Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Chest pain, feet numb & stinging, fast heart rate, shortness of breathe

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Scott81321
  • November 2, 2010
  • 05:29 AM

Hi, I don't know what else to do, need help trying to figure out what is wrong with me and what I can do about it.

Sorry if this is long but its been ongoing for a couple years now and a lot has happened. Thank you for any help you'd be helping a desperate person.

Since about Oct 2008 I've been experiencing some unusual symptoms.


First I started getting a very sharp pain down the center of my chest out of nowhere. It is very fast coming on and extremely intense but is very, very brief. I've had this pain on and off since Oct 08. I think I tore something in my chest at work as I was straining extraordinarily hard but I thought I would include this.

I have another chest pain that is slightly left of center extending towards my left outer pec about the size of my hand covering that area. This pain feels more like soreness, sometimes heaviness that comes and goes. It can last minutes or on or off for hours. It seems to be triggered by exertion or cold air but I'm not certain.

I sometimes get shortness of breath with or without the dull aching chest pain. I don't have this symptom as often as the others but when I do it just feels wrong. I also get sort of a shaky feeling and often feel my heart flopping, sometimes a few times a minute, sometimes just an occasional flutter.

I've also been battling severe stinging pain and numbness in my feet, they also feel swollen, and used to be, but not anymore. I've been trying to walk every day as that seems to help the circulation and lessen this symptom greatly.


30 years old, Smoking, heavy alcohol abuse in past, 6'5'' 380 pounds. I was trim until 2003 and started gaining weight rapidly following anxiety and mood disorder medication and poor eating habits.

I recently found I had sleep apnea probably for 5 or so years and acquired a cpap machine. My sleep study showed 120 apneas per hour, yes twice a minute. My oxygen was dropping to 73%. I feel 1000% better since I got the cpap and many of my other symptoms I didn't list have vanished due to this. The symptoms I have listed have seen some improvement but are getting worse again so I think I still have something going on.

My resting heart rate before the cpap machine was 114, this persisted for at least a couple years as I did not have insurance. I discovered this as I was hospitalized for type-a flu in Feb of 2009. I couldn't catch my breathe it was very bad and the doctor just told me I had the flu and I'm going to die from smoking as his "diagnosis".

After cpap RHR is about 96 so it has gone down a lot. Blood pressure was 136/96 last I checked.

I saw a cardioligist and did a stress test, ekg, they found no abnormalities in either. He referred me to the sleep center which took me to this point here.

I have not gone back to the cardio Dr. yet as I am unemployed/no money and I owe a lot so I'm hoping to get some help here on these forums until I can get checked out more.

Mainly what I'm concerned about is why my heart is beating so fast, why when I walk/exercise I feel fragile, my heart feels very stressed, I do not feel strong and healthy like I used to. The chest pain on and off is torturous as I always wonder what is wrong with me. The shortness of breath is disturbing when it happens.

I couldn't get a straight answer from the sleep doc whether these years of bad apneas could have damaged my heart or whether it was reversible.

I know everything I should be doing, quitting smoking, losing weight, continuing to exercise, quality diet etc... and I'm doing my best to win that battle. I realize I've brought this on myself but I feel like I have some problems that need to be addressed as well in order to fully recover.

Any ideas, possible things to look into, who I should try to see first, tests... etc, anything would be of great help. I've done endless study on the internet and just can't hammer anything down as there's no substitute for being a real doctor.

Thanks in advance, Scott.

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