Discussions By Condition: Chest conditions

Chest sensations and other issues. Possible anxiety?

Posted In: Chest conditions 0 Replies
  • Posted By: SkaarjSlayer
  • April 28, 2012
  • 02:12 AM


In order to give as much detailed information as possible, I'll start from the beginning. To start off, I am a 19 year-old male who has smoked cigarettes regularly for a little less than 2 years.

About two months ago, I'm sitting in a computer lab at my college when suddenly I have the sensation of what I originally described as my heart beating irregularly. I've never had this sensation before and it persists for the next few days. Looking back, the feeling was more of a pressure, tightness, or sensation in my chest that would move from the bottom of my chest under the ribcage and move up.

Anticipating the worst, I get myself checked out at a hospital a few days later where the nurses and doctor take blood tests and electrocardiograms. I also get my chest x-rayed and my heart listened to with a stethoscope. Everything, the ECGs, the blood tests, x-ray and physical examination by the doctor show that there is nothing wrong with my heart or lungs and that the most likely cause is GERD. I drink a lot of soda so it made sense to me. Doctor prescibes pantropazole which I buy that day and take for the next few days.

I cut down on smoking a tiny bit and stopped drinking soda altogether. However, the sensations don't go away despite the medication but I'm feeling more or less fine until one night on a city bus where I experience what I can only describe as a panic attack. Never had them before, but the experience was light-headedness with sudden surges of adrenaline that almost made me pass out along with sudden extremely rapid heartbeat and hyperventilation. Not knowing what the heck is wrong, I immediately get off at the next stop and call 911. The ambulance picks me up, I get a million more ECGs done in the ambulance and in the hospital (I could probably do them myself now, lol) and stay there for the next few hours. After an examination of the ECGs, a physical examination of my heart (which is beating normally now), and a talk with the doctor about my symptoms and previous visit to the hospital, the doctor lets me go home telling me I am fine but giving me a just-in-case appointment with a cardiologist for ultra-sound testing on my heart. He also says the GERD was probably a misdiagnosis and I stopped taking the pantropazole. I also took a cab home because I tried to take a city bus and almost had another panic attack. At the time I guess the experience earlier that night had still shaken me up, I can take city buses without problem now.

A week or two passes, and there's a couple of times where I had a similar but less severe form of panic attack. Weird sensations in the chest I can only describe as tightness, tingling, or pressure, with occasional instances of pain. I eventually see the cardiologist, get the ultra-sound on my heart done and wait another week to get the results without feeling any better. Results come in, I go back and the cardiologist says the ultra-sound shows my heart is fine. He says the most likely scenario is a "short-circuit" of the heart where extra electrical signals make my heart give extra beats which I think was just an easy way of explaining away the panic attack I had on the bus that night without answering any of the other symptoms I've had.

Since then, I've been alright. I don't have the "panic attacks" anymore but what has not relented are the occasional headaches that go along with a feeling of pressure behind my left eye, lightheadedness, dizziness, occasional shortages of breath (taking a big deep breath doesn't feel like I'm taking a deep breath at all), and sensations of numbness/tingling/creeping along my chest especially around the location of my heart. Upon looking up symptoms online (which is never healthy because apparently I'm not suffering from a stroke or heart attack, but experiencing all the symptoms), I found this thread:


The poster of that thread is exactly describing all the symptoms I have as of right now. I smoke, I don't really exercise, and I don't eat as healthy as I should be but I'm not overweight. I am 6'0" at around 180-190 lbs. I don't do drugs, done pot several times but my first time was at the beginning of this school year and it's been a while since I last did it because I've realized it really isn't for me. On top of that, I've had blood tests, an x-ray of my chest, physical examinations, and ultra-sound of my heart, multiple electrocardiograms, all of which have turned out no results. I almost feel like I should go and get an MRI to make absolutely sure I'm ok but every visit to a doctor I've had over this has made me feel stupid because they all tell me there's essentially no reason I should be feeling this way. The only event which occurred directly before all of this happened was when I tried to quit smoking and went back to smoking regularly again when nicotine withdrawal started severely inhibiting my ability to concentrate on school.

Is it some kind of anxiety disorder? Like I said, the guy in the thread I posted above seems to have that and experienced the same things I have. I've never had this problem before, nor does anyone in my family. Nor has anyone in my family had heart problems at this young of an age, anyone I know of that has had them well into their senior years.

Would like thoughts, opinions, and definitely the word of anyone who's had similar problems.

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