I am not crazy, it's not anxiety!!!

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calvarygirl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/10/2010 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all.  I am a 45 year old woman, who for the last year and half have been suffering with a variety of symptoms. 
  • center of chest pain, or on a good day just a dull feeling
  • stomach tightness
  • heart palpitations
  • occasional heart flutters that only go away by clearing my throat
  • food feeling like it is stacking up in my chest instead of going down
  • occasional regurgitation
  • frequent burping
  • shortness of breath while not exerting myself (this is scariest of all)
  • anxiety attacks when the pain or breathing problem comes

I have been to my GP numerous times.  The first time he said it was just anxiety, and put me on buspar and lorazepam.  The buspar made me feel soooooo depressed, crying, life wasn't worth living, so I quickly stopped taking it.  The lorazepam I take on an as needed basis.  I don't want to need it at all!!! 

My first ER visit in July 09, I had the breathing thing and went into an anxiety attack and ended up hyperventilating.  EKG was good, oxygen levels 100%, so they sent me home.

My second ER visit March 10, breathing thing again while at work. The doctor thought I was having a heart attack and gave me nitro.  Oh my God, the pain that gave me was awful! They alleviated that pain with lorazepam and dilaudid.  They took a chest x-ray and said my lungs and heart looked fine, maybe esophageal.

Back to the doctor I went and he put me on Nexium. It helped, but not completely, so a few weeks later he added ranitidine 150mg once daily, felt a lot better for about 2 weeks and then back to the norm.  He upped it again to twice daily and I did ok for about a month.

I have had an endoscopy that came back normal, an abdominal ct scan, again normal. Went to the doc yesterday and he ordered a chest ct, a barrium swallow and another chest x-ray.  I am having those tomorrow morning.

I hope they can find what is wrong so that we can move in the right direction to fix the problem. Like all the posts I have read on this site, I have the same frustration.

I wish you all the best, and if you have any words of wisdom, ideas or just an encouraging word, I would love to hear from you.  Sorry this was so long.

 

 


speden
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/11/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like it could be GERD. Have you seen a gastroenterologist yet? GP doctors are notoriously bad at diagnosing and treating GERD. Have you done any lifestyle changes like elevating the head of your bed and modifying your diet? Your lung symptoms could indicate irritation from acid exposure, so elevating your bed would be important to reduce that.

Doesn't sound much like a heart problem, so the palpitations are probably just due to the anxiety. If your problem is GERD, there's no point worrying about it so much. It's a long term problem and worrying usually just makes the symptoms worse. It's something you have to take day by day.

You mention fixing the problem. The bad news is if you have GERD, you usually can't fix the problem, you can only reduce the symptoms. The PPI medication will help, but the lifestyle changes are equally important. It usually takes a long time to figure out what treatments will work best for you, so you need to be patient and try different things.

Hopefully the barium swallow test will give you a better idea of what is going on.

Rent a wreck
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 6/11/2010 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
this does sound like GERD, but--. Everyone has different symptoms and life style changes are important as well. The other thing I noticed is that you are 45. Even if you are still having periods, you are starting into menopause, which comes with its own host of problems, some of which you described above. also be sure that you have complete blood work done including thyroid testing. Be followed by a GI doc as well as your pcp and gyn. together they can help you to feel better. keep us posted.

skfox
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/11/2010 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Calvary, I am also 45 and I realized I am heading to the doctors offices more often that I would care to. This week alone, I went to 2 different doctors. PCP sent me to a hematologist for slightly elevated platelets, which he says he is not worried about because women of my age group he sees this in often. He gave me some iron and am to return in 2 months to see if that is the problem and go from there. Anyway, yesterday I went to see a GI doctor for my chest pain and upper stomach discomfort and I am having my endoscopy on Tuesday, I will be sedated so won't remember a thing, thank goodness for that. Been to my PCP 2 weeks ago, had urine test and sure nuff, I have UTI, so am on Sulfa antibiotics and I think that irritated the GERD. It never ends. Like Rent a wreck says, could it be that we are going through perimenopause? hmmmm

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I too have had that shortness of breath occasionaly since around 40 yrs old and I have had numerous, numerous tests, like you, CT scans of chest, pulmonology consult, stress tests, x-rays, angiograms and plenty of EKGs. So, I do understand your frustrations and fears. I hope they do get to the bottom of it for you, as well as for me when I go on Tuesday.

