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Author Topic: breathing, smothering sensation again  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Calamy

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breathing, smothering sensation again
« on: January 24, 2013, 06:12:36 PM »
The other day I was on the phone with a bank and I realized during the call that I was gulping down great heaps of air and talking a million miles an hour. By the time the call was over I was in full blown panic because I was thinking I couldn't catch my breath. I was really nervous on the phone (as always) and just talking waaaay too fast and barely breathing and when I did breathe it was a huge gaspy thing.

Today I have spent the day with the most horrible breathlessness, smothering sensations. I keep yawning, taking in giant deep breaths, feeling like I am not getting enough air.

When I do small things like bend down to pick something up, I am out of breath and panting, gulping air. When my heart rate goes up just a leeeetle, I feel breathless. My muscles are also feeling really tired -- like I will be at the counter cutting veggies and after a bit my arm just feel fatigued and I then feel a bit out of breath like I need to rest.

My stomach has been bugging me, and I realized that I was pulling in my stomach, clenching it in and it felt a bit better when I relaxed and forced the muscles outward. It also felt better to hold my breath. My muscles are just tired of breathing and fatigued.

I'm seeing my doc again tomorrow but they have told me so many times that it's anxiety and hyperventilation etc. but I don't believe them. (Last stress test was 8 weeks ago and was fine. I also had a cardiac memo For a week in late December and saw my cardio guy on Jan 4 where we reviewed the extrasystoles and everything was okay. He said I was fine and just need to lose weight and exercise.)

So I SHOULD feel confident, right? But I don't. I don't feel confident at all. I feel panicked and worried and like I can't catch my breath.

The only things I can think of are: my anemia might be worse (I was borderline normal last time we checked it and I haven't had my iron supplement); I am getting over the flu and still have a cough so that could be causing the aches and lung sensations); my ANXIETY and hyperventilating.

Or I catastrophize and think it's my heart. Which is what I always think it is. I am obsessed with that thought.

Anyone have any comforting words? Similar sensations? Helpful advice? Please?
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline laura124

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 06:56:54 PM »
I'm not sure how comforting this will be, but I have had the exact symptoms from anxiety.  I'm a runner so the only thing that helps with regulating my breathing is taking a run/jog on the treadmill.  It sort of forces my breathing back into normal rhythm.  Obviously, if you don't normally exercise, I don't suggest you go out and run 5 miles or anything. Practicing deep breathing through your belly instead of shallow breathing through your chest can help too.  But I can tell you that the more you think about it, the more it hangs around. 
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Offline Calamy

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 07:05:16 PM »
Thank you, laura:) I've gotten myself so in a dither that I am doing that shakey leg thing where I shake my leg and can't stop because I'm so nervous.:( I'lm trying to think of other stuff besides my breathing. Even earlier this morning it was not this bad (anxiety), I was just concerned. Now I'm full out freaked and shaking. You would think having these symptoms before would make me not freak out but it's never that way:(
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline Calamy

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 07:41:13 PM »
I should add that my heart does beat harder/faster on doing small things, like exerting myself a little. It's strange because this has happened to me before (when my iron was very low I felt like this constantly for months), there are times when I get up and walk to the bathroom and my heart's pounding and I can't catch my breath. Then a week or two later I feel fine again doing the same thing. I have had 4 stress tests in 2 years (last one like I said was 8 weeks ago and I did 40 seconds better on that one than the previous one). I have been cleared by my cardiologist but when I get symptoms like this, I can't think straight and always go straight for HEART ZOMG stuff.

Of course, it could be iron, anxiety, my cough etc. But in my mind, you know how it goes. They always say, "Why are you still scared when you have been told repeatedly by so many doctors and had so many tests?" To me, it's definite unless you have an angiogram and no one will give me one because there's no evidence of anything being wrong with my heart (I have had every other test except nuclear stress test and my current cardio even thinks that's not necessary.) What they ALL say is necessary for me is therapy and MEDICINE. (Zoloft or Effexor or whatever.)
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline Calamy

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 08:57:31 AM »
I am now wondering if it is dehydration causing my heart that's going fast and the weakness and can't catch my breath stuff. I had the flu starting the 12th and was sick all week and hardly ate anything (no appetite). Had a low fever for 5 days, went away, then came back for a day. Since then I have hardly been eating (yesterday had a hard boiled egg for lunch and a salad with a bit of grilled chicken for dinner.) I have NOT been drinking anything more than to just take pills with (a couple of swigs a day.)

I have lost 10 pounds in 13 days. I lost almost 2 pounds since yesterday and the day before that I had also lost 2 lbs so that's about 4 lbs in 2 days. Because I'm not eating/drinking.

I looked up dehydration and it says you can get dizzy, your heart rate will elevate and your heart will pound, you get weakness and muscle spasms. This is what I'm feeling. I'm still seeing my doc today and get some blood tests to see if it's my iron etc. but hopefully it is something simple that can be fixed with some gatorade and eating/drinking properly again.

Thing is I still have no appetite so eating and drinking is really difficult at the moment.
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline vardnas

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 10:25:31 AM »
Stop reading things on the internetódoing so will make you your own worst enemy.

ANXIETY can do all the things you are describing. A cardiologist has cleared you, now you must accept that your heart is a-okay. That smothering sensation is very common amongst anxious peeps and focusing on anything the body does automatically will practically always make it go wonky.

Look at anxiety this way:  if life is like running a marathon, life with anxiety is like running a marathon with a piano strapped to your back. It taxes the body and just naturally causes things to be harder.

Eat food, keep drinking water, get some exercise every day and find ways to TREAT your anxiety instead of simply feeding your fears. Go find a therapist if you haven't already. Do some CBT. Be proactive in helping yourself. Ultimately, that is the only way you will eventually feel better. 
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline Calamy

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Re: breathing, smothering sensation again
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 04:31:08 PM »
Thank you, vardnas. I needed the pep talk:)

I had blood taken today to test my CBC and iron levels. Cardio doc said I looked a bit pale so I'm thinking it's a combination of dehydration/anxiety/hyperventilating and anemia (anemia has caused me severe shortness of breath and fatigue in the past). He thinks my iron may be at about 10. Supplements here I come!
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

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