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Sleepless in NJ
Jul 30, 2009
Take a deep breathÖ hope I donít bore you.. here is my story..

Bloated feeling, pressure in chest, feeling like I canít talk or swallow, shaking, feeling of blood rushing to head, dizzy, tingling pins and needles in extremities, heart racing, frequent bowel movements, wake up sometimes soak and wet sweaty, really aware of every heart beat, wheezing, very hot/warm feeling in the center of my chest moving to my arms then gone, very easily startled. I feel like Iím in a movie or something just waiting for something to happen. Sometimes it will be like a switch.. click.. Iím perfectly fine.

All these symptoms came to a climax one day, I was driving home from work and was feeling these symptoms then all of a sudden it was as if someone punched me in the chest five times fast. (I wish I was exaggerating) I only live twelve minutes from work. I instantly pulled over and called an ambulance. I thought I was having a heart attack, I have never felt anything like this before.

I was in the ER a total of three times over 2 months, they tested my bloods three times everything was fine according to the hospital. They even did a heart attack test where they tested my blood every couple hours (T test?) Whatever it was they stated it wasnít a heart attack, although my heart was racing something fierce when all this happened. I was hooked up to the ekg each time and everthing was normal.

I went to two cardiologists. Both listened to my heart and they said I had the slightest of a murmur but everything sounds fine and my heart is definitely not the problem. I wore a 24 hour holter, the results were ďUnderline Rhythm is Sinus, 4 PACís in 24hrs, no SVTís. 1 isolated PVC was seen.Ē (no clue what this means, translation?) Doc said that the holter was pretty boring and it was nothing I needed treatment on. What are SVE beats.. I had 13? Normal?

I had a stress echo done.
Results..
Resting ECG : Regular Sinus Rythmn, non-specific ST-T wave abnormalities
Resting LV Wall Motion : no segmental wall motion abnormalities, normal LV function
Exercised for 10 minutes reaching max heart rate of 164, 88% of max 186. Throughout test patient experienced no chest pain of shortness of breath. At peak exercise ecg revealed no ischemic changes. Post echo showed no segmental wall motion abnormalities. No significant arrhythmias. Appropriate blood pressure response.
Impressions; negative stress test for ischemia, appropriate blood pressure response, no arrhythmias, good exercise tolerance, no stress induced wall motion abnormalities seen.

Is there something I should be checking for that the doctors missed? Am I ok?

I saw a psychologist and he stated it is anxiety, but every doctor says that like it is their catch-all phrase. He gave me xanax but even taking xanax freaks me out because it just numbs me and I really donít want to go that route. Like I break a .5 tab in quarters and I get an instant drunk feeling in about 15 minutes. The doc said Iím the only known person who wonít let xanax work. Like I fight it.

Background..
Iím in excellent shape I run 30-60 minutes a day. Even after that, I try to hike before work. I take vitamins and I juice daily. I donít eat any crap. From the holter my avg heart rate is 66bpm and 45 asleep. (They say it is fine because of my conditioning). I get plenty of sleep. My bp is usually 110/80 when I wake up to 135/80 throughout the day.

Any ideas? From my lifestyle it makes no sense to me why this would be happening..

It is a constant battle for me everyday, Iím familiar with agoraphobia from what the psychologist mentioned. I literally force myself to do things even though Iím symptomatic and freaking out, I purposefully exercise hard even though Iím freaked about my heart, I drive exactly the same way home and get gas at the gas station I had the ďheart attackĒ episode at. I started to get a feeling like ďI gotta get outta here and get homeĒ.. so purposefully walk in the middle of the woods off the path with my trail gps.

I have no worries whatsoever, none of this makes sense to me.

Help.
Re: Sleepless in NJ
Jul 31, 2009
Hey there,

I just read your post, and it sounds familiar to some things I've gone through (which you probably already know since I saw your post in my thread).

What I didn't mention in my thread, though, is that about 10 years ago, I had anxiety issues that were much more severe, but also more acute. By acute, I mean that I didn't notice them as much in daily life, but I would on rare occasion, have very nasty and very sudden flare ups. Basically they were full blown panick attacks.

