Atypical chest pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 8/31/2009 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I spent the bulk of the day in the ER with chest pains. I've had the same type of pains before, but since I also had increased blood pressure and pulse that didn't seem to respond to a double dose of my antihypertensive, and since my mom died at 47 of heart disease, I decided to err on the side of safety, and have it checked out.

The verdict? "Atypical chest pain", just like the other three or four times I've done this over the last fifteen or so years. So, I get home, rather embarrassed, and do a little net-surfing. Any of your folk ever experience something called "costeochondritis"? Seems it's a relatively common symptom of fibro, and consists of pain where the ribs meet the sternum, usually on the left side, and often convincingly mimics a heart attack, sometimed including referred pain to the arm, jaw and back (just like I experienced this morning!)

I only wish I'd done the research BEFORE racking up another big med bill!!! I expect the B/P and pulse elevations might be due to the Savella I started on just last n ght, or perhaps as a withdrawal effect from the Pristiq, but I'm taking no chances-I'm taking my B/P med religiously every day, and checking the heck out of my vitals, until I see if the effect stabilizes. Yep, I'm going to stay on the Sevella-at least for now.

Hey, I'd rather be safe, and wrong, than sorry, and right, where cardiac issues are concerned. (I do have a cardiac stress test, and a cardiologist consult, scheduled now. Should have done those years ago....)

Gentle fibro hugs to all!

Cheryl [img]/community/emoticons/turn.gif[/img]

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/23/2010 5:37:57 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 8/31/2009 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh hon,
I have been there too.  My mom died at age 62 and I am nearly 58 and experience the same symptoms that you described as well.  I have had my share of trips to the ER.  I have had several heart studies and EKGs as well.  You can never be too careful.  Don't be too embarressed, you have to check these things out.  The one time you don't may be fatal hon.
Co-Moderator Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Forums
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/31/2009 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Seeing how I went to the doctor today for the EXACT same reasons as you, I was told my increased blood pressure was due to the stress/pain on my body. I have never, ever had high BP before in my life and for 2 weeks it has been super high. For now, they are saying it's the costochondritis or pleurisy or whatever it is I have.

The only meds I am on right now is Cymbalta and I've been on it since April, so they didn't think the high BP was associated with that. Isn't it freaky though how it's on the left side right by your heart?! I started getting pain in my left arm as I was waiting to see the doctor and I was thinking "great. I'm going to die in the doctor's office... How ironic."

Glad you're ok though and that it's not your heart.

Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, IBS(?), Hypermobillity, TMJ, PTSD, mild OCD.

Cymbalta 60mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 8/31/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   


You are in good company.  I've been there, done that too.  I'd had little incidents of chest pain since my 20's.  It would go away.  Then at 53, I had a whiz of one.  I was in my senior year of college---yeah, I'm a late bloomer.  The pain was so much my doctor ordered my to undergo an angiogram.  By then, I was totally scared out of my wits.  Well, as I'm watching the monitor, the heart surgeon threads  the probe up into my heart and says"You have the heart of a 25 year old!"  Well, whoop dee doo, so what is causing the pain?  No answer.  They never did come to a conclusion on that.  I had to do my own research to find out that fibro can "some times mimic chest pains and heart attacks." 

I have had several incidents since, been to the ER, been to the heart specialist, had treadmills, EKG's etc.  It is very disconcerting to say the least.  Even though I "know" that its probably fibro, my dad and my uncle died from heart problems.  This leaves you up in the air about whether you should ride it out or go get it checked out.  It seems like the more I wait it out, the more anxious I become.  Anxiety can be a bummer.

Anyway, hang it there.  You have fibro friends here and we understand what you are going through. 


MT Lady
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 8/31/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cheryl,
You definitely did the right thing. I understand your frustration with major medical bills but still, when you are dealing with chest pains, high BP and a history, you just never know. My dad died at the age of 51 from an MI. I am 58 and 2 years ago, my PCP recommended I go see a cardiologist and have a treadmill test. I also smoked at the time and that's a huge risk. I had no other symptoms and I was very much into exercise. Well the treadmill test showed something "abnormal", did another one, then did an angiogram, "just to be safe" and I ended up with a stent because of a 65% block in my LAD (lower anterior descending artery) which happens to be nicknamed "the widow maker" because of the high incidence of people that drop dead from that artery closing and causing a fatal heart attack. Again, I had NO symptoms. I was very, very lucky. Since then, I quit smoking, went on some medications and all seems to be well. Of course, I go for yearly checks. It really is such a problem for those of us with FM, with symptoms that mimic so many other disorders/diseases. We really need to be careful. I'm so glad for you that you went and you are okay.
gentle hugs

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17557
   Posted 8/31/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Cheryl, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that again but better safe than sorry.  I have costochondritis and I've put up a link all about it many times on the forum but you must have missed it.  It's frightening if you don't know what is going on. 
I had that, along with heart palpitations.  My husband died of a massive heart attack at age 51 and I didn't want to do that again to my children.  So, when I had all the symptoms I was thoroughly checked out.  My Internist did an EKG, echocardiogram, an ultrasound of my heart and had me wear a monitor for 24 hours.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with my heart!  But, now I know what is causing this and, yes, many with fibro do have costochondritis.  My doctor has me take ibuprofen with food for the discomfort and it does help. 
Actually, that's why I'm up at this late hour...the costo has acted up and my ribs are so sore and I'm waiting for the meds to kick in so I can lay on them.  I do hope you feel better soon.  At least you know your heart is fine.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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