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Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3
needanswer32 HB User
Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

I am 30 years old and smoke about 3/4-1 pack of cigarettes a day. I had recently started to feel a tightness in my chest that had sharp pains when I took a deep breath. This occured early in the day and got worse as the day went on. By 6 pm that night, I could hardly catch my breath due to the pain. It felt as if something very heavy was placed on my chest keeping me from expanding my lungs and had sharp pains with ever breath. I tried to wait it out thinking it would go away. It only got worse to include rapid/racing heart beat, sweating, dizziness, and joint pains. I went to the ER and was instantly put in a room and had multiple Chest/Lungs tests done. My breathing was showing 100% (even though i felt I was hypervenalting due to lack of oxygen) I was given morphine to make me more comfortable, which it did calm me some, but the pain was still there. All tests came back as healthy with no problems. The only thing they were able to find was a couple spots on my lungs which indicated I had recently had pneumonia???? (although I have not felt ill other than sinus issue occasionally, for a good year or better) and my white blood count was high. I was told it could be a panick attack or acid reflux and they don't know what was going on and asked if I would like
for them to admitt me. At this point I am glad it is not a heart attack but scared to know if this really is a panic attack that I will have it again and it is out of my control. I was sent home with 7 different meds which consist of Vicodins, muscle relaxers, anti inflammitory pills, anti-biotics, inhalers,pepto and a few others. The pain and pressure for the following 2 days was a bit better but still pretty rough. i guess I am hoping someone on here has had the same problems and I can have a better idea as to how/why this takes place. Or just what the heck is wrong with me.

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Old 02-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 130
Re: Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

I'm really sorry that you aren't feeling well, I know that can be scary. I would HIGHLY suggest that you kick the smoking now though before it does lead to something serious. I'm sure you already know that it isn't good for you, but maybe this was/is a sign that you really need to give it up. Second, I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for the past 12 years and I'm now 26. I've been to the ER a few times thinking that something was very wrong with me and I've had numerous tests all that come back saying I'm perfectly healthy. It sounds to me like you most definitely could've had a panic attack. They are very scary, but try not to dwell on the fact that it's possible you could have another one. You could, but then again it's entirely possible that you won't. Smoking is a proven trigger for anxiety and panic also. It may have never bothered you before, but our bodies change and things that used to not bother me at all bother me terribly now. Not fun, but the way it is for now.

I think it's odd that you would've had spots on your lungs from pneumonia without knowing that you had it Pneumonia isn't exactly something that you're over in a day or two so I'm pretty sure you would've picked up on it. I would see your primary care physician for that and tell them what the ER docs said and see what he has to say about it.

Try to take it easy and just relax, but definitely get seen by your doctor.
We need to stop thinking of the least uncomfortable way to change. We need to look at our fears, and step in that direction.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 07-26-2011 at 11:20 AM.

Old 02-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
chaosx8 HB User
Re: Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

Two weeks ago I had my first anxiety attack. Or the 1st one that was bad enough that I couldn't poo-poo it away. And you described it PERFECTLY.

I smoke 2-3 cig per day. I only smoke while in my car and when I am by myself. Those are MY self inposed rules to keep me from smoking alot. I quit often--but always seem to go back (it helped my anxious feelings). I am on a "stop" now--I need to see if my meds will help me--I asked my doctor to put me on a antihistimine instead of a benzo. I am scared of becoming addictive (I once was addicted to Vicodin).

Don't be scared to have anxiety. You, at this point seem to have a healthy heart and lungs. That is huge. Anxiety can be treated--you just have to have patience and find the right drugs. Deep breathing and counting really seems to help too. Good Luck!!

Old 02-10-2010, 11:47 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3
needanswer32 HB User
Re: Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

Thank you! I know smoking is not helping this or any situation and I am trying to mentally prepare myself to quit. I guess I just needed someone to confirm these symtoms I was experienceing was/could be panic related. Most of my fears with this would be to rely on a drug to calm me or taken daily for preventative measures. I lost a father due to prescription med abuse and have always been against them. Its pretty scary to know these attacks are some what out of your control and I have always been able to talk myself out of one in the past. I have never felt one like this before and was sure some thing more was going on. (which freaked me out more) As for my lungs, I am not sure what the deal is.....I have not been ill for a good year or better and thought I would have noticed something like that (or even flu like symptoms) But other than being a bit tired, I felt great! They also noticed my white blood cell count was high which could have been due to what ever was going on with my lungs. Anyway, thank you very much!!!! I needed to know panic attacks can have these type symptoms. And I am awaiting my check up with my doctor.

Old 02-17-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 66
Valkatie HB User
Re: Sudden center chest pain and shortness of breath

This was me 2.5 months ago. I quit smoking after it happened. It scared me too much. I am 30 years old as well but also have a thyroid issue. Just to let you know your thyroid could also be causing the heart problems. I would have you family dr do a COMPLETE thyroid panel. TSH, T3, T4, free t4, and free t3

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