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    Old 10-16-2004, 03:58 PM   #1
    weight39
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    How I miss the chest pain

    I really need to get this off my chest. I saw my therapist and my md this past week. Both times, I've had a difficult time articulating my feelings. So, I thought I give this a shot.

    I've felt like junk all summer. I've been filled w/ digestive problems as well mental problems such as anxiety, guilt, regret and depression.

    I've posted this story to varying degrees before. So, please forgive me. This may get long.

    I'm 29 and for 8 or so years I've had chest pain off and on. A few years ago, I really freaked out one night. Heart started racing, light headed....all the fun stuff. I thought this was it. But, I didn't go to the er. A few days later, I'd go to the dr. All the major tests were ran: ekg, holter monitor, chest x-ray and echocardiogram. Naturally, everything was fine. I felt great.

    Now whenever I'd get chest pain, I wouldn't let it bother me. I knew it would pass. This would be temporary. I would get another, I guess, panic attack once or twice a year. My most recent came this past Feb. Again, I didn't go to the er. However, for the following week I felt light headed off and on. I now realise that it was all anxiety.

    Anyway, I went to dr. Chest x-ray and ekg were fine. He asked if I had heartburn. I told him "yes". However, I didn't. Now, I answered "yes" for a couple of reasons: The first being I've always suspected I might have reflux even though I never had the burning associated w/ heartburn. My symptoms were chest pain, frequent clearing of the throat and a slight hoarseness. Anyway, he gives me a 4 week supply of nexium. I'm a bit apprehensive if taking any kind of medication. I still have a little pain. But, nothing significant. So, I take maybe a 10 day supply.

    4 weeks later, I have a follow up visit. Naturally, he wants to know if the pills were helping. Now at this point, I realize that I tend to get the pain only when I think about. But, I'm afraid to tell him this. So, I respond w/ "I don't know". So, because of my vague answer he requests an upper gi. Foolishly, I go in for it. I go in for two reasons: 1) I don't want to upset my dr. 2) I'm kind of curious if I have reflux.

    I researched the procedure and learned of the barium's constipating affect. The days afterward, I'm pushing and straining like mad. Often nothing comes out. I return to the dr. Concerned that the barium hasn't passed, I have an x-ray done. Of course, it's gone. But, I have abdominal pain off and on. It's seems to be brought on w/ activity. Perhaps, I strained something. I don't know.

    Now in late May or June, I'm struggling w/ bowel movement and I feel something strange in my mid chest. The weeks that follow would find me having the most horrible heartburn. True heartburn. Burning like fire. I can't sleep. I can barely function. I've convinced I've developed a hiatal hernia. So, I have another upper gi done. It, like the first one, is negative. The burning would eventually subside.

    May - Present day I constantly worry about getting cancer from the radiation. I tend to get heartburn quite frequently. My abdomen still hurts occassionally. I often feel nauseated. My testicles hurt from time to time.

    So, I regret going through w/ all these tests. Particularly, the first one. At that time, I was feeling pretty good. I should just let my bowel movements come naturally instead of making something out of nothing.

    I feel guilty for having these tests done. Most people go through these tests cause they really have something wrong. I had them done because, I guess, I'm a basket case.

    I fear I developed this real reflux from all the straining. Or perhaps, my body is reacting to the nexium I took months ago. Everytime my testicles hurt, I fear I have testicular cancer from the thost unnecessary tests. I'm probably developing carpal tunnel because I'm on my pc for hours everynight. I can't watch tv. I can't sit still long enough. My mind races. So, I play online poker everynight. My hand is quite sore.

    Bottom line, I felt pretty good before all this and now I feel awful. This has left me feeling terribly depressed. I feel I've brought all this upon myself.

    So, if you made it this far, thank you. If you've heard my pathetic story before, I'm sorry. If you have any words of encouragement and or stories. Please share.

    Thanks.

    P.s. I wish I found this board months ago. As I'm quite certain I wouldn't be in the position I am now.
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    Last edited by weight39; 10-16-2004 at 04:00 PM.

