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Author Topic: Back again damn it!  (Read 200 times)

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Offline Natsab87

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Back again damn it!
« on: June 02, 2014, 05:51:36 AM »
So I was kind of hoping that by now (8 months after I initially joined) I wouldn't need to return as my anxiety would have gone. This is not the case!

I originally came here with brain tumour fears brought on by headaches. It effected me massively and I couldn't eat, I wanted to sleep, I lost weight, I was tranfixed on the idea of a tumour that it ruined my life. After a couple of months I had a CT, MRI, eye test etc etc and was reassured and told I have a sinus polyp probably unrelated and it seems that way seeing as the headaches have gone! Funny eh.

Now I have a heart attack fear. I knew I would move onto something else and I am so angry with myself. At the time of my headaches, I thought well it has to be something awful because I have physical symptoms (not just mental symptoms) therefore it will be a tumour. When I was reassured, the headaches went and I now know I made the headaches happen because of my worrying. I wish I could do the same with my heart but I don't know how.

Over the last month or so i've been getting palpitations. They can be at anytime and I feel my pulse and it stops and thuds. It terrifies me and makes me feel faint and weird. I had an ECG which was normal (I didn't have the palps at the time of course.. typical). I reassured with this at all so I had a 24 hour one which showed bigemeny and trigemeny which is an arrythmia showing short and long beats and apparently as per my GP is normal. There are two types of palps and these are ok. They have eased off loads since I was told this... funny again eh!

Now, I am getting chest pains. I find it so hard to describe them because they're really random. Sometimes it's a nerve pain in my sternum, sometimes it's sharp pains around my heart area and sometimes it does feel tight but without knowing what cardiac pain feels like how do I know? I used to exercise a lot (before anxiety took over my life) and never had this. I also didn't have a hight heart rate which I do now. The machines at the gym tell me my heart rate is up to 182 sometimes and flashes 'dangerous' when I am exercising and this terrifies me but is it because I am unfit? I got one of those polar monitors and it tells me my heart rate isn't within the desired range.. hmmmm I guessed it wasn't but why?!. I went for a run with my boyfriend yesterday, we did circuits in the field and I felt like that chest pain came on again. Again hard to explain it. I had pain down my left arm like around my shoulder and elbow, but this came on after moving my arms doing star jumps so is that muscular?! When I checked my watch after my workout, it said my maximum heart rate was 205! That's just terrifying and no wonder I felt exhausted. I am terrfied that I shouldn't be exercising and am going to have a heart attack(but my other anxiety is getting fat!!) so not exercising isn't an option for me!!

I often get pins and needles in my arms down the outside into my fingers just when sitting down. Which makes me think it's a nerve pain and something gets trapped.

Anyway.. I have an echocardiogram today just to reassure me but I am sure they're going to say something bad, or nothing at all and I still won't be reassured.

Sorry for the essay but anxiety is really consuming me today (it does most days but today I can't concentrate) and need some reassurance. Anxiety ruined Christmas for me and my bf and I are looking to buy a house and start a family but how can we when I can't stop worrying :-( BTW I am 27 and weight 8st2 if that helps anyone wanting to comment/advise!! :(
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Offline rap_Talon

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 08:39:43 AM »
Hey there, and welcome back to the forums! I'm sure you don't need to be told this, but it's standard to do so around here: I'm not a doctor. I can't tell you what's wrong, or make a diagnosis. I can, however, share my experiences with you, and hope to relieve a little of your anxiety.

Firstly,  heart attacks don't just happen. They're caused, predominantly, by a blockage of the blood to the heart, typically from Coronary heart disease. You're not going to have one just completely out of the blue, and without warning. The majority of cases of them are in people with known heart problems, or other risk factors - blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes.

Now without knowing your age/weight, it's impossible to know for sure what your recommended maximum heart rate is, but I can tell you that 205 is too much. I think you know that. I'm not sure what you were doing at the time, but my suggestion would be that your body is not quite ready to tackle it just yet. You might want to tone down your exercise a little in all respects, get the numbers down. As a solitary reading that's nothing to worry about, but if you push too much it could cause problems. Build your fitness slowly, there's no rush. This would likely also be why you're having pain, illness. I'd say it looks very likely that you're exhausting yourself, by trying to do too much. A doctor could tell you much better than I could, but I don't think you should be going above about 165, maybe 170 for an ideal workout.
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Offline clippergoodwill

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 09:31:34 AM »
I'm kinda curious about the heart rate thing too. At my gym, the treadmill will show my heart jumps up to 205-210 temporarily during hard pushes, but will average 185ish for the entire workout. I do what's called 2-1 interval, two mins of running with one min of rest.

I went through a similar phase... In my case, acid reflux was causing chest pain and my heart to palpitations. It definitely felt like a heart attack to my anxiety infested mind. I had numerous ekgs done, as well as a visit to a cardiologist who performed a stress test on me, passed with flying colors.