Take care

calvarygirl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/11/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much everyone for writing back to me, I so appreciate the feedback. As far as my barrium swallow went this morning, the doc said everything looks normal, NO sign of gerd, and yet here I am on Nexium and 300 mgs of ranitidine a day. Go figure.

As far as the ct scan goes, unless something "really" wrong is found, I won't have the results until next week. That's what you get for having tests done on a Friday. :-)

You mention menopause and thyroid. I do have hypothyroidism and am taking 75 mcg levothyroxine daily. And as far as menopause goes, I spoke with my doc about it and he ran some blood tests. He says I am pre-menopausal, and at my age, I figured as much.

What's strange is that everything but the breathing issue is digestive.

Good luck with your endoscopy on Tuesday skfox. I don't know if you've had one before, but they're not bad. Once they give you the loopy drug, the next thing you know, you're on your way home. Let me know if they find anything, and thanks again for the feedback.

skfox
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/11/2010 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't feel so confident with the barrium swallow test. I had that in the hospital 2 years ago, they saw no GERD, but I know that I have reflux, cause I can feel acid crawling way up to my throat at nights and it gives me that sore throat feeling. I don't think it can always catch GERD.

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 6/11/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
May I suggest one more Dr and one more test?  Heart's fine, lungs fine, shortness of breath, chest pain... sounds exactly like me, or what was me.  After almost a year of tests for EVERYTHING (not quite everything), the pulmonary specialist I was sent to was sneakily suspecting vocal cord dysfunction.
 
He sent me to an ENT and checked my vocal cords.  Sure enough, that was the problem.  Acid reflux pooled in my throat while laying down and literally burnt and eroded my cords so they didn't want to touch each other.  It was like trying to breathe through a straw.
 
So the treatment?  Unbelievably easy.  Speech therapy for 8 weeks.  I was cured.  Well, as long as I keep up with my exercizes.  Check it out.  You may be surprised.
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
300mg Lamictal
90mg Pamalor
60mg Prevacid RIP
2mg Niravam (Xanax)


speden
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/12/2010 7:31 AM (GMT -6)   
You might want to get a 24 hour pH monitoring test. You might be a night refluxer, and that wouldn't show up on the barium test.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/12/2010 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
If you don't want to do the wire kind there's the Bravo capsule they attach to your throat and it measures by a special monitor.

Joy

judy02
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 6/13/2010 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
*hugs* I really hope you feel better soon...
 
It really annoys me when some doctors just want to brush it aside as anxiety. I'm sure you're an intelligent person, and you like me can tell a huge difference between anxiety related nausea and a real physical cause. Just because some doctors are unable to find out what it is, it's no excuse to brush your concerns aside. A consultant I saw tried to do that to me, I was furious, although thankfully I have a nice GP.
 
I hope you get some answers soon, and get well.

calvarygirl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/14/2010 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Judy. Well, I just got some news. Apparently my chest ct scan came back showing small "benign looking" nodules on my lungs. This news does not make me happy, but I'm really not surprised. Like an idiot I smoked from the time I was 17 until I was 37, I then quit for 6 years, and then a lot of stress entered my life and back to smoking I went. I have been back to smoking for just under 3 years. I put a smoking cessation patch on this morning before I got that wonderful news, just because I'm feeling so crappy today. I felt so under the weather this morning that I didn't go to work, I just didn't have the energy.

My life is so crazy right now I don't know which way to turn. Thank you all for your support and ideas.

skfox
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/14/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry about that news. Do you think that was the cause of your chest pain? Am glad that you are trying again to stop smoking. That's a good step in the right direction. Wish you all the best.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/14/2010 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Please talk with a pulmologist about the nodules. Stay with the patches. If you need to have the feeling of a cigerette in your mouth stick a peppermint stick in there.


Joy
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