     
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    Old 10-16-2004, 05:21 PM   #2
    hry33
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    a gentle laxative with a stool softener would help, you may have a food allergy, perhaps try different foods

    pain that only happens when you worry about it is from anxiety, learn how to relax

     
    Old 10-18-2004, 02:41 PM   #3
    DonnaJ
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    I experience chest pain when I'm overly anxious, had the stress test and stuff and everything seemed ok. I guess this is just the way my anxiety manifests itself.
    Twice I had such severe pain that I actually had my hand on the phone, thinking of calling for help. Very scarey. I need to relax.

     
    Old 10-19-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
    weight39
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    I guess my real question is do you think anxiety could be causing all my symptoms? I can only pinpoint two things that have changed between mar. and now.

    Those things are the straining and my severe anxiety. My anxiety has reached new highs this summer. I know anxiety can cause digestive problems. But, I guess I just have a difficult time believing that anxiety can be this detrimental. And, I guess I believe that there must a physical reason why I'm having these difficulties. Really, I don't think these symptoms appeared until after the straining.

    I know this all sounds quite silly. I'm hoping if I write this enough, I'll see how ridiculous all this sounds and my symptoms will magically disappear.
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    Last edited by weight39; 10-19-2004 at 05:11 PM.

     
    Old 10-19-2004, 09:29 PM   #5
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    I'm 56 and have had those same chest discomfort, among a multitude of others that you have seen on this board and I've had it since I was 25 yrs old and I'm still here with the same crap. So yes, anxiety can manifest in every conceivable way AND over time you will have new manifestations that creep up on you to make you worry again and again. It is amazing what your mind can do to you, if you have had every test in the book and all come back ok then you need to sit back and think this is anxiety and how can I live with it. Simply put you can live in spite of it and maybe you will need meds but if it lets you live a little more comfortable do it. I have gone years without any anxiety and then boom out of nowhere it is back for years as well and nothing trips it up, really it doesn't need a reason to appear over and over again.

     
    Old 10-20-2004, 09:11 AM   #6
    weight39
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NancyH
    I'm 56 and have had those same chest discomfort, among a multitude of others that you have seen on this board and I've had it since I was 25 yrs old and I'm still here with the same crap.
    The chest pain was nothing. I wish I could go back to worrying about that. Now, I've got all kinds of digestive problems and fears that I've brought upon myself. I keep dwelling on my initial dr's visit. How if I would have been more clear, all my current troubles could've been advoided.

    And, I know if I would've found this board back in Feb., I never would have went to the dr. I certainly wouldn't be writing this, either.
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    Last edited by weight39; 10-20-2004 at 09:15 AM.

     
    Old 10-20-2004, 08:49 PM   #7
    NancyH
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    Re: How I miss the chest pain

    Then go back, with paper in hand and read it to him, oh, digestive problems, it is very common with anxiety, ya know nerves do a number on the digestive tract along with everything else. when you talk about how you wish you had been more clear and so on and so forth, you are literally creating anxiety whether you know it or not. You are building a pattern of thought that you can use to sabotage yourself. We GAD folks can do that, if the dr says everything is ok then we will create a new worry,"what if the test was inaccurate, maybe the radiologist read it wrong, maybe he or she didn't understand me or believe me" Really, you are thinking gee, anxiety is for sissies, I don't feel anxious or nervous(don't have to feel it to have it either)so it must be something physical not mental. Heaven forbide you may have a mental disorder and that is not what your life plan had in mind. But yes, anxiety can disable folks, can keep you from enjoying life to the fullest, can bring on agoraphobia and all sorts of complicated manifestations. Anxiety folks are much too intuned with their body workings, feel or sense things much more intense than the average jo so every heartbeat you feel, the average person doesn't even know what you are worried about. It is a complicated issue, a mental disorder that manifests in physical illness real or unreal. Just posting this message causes me intense chest pressure and I feel like I can't breathe, yet I can run across the street right now with no problem, so I can create anxiety by just talking about it, many others here do likewise. Learn to relax, read your bodies signals, do what makes you feel better even if it is only for awhile.

     
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