Visit to the ER

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 7/30/2007 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I woke up from a nap on Friday afternoon with chest pains and difficulty breathing. My brother brought me into the ER and they brought me right in to do some blood work, EKG, and a CT scan. I ended up waiting 16 hours in the ER until I was admitted into the hospital.

The good news in that the test results came back fine and nothing out of the ordinary. Although, they did detect a heart mumur which I didn't have before. The doctor didn't elaborate much on that though.

I couldn't breathe and the chest pains lasted several hours, and they put me on oxygen which helped a lot. I was admitted into the hospital on Saturday morning because they wanted to do an echocardiogram to rule out anything else.

But by then I was feeling okay and pretty much back to my normal self. But they didn't want to discharge me until the results came back. Not sure what took so long but I didn't hear back from the doctor until this morning.

I didn't really get any answers as to what caused it. They said since all the labs came back as normal, it was most likely muscle spasms. Although, I'm not sure I accept that answer. I just hope whatever it is, it doesn't come back. Because it was pretty intense pain and it's just plain scary not being able to breathe.

I have follow up appointments with my family doctor as well as my rheumy. Since they're more familiar with my medical history, I might be able to get more insight there.

They did mention that it could have been a panic or anxiety attack, however since it happened right after I woke up from a nap they ruled it out.

Anyone want to throw out some ideas? Or if they have experienced anything similiar?
I was diagnosed with Lupus with Antiphospholipid syndrome in Nov 05.
Current list of medications includes:

Cellcept 250mg/5 capsules twice a day, Prilosec 20mg/1 capsule once a day, Plaquenil 200mg/one tablet twice a day, Metoprolol 25mg/half tablet twice a day, Prednisone 7.5mg/one tablet once a day, Coumadin as directed, Tetracycline 250mg/ two capsules twice a day

Avita cream, Clindamycin lotion, triamcinolone ointment daily to control skin rashes.

Rituxan infusions twice every six months

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 7/31/2007 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Hiedi, I'm glad your tests were ok and you are feeling better. They seemed to rule out most things. I know how scarey not breathing can be. I don't wish that on anyone. The only other idea I can think of that may have caused it is what they call an esophagial spasm. I had that happen to me once and ended up in the ER too. They ran the tests and hooked me up to monitors. What they told me was the nerves from your esophogus run along your heart and mimic a heart attack. I think all of us need to be aware of that. With all of the meds we take it can be quite easy for us to have these problems. You might run that by your doctor and see if it's a possibility. He may put you on something to help your tummy. That's the only thing I can think of.

Keep us update I glad you're better



God Bless
Lupus, possible Crest, COPD, Cervical Cancer survivor. Osteoporosis
Prednisone 5mg, Plaquanil 800mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg, HCTZ25/Triamterene37.5mg,Xanax.5mg
When things are really dark look up. You can see the stars.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 7/31/2007 3:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Heidi, I wonder if what you describe could have been pleurisy. Many patients with rheumatic diseases, including lupus, get pleurisy. The NIH website is:

They describe the symptoms of pleurisy as:

"The main symptom of pleurisy is pain in the chest. Sometimes the pain may be felt in the shoulder.

Deep breathing, coughing, and chest movement makes the pain worse.

Pleurisy causes fluid to collect inside the lung area. This makes breathing difficult and may cause the following symptoms:

Shortness of breath
Rapid breathing (tachypnea)

I believe it's a good idea to discuss this with your rheumy. I hope you get to the bottom of it because you don't want to have to experience that awful hospital experience again. Hang in there and good luck.

Please let us know what happens.

Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 3 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg, imitrex, cymbalta 30mg, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 7/31/2007 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Heidi, I'm sorry about all that you went through, but glad that your heart seems to be fine.  I've had docs tell me on and off that they hear a murmer, but the weird thing is that they don't always hear it.  When I read your symptoms, I was also thinking about possible pleurisy and also possible costochondritis.  Both can cause terrible chest pain.  Costochondritis is inflamation of the tissue between the ribs and breastbone (I think I'm explaining it right).  Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic site where there is a good explainiation of it:
Definitely talk to your doc more about this and hopefully you can eventually figure out what caused the pain.  Keep us posted.  Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 25mg; Neurontin 200mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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