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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board


Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index


First, thank you to anyone who might read this. It will probably be a long post. I am a 29 year old female. I don't smoke but I do drink. I am 5'6' and 185 pounds so admittedly not extremely healthy. In the past several years I have had two children who are now 1 and 2 years old. During my pregnancies I was diagnosed with hypertension and was told I probably had pre-existing hypertension. However, every doctors visit outside of my pregnancies has typically shown an average blood pressure of 125/70. When I am anxious during a visit, it can then reach up to 140/90. With this conclusion, I am not 100% sure if I really have hypertension. I feel like my stress can cause it to become borderline high but most days it seems fine.

My problems started back in December. I walked up 5 flights of stairs. By the time I got to the top, I could barely breathe. My lungs were burning, I felt dizzy, I was gasping for air. I had chest pain and I was getting a metallic taste in my mouth. I had pain radiating down my arms but more noticeably my left arm. I honestly was terrified I was having a heart attack. It took about 30 - 45 minutes to ease up. However, that night I still seemed to have trouble breathing. It just felt like there was pressure on my chest. I barely slept that night. The next morning I went to the ER. They did all kinds of tests on me. Blood work, EKG, CT scan, chest xray. They sent me home saying that they couldn't find anything that would kill me that day. They told me to follow-up with my PCP. I don't have a regular PCP so I found someone (anyone) that would take me as soon as possible. I had to wait about two weeks for an appointment.

After that, I seemed to have problems every single day. My symptoms in the beginning seemed to always be chest pain and chest pressure. I just felt like I couldn't breathe properly. Sometimes picking up one of my kids would trigger it and other times I could be sitting on the couch when the problems would kick in. My symptoms seems to come and go all day long. It really doesn't matter what I am doing. Although any type of small exertion seems to make it worse. Like maybe I just got done working out.

When I finally saw the PCP, he seemed to blow me off. Of course, everyone immediately dismisses my heart because I am a young female. Although I know my risks are lower, I know it's not impossible for me to have a heart attack. His exact words were "it's a mystery what's wrong with you." He did suggest that maybe it was just anxiety and that he would not prescribe me anything because I am "too young to be on medication for the rest of my life". He told me to see a therapist. As one last attempt, I tried to convey that whatever was wrong with me was seriously ruining my life. I could barely function and barely take care of my kids. I knew I was on the verge of tears and a breakdown but I could tell my tears wouldn't mean a whole lot to him. So he basically repeated that I should see a therapist and there was nothing else he would do for me.

At this moment, I will admit that I have been under a lot of stress for quite some time now. However, I DO NOT believe that the stress is my main problem. Is my stress adding to the problem? Possibly. I believe there is more to it though.

For months I suffered and dealt with my problems. I developed a cough that seemed to come from my chest. Then one day around the beginning of march, I started to have pain up my neck and into the muscle under my chin. I was convinced NOW I was having a heart attack and went to a different ER. I sat in the waiting room for half an hour and I was convinced they would let me die right there. They, of course, told me how it was unlikely a heart attack due to my age. After some testing, the doctor suggested that MAYBE it was GERD. He prescribed me Prilosec OTC. I was happy to have some type of an answer this time around. I started taking it immediately. The symptoms seemed to ease up but not completely go away. Then one day just by accident, I was reading that there were studies that Prilosec could possibly increase the chances of a heart attack. Since I was already afraid that I was having a heart attack, I stopped taking it immediately.

A few days passed.

I decided to see my Allergy doctor to be tested for Asthma and allergies. I thought maybe one of those things could possibly be my problem. After testing, he said it definitely wasn't allergies or asthma causing my problems. However, he shocked me by saying he thought he heard a heart murmur. I had NEVER heard that before. I mean, I just had two pregnancies and they never caught that. He said it could be nothing and maybe he wasn't really hearing a murmur because it was so slight.

A week later I saw a cardiologist and she confirmed I had a heart murmur. She ALSO stated that she didn't believe my problems were my heart because of my age but she wouldn't completely rule it out. She set up an echo cardiogram for the following week.

That same night my symptoms got really bad. I started to have pain in my jaw and in my teeth. I looked online and everything said a heart attack. So i went to a DIFFERENT ER. They had someone come in take my blood and do an EKG. They sat the blood vials on a table and said when the doctor came in to see me he would have the order sent for my labs. I sat in that room for over an hour before I saw anyone again. The doctor came in and started to press on "joints" all over my chest. As he was pressing, I started to say "ow that hurts. that really hurts." You would think most people would stop but he didn't. He kept pressing harder and harder until I was crying and starting to panic. Then he said "you seem really tender. I think you have chest wall inflammation." and I kept arguing with him that I didn't believe that was what was wrong with me. Then he would shove his fingers back in those same spots which now at the slightest touch hurt like hell. He kept saying "does your pain hurt like this?" and I am crying and screaming no. I honestly felt like I was being tortured and not in a hospital. No matter how many times I told him my chest pain did NOT feel like that pain, he didn't seem convinced. He told me he wasn't afraid to be wrong but he wanted me to explain to him why I thought he was wrong. Then he said he would run some tests anyway. At the end, he came back and said everything looked fine and if it was a heart attack, I would be dead by now since I've had problems since December. He prescribed me a steroid for my supposed chest wall inflammation. I never took it. For a few days after, my chest hurt so bad. if I bumped it or moved a certain way, it was excruciating. It finally seemed to heal and no longer bothers me.

My husband convinced me to start taking the Prilosec again until I could get this all figured out. It seemed to ease the symptoms somewhat again.

I got my echo done. After a few days of waiting, a nurse called me with the results. She said I had normal function of the heart except they did see that I have mild thickening of my aortic valve which they believe is causing my murmur. She said they would need to keep an eye on it but they didnt think it was an immediate concern. That was it. She wasn't planning on setting up a follow up appointment and I really had so many questions in regards to this heart problem. So I had to specifically request a follow up which I have to wait several weeks for. I did some reading about my specific problem and have read that "mild thickening" is the lowest on the scale of thickening and should not cause any problems. However, I read that worse thickening can cause the symptoms I am having. So did they get it wrong? Is my thickening worse? Or are my symptoms really from something completely different?

I started having heart palpitations. At first it was only one or two here and there. Now it's every night the moment i lay down. And sometimes during the day. I also get a lot of pressure on my chest.

I then met with a gastroenterologist who said my symptoms certainly sound like reflux of some sort but he would have to do an endoscopy. So now my appt is set up for that but once I mentioned my murmur, they said they would have to check if it was safe for me.

He said he thought the palpitations might be from the prilosec and prescribed me something new which I haven't started yet. I also asked if it was possible for my jaw and teeth to hurt due to reflux. He basically said rarely unless my relux is extremely bad and he did not seem to believe it wasn't that bad. So he basically made me feel like my teeth and jaw pain is from something different. I am also having earaches that come and go but my ears are not infected.

What is wrong with me??? Heart attack, angina, heart failure, gerd, hiatal hernia? I have read about so many problems and I hate that a lot of them have similar symptoms. I have been terrified that I will die before they find out what is wrong with me. I have two kids I want to see grow up.

I have developed extreme anxiety and depression due to this. I can barely function anymore because I never feel well. I cry all of the time. I feel like I am losing a grip on my sanity. I don't even trust any doctors at this point. Most of the time they try to rush me through my story and my symptoms. I know there's a lot of info but I am afraid to leave something out in case there is some key symptom that is the answer to all of this. Also, most times they pick and choose symptom to diagnose me with but ignore other symptoms because they don't fit.

If anyone chooses to read this and give their advice and opinions, I would be so grateful.





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