I've been prone to panic attacks for about the last year. I've been trying to keep them at bay with medication and exercise and healthy diet, and have been pretty good lately. Yesterday I had a panic attack at around five in the afternoon -- I'd barely eaten all day, and drank a cup of coffee on an empty stomach. Soon I was shaking, having chest pains (nothing crushing, just discomfort), sweating, shakes, etc. I tried walking around the block to calm myself down, but then decided to drive myself to the ER to get checked out -- everyone in my family dies of heart attacks, and my GP told me always to take chest pain seriously.
They wheeled me right back at the ER, did an EKG, did x-rays, took blood, shoved an IV in my arm. I'd been thinking that they were just going to tell me it was a panic attack and send me home, but they took it deathly seriously, which of course scared me more. Five hours later, I was told that my two EKGs (they did a second one later) looked normal, that my cardiac enzymes were normal, that my x-rays were normal. The doctor, however, came back and said he wanted to admit me until Monday. "What for? You just said everything was normal." "Well, I want you to do a stress test because of your family history, and they can't do that until Monday." "Then I'll come back on Monday." After much wrangling, he let me go, but not before making me sign a waiver saying that I understood that I was still "at risk" by going home. I pulled the nurse aside and asked her what she thought, and she said, "Your tests were all fine. This doctor is just very, very cautious. I think you're perfectly okay. Your EKGs were fine, and your blood tests showed nothing."
Now, of course, having health anxiety, I'm still freaking out about what the doctor said and dreading the stress test on Monday. I do four miles a day on the treadmill without problem, and am now afraid to get on it today, thinking I'll drop dead -- despite the fact that I did it yesterday morning just fine.
I'm trying to think logically -- if all of these tests were fine, I did not have a heart attack, right? If only that doctor hadn't suggested I stay. Can someone talk me down, please?