I will occasionally be awakened from deep sleep, usually during a dream, by chest pain. It first starts out mid chest, about at sternum. I feel sweaty and usually have a bowel movment. I will try to get back to sleep but the pain becomes more diffuse, from rib case to shoulders, back and arms. Muscles eventually become tender to the touch. Chest area especially continues to ache for several days. The first few times this happened I went to the ER for heart attack, and after extensive testing (even an angio after a false-positive stress test), cardic problems were ruled out, especially given the muscle tenderness. I do have GERD, but my Gastro doc ruled that out as a cause because of the muscle tenderness. My family doc thinks costochondritis, but why would my shoulder and arm muscles hurt if it's a chest wall condition? I'm very concerned the doctor's are missing something, yet this has been going on so long (a decade or more, every three or four months) that I guess it's not something that's going to kill me. Yet after a miserable night last night, I'd still like to understand it. Don't you think that's the hardest part, dealing with something you don't understand?
Thanks for listening, any feedback appreciated.