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costochondritis or heart?

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Old 08-27-2008, 11:11 AM   #1
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pixietwin HB User
costochondritis or heart?

I posted this in the general topic section but think it might get more replies here, so I'll paste...thanks for any replies!

Sunday night at 2:30 am I woke up with what I thought was horrible gas trapped in my upper GI (I had eaten a huge tub of movie popcorn on Saturday afternoon which made me sick - and I made myself throw up (tried 7 times in one sitting because I was hoping to get that rich stuff off my stomach because I felt yucky) I had felt fine all day Sunday so I thought that this discomfort below my breast line was trapped gas. I had three Phazyme pills and two rolaids. Got to sleep but then woke up at 4 with it back again. It was painful and a gnawing pressure/moderate discomfort.

Of course, I became alarmed when it didn't change - constant. Woke my husband up and we were both concerned but thought it was just bad gas. I went to my chiropractor at 10 that morning and she did my regular adjustment but also used her clicker along the sternum/ribcage. This made it worse but that area was tender to begin with and she said it sounded like I caused trauma with the throwing up - made sense. The whole time in the car for the hour drive I was in pain...couldn't get comfortable. Any pressure on my back from sitting or laying down hurt more. By 1 p.m. I had to go see the local doc to get a pain pill. I described it and she said it was costochondritis. Now, my blood pressure was 150/90 which is high and my pulse was 123- I have big time white coat syndrome. I had been in pain for almost 12 hours, how could I not be stressed? She gave me Celebrex and Tramadol (which hardly helped at all). The Tramadol seemed to take an hour to kick in and gave a small amount of relief for an hour or less. I also took a muscle relaxer which helped some. At no time yesterday did I get 100% pain free.

Went to bed at 10 and slept for 12 hours thanks to the muscle relaxer. Woke up MOnday a.m. with no pain at all. Is this typical that costochondritis can sometimes last a day (in my case 18 hours?). Doc assured me it was not a heart attack - I did not sweat, run temperature, want to throw up or feel the pain move. It was constant gnawing hurt for 18 hours. She did not run any blood tests, just went off information I told her to give me a diagnosis.

It was the worst feeling I've ever had. Is that costochondritis? Came and went in less than a day?

I guess I was worried that it was really a heart attack or heart related but the doctor didn't catch it. You hear about thing kind of thing happening to women. I had no other symptoms and I have read that women don't have the typical ones that men have, some have no chest pain at all but are having a heart attack etc. I was just shocked at the sudden discomfort and soreness. The fact that it was totally constant for 18 hours! Not intermittant. I guess if it was a heart attack, the pain would not have lasted for 18 hours???? I can't find anything on the internet about the length of time of a heart attack or if costochondritis can go away in a day - most say that it can lasts for days, weeks or months. Nothing about 18-24 hours only. This is why I am still worried. However, it has not returned, so that is good. Doc also put me on 12 days of prednisone but I am diabetic and it's made my BS soar and heart rate stay around the 110 range. I think I'll take it for 5 days only because I'm worried about being on it for 12. Last time I was given prednisone, they said 5 days was all I should take a steriod since I'm diabetic.

So, my last question is if it was a heart thing, would it have lasted 18 hours at a constant gnawing ache in the same position or does it really seem to be costo or the worst gas ever! I've never heard of gas lasting 18 hours. I don't think it was bad popcorn. I didn't have to throw up but felt so yucky that I made myself. I'll never do that ever ever again! I guess I'm a bit of a hypochondriac but I don't want to think I've done damage to my heart by not going to the ER - I'm feeling fine now. Please tell me if you think this was a heart thing or just costo/muscle spasm. It really hurt and ached.

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Old 08-27-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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seaturtle HB User
Re: costochondritis or heart?


I believe the only way you'll find out is to go to doc and get an EKG and a stress test.

I have severe heart-attack-like pain from esophageal spasms, and the doctor thought it was heart until he checked me out with these tests.

Of course I am no doctor, but to me, the fact that it lasted that long would sound like it wasn't heart-related. But please make sure.

Hope you find out, let us know.

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