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Two abn EKGs (2010 & 2012), chest pain, arm numbness

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Old 03-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 367
gav_73 HB User
Two abn EKGs (2010 & 2012), chest pain, arm numbness

Hello all ~

I posted on here a couple of years ago about my abnormal EKG (computer read) showing possible left anterior ischemia, 12/2010. Had no symptoms except some shortness of breath. Passed stress test and echo with no abnormalities noted. Went on my way and that was that. (Normal EKGs in the past, 2006)

Fast forward 2/2012. Started suddenly falling asleep at the wheel. Tested for sleep apnea and narcolepsy, both negative. A couple of days ago I started feeling this strange dull, aching left chest pain, ache in left upper shoulders and numbness, tingling in left arm that seemed to get worse by the day. Felt like right before your arm falls asleep. Still functional but feels like you only have partial feeling, tingling. After the fourth day gyno told me to go to the ER (she's my only "regular" doctor and knows me well so I always call her LOL). Went to the ER, and to say I received "less than quality service" is putting in mildly.

They did an EKG, again abnormal. This time computer indicates LVH (and who knows why or what else it said. I only know because I asked what it said). They never even talked about it except to say that it was abnormal but I'm not having a heart attack). My blood pressure was SKY HIGH for me. I am usually around 105-110/70. It was 145/93. When I was pregnant my doctor put me in the hospital for preeclampsia and my blood pressure was only 140/70 and delivered when it was 160/100. So this is very high for me. Anyway, the ER said everything looked fine and I don't believe they ever took my blood pressure again during my visit.

They took blood but didn't tell me everything they tested - regular CBC without any additional detail other than the basic stuff, or what? They asked for a urinalisis, but when I checked out the cup of urine was upside down on the room floor - obviously never checked. They took a CT scan but didn't tell me of what - head, chest? I have no idea. They did an x-ray but it was not discussed.

Basically the only feedback I received was a 10 minute visit from the doctor before I was released saying everything was normal and to follow-up with a neurologist (for other symptoms). The nurse came in to release me and said the doctor recommended follow-up also with a cardiologist. I asked why, if they saw anything concerning, and she said "they always tell everyone that who comes in with chest pain). I was also told that I was "a little bit" anemic - followed up with, "but not so anemic that you need a blood transfusion." What the heck does that even mean? So I'm thinking everything was just normal and no worries.

Well, here we are 3 days later and the numbness is more prominent and the chest pain is still there. It lasts for approximately 10 minutes with shoulder, upper back, and tingling/numbness, infrequent elbow pain along with it - all on the left side. It goes away and then comes back every 30 minutes are so. Today is the first day that I've had a little bit of relief.

I should say that the "pain" is more of an annoyance that won't go away, a dull (not sharp) ache, left/center chest, and very "non-specific" as far as pin-pointing the area of pain. It just feels very deep inside.

I am at a loss as to what is going on. Obviously I need to be seen by someone else to follow up. But I have no idea whether I should follow-up with a cardiologist or just pay attention, or if there could be something wrong? I'm so upset about this ER visit that I am at my wits end. (By the way, I turn 39 next month, if that helps. And heart disease runs in my family, but really only with the men).

Any advice or feedback would be so much appreciated (good grief, sorry so long).

Last edited by gav_73; 03-09-2012 at 01:50 PM.

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:03 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 367
gav_73 HB User
Re: Two abn EKGs (2010 & 2012), chest pain, arm numbness

Anybody out there?

Any help and advice would be so much appreciated. I know that you guys probably get the same questions over and over. I have searched through over 100 pages of this message board hoping to find something similar to my issue and experience but didn't run across anything about my specific ongoing symptoms and such a horrible experience in the ER. For example, I found many things about anxiety and chest pain, heartburn and chest pain, abnormal EKGs that aren't necessarily indicative of heart problems, etc.

I should say that I am not an anxious person but I do have GERD and Barrett's Esophagus; however, I've had it for so long I am VERY aware of the difference between what I'm feeling and heartburn. But just wanted to let you know that I've considered those things. It doesn't seem related at all to either one in my situation.

However, I was unable to find anything regarding several years of normal EKGs followed by two years of abnormal EKGs indicating the same area of abnormalities (left side anterior ischemia without symptoms (2010) and LVH with symptoms (2012)).

The 2010 echo (which I assume is an exercise test with ultrasound? Or is that a nuclear stress test?) was normal, and since I wasn't experiencing symptoms or chest pain I just figured everything was fine. The report was not very informative though, very high-level with not very many notes from the cardiologist that read it - by the way, my PCP ordered the stress test, not a cardio, if that makes any difference. And no medical doctor was present during the test).

The recent trip to the ER was even less informative and I honestly don't even know what they did. I'm interested in whether or not they checked the calcium that I've read about so much. I really need to take a look at the ER medical records. Like I said, I am not even sure what the CT scan was about - head or chest.

Anyway, thanks for listening and when you get a chance, I would love to hear your thoughts. I should add that the chest pains have somewhat subsided since yesterday. I was still very, very tired. And Saturday I was still having mild discomfort and actually experienced some pressure that made it a bit more difficult to breathe deeply, without any arm numbness though. What I'm curious about is whether or not someone can have a heart condition that presents symptoms and then goes away after a week. If it started to subside, would that indicate in and of itself that it's NOT a heart problem? And one more thing, my blood pressure went down also to totally normal (135/79), but still a little high for me. So there doesn't seem to be an issue there, I guess.

Thanks guys. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Last edited by gav_73; 03-12-2012 at 07:24 AM.

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