Anxiety will cause just about every symptom in the book... Chest pains, tingling and numbness in arms, hands, feet, etc... I will shamefully admit my anxiety has caused me to stop working out for now. My favorite workout is the treadmill, and it never fails while using it, I'll get light headed, blurred vision, pressure on the sides of my head, that weird feeling of my veins twitching on my temples, and a scifi-ish laser/whooshing sound in my ears. I know in my heart it's anxiety.. But it scares me enough to stop, hop in the truck and get home.
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Offline Natsab87

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 04:08:55 AM »
Thanks to you both for your replies!

As mentioned earlier in my initial post I am 8st2, 5ft4 and 27 years old and I put all this data into my watch so it must think my heart rate is too high as it tells me to be below 165 and mine is always above. I was only in the good zone for 10 minutes of a 30 minute work out. I was doing jogging, sprinting, start jumps and sit ups...  I guess you're right in that I am doing too much too soon. I used to go to the gym and get out of breath etc but never noticed a high heart rate and didn't feel awful I felt good but now since this anxiety I am terrified my hearts going to explode in my chest or something! I had the echo yesterday and I work at the hospital so checked results (shouldn't have!) which said all structures normal but mild calcified mitral valve and mild mitral regurgitation. I then googled this and scared myself but I think if it's mild it's ok and can just be an incidental finding. Booked an appt with GP tomorrow to discuss the results and see what they think of them. I just need constant reassurance and then I worry about something new.

When I am reassured about my heart, what will it be next?!

I think I need some medication to calm me a little and help me relax but I have been advised Citalopram isn't good for people with palps! I tried St John's Wort and had awful reflux and a tight throat which only added to my anxety. Can anyone recommend anything? I don't want to stop exercising all together because my other phobia is putting on weight. I have always been between 7st12-8st5 and I want to keep it at the lower end.

Not mentioned previously, my ex boyfriend who I had known for a while (about six years ago) died last October from a heart attack whilst running the Dublin marathon. He was my age and this was a massive shock and coincided with my anxiety. I didn't expect it to effect me this much but 8 months on it still is!

I just want a break from all this!!! :sprachlos020:
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Offline rap_Talon

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 06:35:36 AM »
Deaths from heart problems at so young an age are generally caused by an undiagnosed problem which has been present for a time. The heart doesn't typically just have problems, they build up over time - which is why age is one of the biggest risk factors in heart problems. My best friend died earlier this year from a heart attack at just 27 too, and I spent a while talking to the doctors about it, as it obviously sparked my own fears.

Below 165 sounds right to me, and if you're pushing beyond this then it's likely you just need to tone back a bit, get your fitness us.

For anxiety, the only thing I use is chamomile tea. I was on medication for years, and never had much luck. The tea just seems to take the edge off everything, allowing me to think a bit clearer, make more sense of everything. There are a lot of medications you can take though, so I'd ask your doctor :)
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Offline doug65

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 10:05:38 AM »
natsab87,  keep in mind GAD is an illness and it takes time to get over it.  I've had GAD for years and it has "gone away" for years only to return.  For me, it has reared it's ugly head again.  Keep working out, find someone you can confide in and talk about what is bothering you. 
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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 Natsab87

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 04:51:00 AM »
Thanks Doug65 I suppose I just thought this wouldn't happen to me and that it was for other people! I hoped it was a blip not a long term thing but that doesn't seem to be the case!!

I do talk to my mum and my friends and boyfriend but I feel like I am bringing them down too and they don't trully get it. Unless they can get into my head they don't know what it's like to be consumed 24/7 with a fear of something bad happening, they'll never understand the actual fear! I won't let myself slip back into how I was around xmas. I have never not been able to eat and that was just weird, I love food so I know I was bad and I started getting skinny around 7st7.

I used to worry something would happen to my boyfriend and how I'd cope. Now I worry about me but at the end of the day, if I die.. I won't know about it so why does it scare me so much?! I know we can't stop anything happening just by worrying and I do tell myself this all the time but it just doesn't seem to help!

I went to the gym lastnight and wore my watch and managed to keep below 164 on the cross trainer and bike over a one hour period and I burnt 500 calories so I was happy with that. I guess when it peaked at 200+ I was pushing it too hard. I still noticed a niggling pain in chest, hard to describe and pain down the left arm but the back of my arm as opposed to inside (when I googled cardiac pain and a picture of it's location, it was more inside the arm than outside around elbow where mine is) Yes I know google is silly but I was desperate!! I am seeing the GP tonight and want to request some meds to try and alleviate these feelings of impending doom and worry all the time!!

Thanks for listening to me babble on! Much appreciated!!! :-)
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Offline doug65

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 06:26:22 AM »
I agree, it's difficult to find someone that understands what we go through.  I believe many of us feel like you, when we do talk to someone we think we are bringing them down and/or they don't understand and so we may internalize things making our anxiety worse.  This board has been a blessing.  Keep exercising...keep talking...others on this board understand what you are dealing with and will help. You're not alone.
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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 Natsab87

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Re: Back again damn it!
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 07:41:20 AM »
Thanks for your kind reply doug65. It's so nice to know I am not alone as sometimes it really feels like it!

This board has really helped me :-)
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Tags: Heart anxiety Worry 
 

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