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Author Topic: Heart/Costochondritis  (Read 266 times)

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Offline famv5

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Heart/Costochondritis
« on: February 07, 2014, 11:54:57 AM »
I'm new to the boards.  I decided to join and hope that someone else might be going through similar things.

Here's the issues I'm dealing with right now.  About a year ago, I started to have this pain in my upper, left chest.  It would radiate into my shoulder and down my arm and was horrible.  I came so close to going to the ER but decided to lay down and relax and it helped.  I did go to my doctor the following day who did an EKG and it came back normal.  He pushed around on my chest in the spot I had the pain and it hurt so bad just like the pain I had the night before.  He said he thought it was something called "costochondritis" and gave me a steroid to take for a week.  It helped a little but I still would get that pain mildly off and on for the past year.  That leads me to last night.  The pain started so strongly I thought for sure something major was wrong.  Pain in my chest, down my arm, in my neck and shoulder.  Of course, worrying made things just intensify.  I ended up making some chamomile tea and laid down on a heating pad on my shoulder and it let up and went away.  When I woke up this morning, I felt fine but as soon as I started to get up and start my day, it's back.  Not as strong but it's back and my arm is achy.  I am thinking about it, though, and really focusing on whether I feel anything or not.  I hate this.  Why do I do this to myself? 

Of course, I always question whether what a doctor tells me is correct or not.  Like with costochondritis, it has many symptoms that I don't have.  So, how could I have it?  The only thing that calms me is that I've had more than one doctor tell me if I have a pain in my chest that I can reproduce by touching it, it's not the heart.  That's the only thing I can tell myself to help me calm down. 

Has anyone else dealt with this sort of thing?  I am really stressed out lately with many things so I can see how my anxiety level is through the roof.  I've been able to manage my anxiety on my own for years without medications but lately it's been getting really difficult. 
Oh and one more thing I should mention, is that my anxiety is mainly over health.  Any slight feeling of discomfort that I get, I immediately start to worry and then start researching online (which I know I shouldn't do but can't help it) and then I'm either worried more about something I read or feeling a little better about something I read. 

So just wondering if anyone has this same issue?  Anxiety is really a horrible thing.  My poor husband has no idea what I'm going through and I'm so tired of coming to him worried over something with my health and 9 times out of 10 it's nothing. 
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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Offline wegngis

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Re: Heart/Costochondritis
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2014, 03:43:37 PM »
You might have seen my response in the other post you replied to, but I'll tackle this post too.  I, too, have dealt with terrible chest pain for almost two years.  The general consensus is tightness and a lack of flexibility, along with my desk job, are wreaking havoc on my body.  Costochondritis has been brought up as a possibility as well.  But it sure doesn't feel that way.  It feels like I'm dying, every second of the day, every day of the week.  There are many on this board that express this better than I can, but the real challenge is for you to accept the diagnosis.  Just because you have a symptom doesn't mean you've got health anxiety.  It's when you have the symptom, and get checked out, and again, and again, and again....always believing that THIS time you'll get the right answer.  THIS time will reveal the real story, when in reality, the real diagnosis was there to begin with.  This is what I keep trying to tell myself too, so don't think I'm speaking down to you.  I'm right in the middle of it myself.  Even as I type this, I'm getting crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, radiating arm pain...the works.  But it's been happening for so long that I'm learning how to cope with the urge to run to the ER.

Also, Dr. Google pretends to be your friend, but he's not.  There's no substitute for an actual medical exam by trained doctors.  Very rarely does Dr. Google help any of us.  This may be the toughest thing to do, but you need to trust your diagnosis and step away from online researching.  There's no lasting peace that comes from that, only new things to worry about.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline famv5

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Re: Heart/Costochondritis
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2014, 04:58:09 PM »
Thank you.

It's so hard, though, to just accept it.  I feel like the one time I do, they will have missed something or were wrong.  My husband thinks I'm nuts because I go to the doctor, they tell me everything is fine but I still worry.  I've been three times for this same problem and now that we've moved to a new state and I have a new doctor, I think maybe I should see her, too.  I've only addressed this with my GP every time, though.  I've never been to a cardiologist or anything like that. 

I am a major worrier.  This past year I was convinced that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer.  Had my first mammogram that came back normal, thank goodness.  I had several u/s's that showed everything with my ovaries were normal.  So, I know a lot of this is me and my powerful mind. 

I also tell myself that if this were "heart" related it wouldn't just go away when I relax.  As I'm typing this, I feel the pain and achiness in my arm and the twinges of the chest pain.  I hate this.  Our minds are so powerful that you can think of something and make yourself feel it.

I agree that Dr. Google is not a good thing.  I was thinking to myself today why I race to that first to start researching symptoms and I guess I'm looking for something that will ease my mind.  Some sort of good news that will calm me.  But, usually it's just the opposite so I end up more anxious and creating more symptoms on myself. 

Again, I appreciate your comment to my situation.  It's helpful and will give me something to think about. 
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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Offline msgb98

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Re: Heart/Costochondritis
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2014, 08:33:04 PM »
I have had fibromyalgia for 22 yrs. I was the recipient of a older man hitting me at a stopped light.
A year and a half ago (almost two) my mother had an aortic dissection (the first of two in less than six months) and it was just 4 months after my father had a stroke.
I had lived through my own summer of hell just a year before that when I had three kidney stone surgeries in 8 weeks.
I had thought that my fibromyalgia was under control. It was but then all these stressors happened. One day when my husband and I were returning home from seeing my mother I stated that I needed to buy new bras because I could barely breath and the ribs and muscles were hurting tremendously. I kept it to myself that I thought there was something wrong. (My husband has lived through my having a DVT and the seriousness of that). I went the next day to the doctor sure that there was really something wrong. She felt around and stated that the relaxation and the safety that I had with the fibromyalgia was back and that what I was experiencing was costochondritis. I could not figure out why it felt at times like I was having a heart attack. She stated that the heart attack would be more in the chest and that she would not be able to recreate it when pressing in certain areas.
Less than six months later my mother was having what we all thought was a heart attack (called the ambulance). later that week she had the second of the aortic dissections. Again I had the costochondritis issues. I am told it comes up a lot when under stress. I know I ma under stress a lot because of this and because of my age and the issue of perimenopause which causes all sorts of issues in itself.
I take magnesium and I take epsom salt baths and I do take ibuprofen when needed. Heating pads are good and really the best thing is relaxation. I do acupuncture to help me with all of these as I refuse to take medication.
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