Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Chest Pains, EKG, Panic/Anxiety Attacks

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 0 Replies
  • Posted By: ddovidenko
  • October 8, 2007
  • 00:54 PM


I've been reading some of the posts on these forums and thought maybe someone has experienced what I am going through. Background Info:

I'm a 22 year old male, 283lb, 6'2". When the problems first began I weight about 305lb, but I've been working on losing the weight since then. At the time the problems occured I was going through some stress at work (I am a programmer/systems admin) as I am right now to a leser degree. My car was in the shop due to a screwup by an "oil change technician" resulting in me needing a new engine.

About 3 weeks ago I found it hard to fall alseep and my fingers and palms were going numb. I had some pains in my chest area that were hard to define, it was more like someone putting light pressure on spots around my chest on or under my ribs and I felt my heart racing. I also had to sleep with my upper body elevated (3 pillows.) I also felt like I would die or something horrible was about to happen. The next day after getting a few hours of sleep I made it in to work. After 2 hours I was feeling too freaked out with the same symptoms so I had my coworker drive me to the ER.

At the ER I got an EKG test and about 4 blood tests, I do not remember what they were. The EKG came out 'perfect' to quote the doctor and my blood work was all normal. My blood pressure I believe was about 150/90 when I came in, it was about 130/80 when I left. They told me I had panic/anxiety attacks and I felt better that night.

I saw my physician about a week later as I was still freaking out and having trouble sleeping without using a few pillows to prop my self up. He listened to my heart and checked my blood pressure and said my heart sounds fine and that I need to work on lowering my blood pressure by losing weight. After that visit I felt better and have not 'freaked out' so far after seeing the doctor.

I do have some concerns though. I feel some pressure in my wrists, shoulders, and all around my chest on both sides. The pressure is usually at night when I'm resting and not working. It occurs at times when im trying to sleep and after work. I do not get pains when I exercise however. I would give the pressure/pain a 1 out of 10 as far as pain level. It's more of a discomfort than anything else. While I'm not freaking out with worry of dying I do feel anxious at times. Some times when Im trying to fall asleep I get pulpitations and I can often feel my heart beat when I exhale after a deep breath.

I'm sorry for writing a whole essay, but I would like to get your opinion if I should:

1. Go to a different doctor? I'm not on an HMO, I'm on a PPO so I could see a specialist right away.

2. Should I just make my current doctor do an EKG? He didn't feel it was needed last time because the hospital said it was fine.

3. How long does an EKG typically take? When I was at the hospital they spent about 15 seconds actually monitoring my heart. Is this enough to tell if there is a problem? How accurate are EKG's, do they detect enlarged heart issues, angina and so on?

4. Is this just anxiety? Am I just insane? Should I just try to take some time off and see if I can get some sedatives to calm me down until my schedule is back to normal?

5. Can someone who has had known heart related pain describe what it feels like? Would I know it if I had it? Is it very painful or can it be mild like I described?

Thank you for your help in advance!

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