My deal was this. I was in college at the time, and I was very worried about academics (very silly in retrospect now). It caused my OCD (a condition I've had since childhood) to manifest in some weird compulsions related to schoolwork, taking notes, etc. But I never had panick attacks, only compulsions like repeatedly checking and rechecking my notes from class.

But one day, I was watching a movie with my girlfriend, and I suddenly felt uneasy. Like an internal kind of unease where I wanted to jump out of my skin. Moments later I could no longer contain it: my heart started beating super fast and hard, I got short of breath, I felt like I was going to faint, everything around me looked pale, my chest felt like it was contracting, and I kept dry heaving (without actual vomiting). My girlfriend took me to the university ER, but moments before I entered it, the attack stopped and I felt perfectly normal, albeit tired. I had similar attacks 4 more times in college, and most of them happened while I was watching movies -- weird, I know. Afte college, my anxiety largely vanished, and I thought the panick attacks were gone...

Fast forward 10 years. I was driving home from work one day, and suddenly I get that same feeling of unease. No apparent reason for it. I'm in the middle of rush hour traffic, and it's all I can do to maneuver the car off the freeway and into an empty parking lot. I call for an ambulance, and when they arrive, I'm still in the grips of the attack. The paramedic gave me some water via IV, and about 10 minutes later, I was fine. They said it looked like I had a panick attack and was maybe a bit dehydrated. I haven't had a recurrence since.

I don't know if these full blown attacks are what you've experienced, but they sound pretty similar based on your description. Mine were harmless, hopefully yours are too. They certainly sound like it. Although I had school-related OCD in college, the fact that something recreational like movies would often trigger my acute panick attacks was something I've nevere really understood.

Oh yeah, I know where you're coming from with regard to the psychotropic meds too. When I was in college the doc gave me Paxil for my OCD. I took it for a few weeks but just couldn't deal with the emotional void it left me in. With my recent anxiety, my doc tried to give me Citalopram and Klonopin. I filled the prescription but haven't taken either one. Unless the situation is really truly unbearable, I never want to take another psychotropic med.
Re: Sleepless in NJ
Jul 31, 2009
I almost laughed at the car incident you had and the movie thing.. sounds familiar...

Thanks for the reply.. really. I can relate. Funny thing, my new wife (I've known her for about ten years.) She started bringing stuff up that sounds familiar to what you mentioned. Now that I think about it, I remember possibly having issues in the past although "low-key" at the time.

"I remember you in college how nervous you were.."

I would get to a point while watching movies (when I'm out, never at home)... that I would have to really concentrate on my breathing and the feeling that I needed to head to the hospital. I remember at least two times that this happened. I would head to the ER and bloods would turn out fine although I did have a slight ashtma problem back then, I haven't had ashtma in forever.. I wonder if that was related to my problem.

I had an issue where I went on vacation and had a similar issue and I'm talking a decade ago... where I took note of where the hospital was and was fixed on my breathing for no reason whatsoever.. I would just shake for no reason.. until I got tired hours later..

My wife continued to bring things up no matter how low key they were and I'm slowly seeing the similarities.. but of course I don't believe it and think the docs missed something..

I posted on another thread .. the results of my holter test and apparently they are very good so I guess I won't have a heart attack anytime soon. Although I still don't believe it.

The Doc gave me some xanax which I just filled and some zoloft as well. (I'm literally losing it at this point) The xanax to use as needed and the zoloft daily until I feel better. We'll see.

But I guess bloodwork at the ER 3x, 2x at two internists, my 24hr holter, I can't count the number of ekg's, my echo stress test.... being fine... I should believe I'm ok.. it's so hard to explain unless it is happening to you.

I would be able to deal if I was symptomless but like uncontrolled shaking for no reason, and heart racing.... feeling very hot in waves across the back, arms and center of the chest ... really scare the %%%% out of me. And this out of nowhere... for no reason... well you get the idea..





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