had sweat through my sheets despite being cold! I checked my pulse (finger reader). 80 then 120, then 80, then 130, all within a minute!!! I gotta go!

    Back to the ER. You'll never guess... Nothing!

    So back to my PCP. She put in a referal to have a tube stuck down my throat. I haven't done that yet. Looking forward to it.

    In the meantime, the chest pressure is pretty much constant now. Sometimes it seems worse after exertion. Sometimes rest helps, sometimes it doesn't.

    I need to laugh at this. This is crazy.

    Anyone else have a similar story? Am I right in buying into anxiety? Should I find a different cardiologist and get a second opinion (mine doesn't exactly impress me, or my PCP)? My PCP doesn't understand how my heart can go up and down so much, so fast.

    I keep thinking maybe angina... Dr. Google is not a friend, but it seems to fit.

    I dunno... I tried to write this to be somewhat funny. I know it got long. But it's scary....

    Last edited by Administrator; 11-25-2016 at 10:58 PM.

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    Old 12-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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    Re: I hope we can laugh at me!

    Hi there! Thank you for posting your story. Though it did not make me laugh, it made me feel good to see someone with similar symptoms. For the last month I have been having symptoms of pressure in my chest, odd twinges in either my left or right arm, left shoulder blade and even in my right quad just above the knee.

    I am 46 years old with all the perfect numbers on paper. I do have challenges with internalizing stress, and I thought this might be anxiety related, but with the symptoms continuing to manifest I can't help but be concerned. I continue to exercise as the symptoms do not get worse during times of exercise and they do seem worse towards the second half of the day.... Leaving me to wonder if it might be Gerd related. I've seen the doctor and had ekg about a month ago, with all results clear. And about a year ago I had a heart ultrasound done for something else and was all clear. I am in periMenopause and it seems my doctors like to point towards it as the route for any odd symptoms I may be feeling. I was wondering if you had an update on your status that you can offer. I would greatly appreciate hearing more of your story. Thank you for your time and for trying to make me laugh.

    Old 12-23-2016, 10:25 AM   #3
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    HilaryT HB User
    Re: I hope we can laugh at me!

    I have had a heart attack, and I've had anxiety attacks. Frankly, they feel the same to me. I also have a stomach acid problem (not GERD) which made me feel like something heart-related was going on.
    When I was newly recovering from the heart attack, I got some peer advice I've found helpful. The advice was: if you can put a finger on your chest pain, it's not heart pain. If it takes an outspread hand for your chest pain, it's heart pain, at that time put nitro under your tongue and wait 15 minutes. If you still feel that way, do another nitro and wait 15 minutes. Still feel that way, go in.
    I was having a lot of angina and my doctor at the time put me on a drug called "Imdur" and it helped a lot.
    I have tingly chest issues and it turned out to be stomach acid (not GERD). I take Sucralfate (that's the generic name) and it's made a world of difference.
    Hope this helped?
    Good luck!!!

    Old 04-09-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jul 2014
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    OhioGirl42986 HB User
    Re: I hope we can laugh at me!

    I too ended up at the er when i thought I was having a heart attack but i had a panic attack it feels like having a heart attack and i was telling them i was but when every heart test came back normal i felt like such a fool but the dr was nice and told me he has many people like me who had panic attacks that we thought were heart attacks and not to feel bad for coming in to him because it was better to be safe then sorry!

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