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Author Topic: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!  (Read 267 times)

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Offline JesserCat88

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Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:52:25 AM »
Lately I have been experiencing horrible sensations on my left side. My left arm/shoulder aches horrible along with my left hand, my back, directly over my heart area aches and almost has a numbing feel, my neck and jaw aches as well. The problem is, back in November I had an ekg and a stress test and echocardiogram done. Everything came back normal. But I read recently that the echo doesn't pick up on a lot of the blocked arteries so I need an angiogram. But my insurance only allows me to.see a specialist by referral only and my primary doctor doesn't think I need to.
Now here's a little background: I'm a 25 yr old female and in August of last year I was diagnosed with costochondritis. Since it hasn't improved my doctor sent me for an ANA panel which came back positive. So now I'm waiting to get into a rheumatologist. In the meantime, I am terrified I'm minutes away from a heart attack. Someone help me please
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Offline aardvark

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 11:07:46 AM »
I would say it's extremely unlikely, for four reasons:

1) You're 25
2) You're female
3) You have costochondritis, which accounts for the pain you're suffering
4) You've very recently had your heart tested and everything was normal
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Offline forever young

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 11:08:34 AM »
The stress test will show blockages. you are awful young to have blockages in your heart. if your Dr is not concerned to send you to a specialist you need to believe him. I know it is scarey but the fear is making it worse. I have been having back pain too and goes to my shoulder and up my neck. It feels muscular though. I would try not to be too anxious but that is hard too do. I feel like I should have some test done but am afraid to. what was the stress test like?
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Offline JesserCat88

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:41:19 PM »
Everyone tells me I couldn't possibly have anything wrong with my heart because I'm 25 but my mom and my 28 year old sister has heart issues. I'm just worried because noone can tell me what is going on. The doctors call it panic without even giving my concerns a second thought. I'm sick of these doctors. I just left 1 doctor because she was all about pushing pills over finding the underlying issue. One of which was a severe vitamin D deficiency. Thank God I found 1 doctor who gives a crap. But she's so confident that my heart is fine because my stress test came back fine. I'm just so overwhelmed. I'm a stay at home mom and I'm terrified I'll have a medical emergency and my infant daughter will be left alone. I just don't know what to do.
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Offline Lara71

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 06:24:23 AM »
Listen to Aardvark. The pain is costochondritis.
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Offline famv5

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 08:47:32 AM »
The pain of costochondritis "mimics" a heart attack.  I, too, have costochondritis and have been dealing with it off and on for the past year.  It will just start out of the blue and it's horrible.  I get the pain in my upper left chest that radiates down my left arm, into my upper back and neck.  I also have a very tender spot in the upper chest that makes the same pain when I push on it.   I can't tell you how many times I almost went to the ER because of it.  I know what it is, but when it's happening you can't help but feel worried and panicked. 

Some thing that helps me is to take something like an Aleve and then place a heating pad on my upper back and just lie down.  Drinking some chamomile tea helps me, too, or a warm bath.  It takes about 30 minutes to an hour but eventually I'll feel it start to subside.

My doctor doesn't seem concerned either.  I went to see her two weeks ago, actually, about this exact thing.  She prescribed a steroid and an anti-inflammatory med but I haven't started either since the pain disappeared.  She also suggested that I go and have a stress test done more for my own peace of mind.  She knows how anxious I am about it being heart related and thinks if I have the stress test done, it will help to lower my anxiety.

So, I know exactly how you feel and it is really scary.  But, try to do something to relax yourself when it happens.
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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Offline rileybug

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 11:08:34 AM »
you've been checked out by the doc-you're young so its probably just health anxiety.  I have the same worry but i'm 65 si its much more likely for me.
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Offline e77

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 11:41:02 AM »
An angiogram is an invasive procedure that can have significant and potentially fatal side effects.  They snake a tube through one of your veins into the heart.  Doctors won't order it unless they really believe you may have heart disease because they do not want to risk harming you if they don't think it's necessary.  Go with the doctors recommendations.  I have heart attack fears myself and in the age group where it's more common and my doctors gave me similar tests.  You will be ok.  Best wishes
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Offline JesserCat88

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Re: Somebody please help! Am I in danger of a heart attack?!
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 02:12:42 PM »
So if this is my costochondritis acting up, can it change the way it feels? My normal symptoms would include horrific, not being able to stand straight, chest pain with an aching pain in my arm. But the tender spots on my ribs are gone, and I now have this issue with my jaw. The pain stays to the left but it hurts under my arm on my chest, my chest, my arm, back, jaw, neck, and now my stomach is acting up. I take xanax for my anxiety and have actually started taking two at a time because I am getting so worked up over this. I called my primary care doc and she isn't available til Thursday and I am debating on going to the hospital. But when I first got costo, I was in the ER every other day and I know I am labeled as a hypochondriac there now. They don't even run tests anymore. I am given a room and when a nurse has a second she'll come in and tell me it's just my panic. I just don't know what to do. How do I know it's not heart related? Everything that is going on is the exact symptoms for a woman but it's also the exact symptoms of panic so I am at a lose as to what to do. I can't afford to keep going back and fourth to the hospital.
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