I'll start with a nonrelated problem, because it will come up later.
I have esoniphilic esophagitis caused by eating milk whey-protein. Also from stomach acid, on occasion when it has opportunity to stay in my esophagus for long enough, such as sleeping flat. Milk-EE problem had been occuring long time (dozen years), but never figured out what the problem was, so I didn't go to a doc. Later had the Gerd-EE start up, (never had a problem before). Figured out the trick of putting 4inches of boards under the head of the bed. Around the same time I isolated whey protein as my milk allergen and started isolating milk products with whey from those without. Problems all gone. JAN/FEB 2008: Went to a doc. Got a diagnosis, via endoscopic procedure involving a biopsy. Doc says biopsy positive, esophagus looks great, stomach is great, duodenal bulb inflamed, but no infection or obvious cause for the duodenal bulb inflamation. I had no problems at that point with either type of EE, because i'd avoided the causitive factors and all is well.
Late MAY 2008: repeat a half a dozen times. A few hours later I was at work. Had some chest pain, seemed like it was upper right side of chest, radiating and electric in the variation and on/off type of nature. Lasted 10 seconds or so.
About 30 minutes to an hour or so later I felt dizzy when standing and then like my brain turned off and then back on and then instant high intensity panic. I had a coworker call me a ride to the hospital.
When asked if I had any current symptoms by the people that seen me at work, I had mentioned a very very light pressure on/behind the sternum, so light that it might not even be real, might be just because im thinking about it. Turns out i'd have that (24 hours a day) for 2 months and get better aquainted with it.
They ran some bloodwork (one of which was d-dimer), chest xray, ekg. All negative. I told them I was ok currently but that I had felt dizzy/faint and panic. That was stupid, since they used that to classify me as Panic Disorder.
Went back to work... I think that I had some mild anxiety over the next day. The day after My head got real heavy when I stood up to leave work, I sat back down. It stayed that way. I left to go home, at some point it went away or more likely I adjusted to it. At home I made something to eat and it felt like it got stuck in my esophagus or struck something causing pain and that phantom sensation of it remaining stuck. It turns out to be the latter, since I have some background on getting food stuck due to the EE, I could tell it was a fake sensation. My face and lips went numb though, and I felt strangely super tired as if I needed to concentrate or move to not go under. The urge felt strange, or I wouldn't noticed or mentioned it, but It wasn't terribly hard to resist, because I did.
I went in to lie down 2 or 3 hours later, on the bed. laying down produced instant strange head sensations and chest sensations behind the sternum and a throbbing 70 beats per minute pulse in my mid left side (which is apparently where the stomach is according to online anatomy pictures), and anxiety. I got up and went back to the chair. It doesn't recline. I had to make do sleeping on it, sitting up. Anxiety started up upon trying to sleep. I believe that happened every night for two month since, including an anxiety feeling i'll call surety-of-death-by-morning, and night sweats.
Weekend approached, got in the car to go to my parents house 1.5 hours away from my place and my work (with no intent on coming back). Driving made the chestpain slightly worse, the chestpain made the anxiety worse. I got 30 miles and pulled into a hospital that is on the route. I couldn't resist because of the current feelings and the memory of the night before's feelings. They gave me a chest xray, ekg, blood test, ct scan (I believe of my head, maybe they shoulda did the chest.). Sent me on my way.
I can't remember the next few weeks in accurate order. But I stayed either at my parents or my grandmothers house, for a week or less. With headaches, chestpain sternum area, anxiety. Went to a doctor between my workplace & home and my parent & grandparents home. It's near the hospital that I had stopped at on the way through. I don't remember the content of my first visit to him, that whole two weeks is blurry, I think this is when he reccomend a heart test or two, and set them up for a couple weeks later (thank goodness he isn't the one that fears death nightly).
He also put me on some ppi's when he knew that so many months back I'd been diagnosed with EE. He said that I should have taken it for GERD which causes EE. I told him that I rarely my entire life except 3 times early in the year every had any GERD symptoms. He still reccommended them for no other reason than that I had had an edoscopic procedure, and he thinks that I should have been on them for a certain amount of time after that. I didn't mind, so I took a bunch of samples.
I just remember that I used the excuse during that trip and that I was halfway to my place with a stopover at the midway point to make an effort to get back to my place so I could attend work and stay at my house, etc.
Needless to say I had convinced myself with the help of that doc and the ER visits that nothing was wrong with my heart or anything bad like Lung-PE or anything that would drop me dead instantly, and decided to look up some of my symptoms at the library, and noticed that there were some things that about all 5 top things that fit my symptoms that it said at medical sights aren't easily noticeable with just an xray and ekg and general blood tests. One fit my symptoms really well (in that my chestpain behind the sternum area felt better upon standing and worse while sitting, actually felt worse when I called it an evening and tried to sleep while sitting and better in the morning.) and was heart valve related and that you can drop dead any second from that one. haha.
The anxiety and chestpain that has been 24/hr a day thing and still was there caused me along with my realizing that I'm not neccessarily free of having a real problem caused me a real panic attack and I knew it. So I tried to walk it off in and outside of the library and sit it out in the car. 2 hrs passed by without my heart coming back down or panic feeling leveling off (I didn't agree with 'it', but it didn't listen to me. I've noticed from these experiences that panic and anxiety are completely dissassociated from self, often they've started before I knew why, or even in the absense of a why, and in this case I knew the why) and ultimately I drove myself to the hospital. I hoped to get some more tests, turns out I was able to talk them into keeping me overnight. It was the best nights sleep I had in awhile.
I called in for some anti-panic/anxiety medicine to my doc, left a message, never got a return call back. Turns out he called it in to the place near my apartment that I had requested by phone but didn't mention to me that he did so. haha.
This will become a book if I don't abbreviate the rest and since my memory is poor anyway that will make the job easier. The hospital released me the next day. and scheduled the same tests that the other doctor scheduled, but in a week from current. I intended on getting time off work and staying with my family so I turned down that offer and stayed on schedule for my current doctor's tests.
Worked a week or so. Had symptoms constantly. Also had Esophagitis symptoms, with no causitive factor. The worse symptom was and has been the Chestpain that was 24/7 got worse on sitting and worse on a slight sleeping recline in a chair. (Turns out it caused the anxiety & panic & nightsweats & fear of death, because much months later I managed to get the chestpain to lessen significantly.) Got time off of work. (ended up being 2 and a half months or thereabout)
Heart tests were all negative. Esophagitis got worse, lost 10 pounds in a week, 20 in two weeks. Inability to swallow with increased salivation and anxiety that is specific to these symptoms. Its hard to sleep when you feel like your going to gag on your own saliva. I had to stay awake all night finally when it got real bad and drive into the doctor. I asked for and received some anti-panic/anxiety (klonipin, not sure of spelling) medicine.
I ended up needing this at night just before sleep. Sometimes I couldnt sleep without it. Inability to sleep from the anxiety would make the anxiety worse, and it always was worse when sleeping. I think it was the angle of recline that made it worse. Degree of recline made all difference in these symptoms. Standing was mild, sitting was much worse, anything greater than 90° like reclined sitting 110-135° was causing my night sleeping pain and panic and anxiety that I wouldn't wake up the next morning. 180° laying down caused what I described way back up there, such symptoms that I hadn't slept laying down for months, and still to this day haven't except for one more attempt later.
I forced him to schedule me a test: he scheduled me a barium swallow for so many days into the future. Turns out I had a hiatal hernia and esophagal spasms, and he thinks this is what was causing the reoccuring uncontrolled EE, in this case GERD EE, because Hiatal Hernia was pushing stomach acid into the esophagus consistantly enough to cause a prolonged reaction. The PPI pills that he had given me weeks earlier actually hadn't felt like they had participated in that until just before the barium swallow. I got lucky that he had prescribed them to me for no specific reason earlier.
I also had been taking daily 330mg aspirin because even though one of the ER's had told me there isn't any problem with me they had suggested that I take 330mg aspirin daily when they kicked me out.