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Hi All,

First I would like to thank all of you for sharing your stories. It helps a great deal to know that there are others facing challenges such as mine. Anyone who reads my long post thank you, I appreciate the time you are taking and would appreciate any comments or feedback.

I am having a hard time fully convincing myself that everything I am feeling- heart palpitations, chest pain, arm pain, pressure in my stomach and chest, irregular heart beat and feeling light headed are all anxiety based. Everyday can be a new pain or discomfort and each time I have a hard time getting through my day without freaking out and thinking I will have a heart attack. Most days that I start feeling symptomatic my ailment takes over part of my day and behavior. I started seeing a psychologist for the past month and a half. I feel it helps but Iím still struggling daily. How do you guys deal with the daily symptoms? I donít want to take medication but I feel like I should. Please help..

Here is my story
I am a 30 year old male and felt fine till about a year ago. I was around 300 lb. (6ft tall) and do retail management, which means long hours and stress all day.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with high BP and started taking norvasc.

About a month later I had vertigo with no cause known. I went to a Neurologist and had an MRI of my head (all clear). A couple of days later it resolved itself mostly except for minor moments for the following month or 2 but now no dizzy spells.

2 months later I started getting heart palpitations at night when I was lying down.
This led me to my first trip to my cardiologist. We did a stress test and a second one with contrast 2 weeks later. All came back normal with a sonogram of my chest and thyroid.

We then thought it could have been a side effect of my bp medication. 10% of people present heart palpitations as acid re flux and bp medications can cause acid reflux. After being checked out by a gastro and getting an endoscopy all was ok.

Around 2 months later I woke up in middle of the night feeling awful. My pulse was fast, I tried to calm down not knowing what was wrong. I woke my wife as my pulse started going crazy. She could feel it pulsating at my neck. We called 911 and went to the ER. After an EKG chest xray and blood work I was sent home. Went back to the Cardiologist 2 days later and did a 24 hour monitor. All was found to be normal. (I continued to have minor palpitation but all else was ok)

2 months later I was getting a hair cut one morning and my pulse and heart rate started increasing while sitting in the barberís chair. I noticed an EMT in the barber shop and asked if he would check my pulse. After feeling a rapid pulse he called it in. An ambulance came and we did an ekg in the ambulance. The EKG was normal minus the elevated pulse. I didnít want to go to the ER so I called my doc and headed over. While on my way to the doctor and while sitting in his office my pulse was fast and my chest kept pounding. After an EKG and seeing him, he sent me home with a water pill and said it might be as a result of a large amount of sodium and lack of sleep. (holiday season busy at work). Later that night I was home alone and starting feeling worse .My BP shot up to 176/100 and my pulse was 117. My arm felt numb so I called 911 again and went to the hospital. All clear they sent me home. I felt arm and chest pain all night. My wife and I Went back to the cardiologist the next day. We did another stress test and we did a heart monitor. He gave me toporol xl. (I am pretty sure this caused my symptoms to increase as a result. I could not take the full dose because it would drop my bp to low. Even half the dose did the same. Every day from that point I have felt symptomatic pretty much daily).
The 24 hour monitor was all clear. I then did a 2 week monitor after. The monitor was good as well. The one time my heart beats were even questionably erratic was when I was having a fight with my boss over a project. The rest of the 2 week period was filled with feeling of chest pain, arm pain and palpitations but nothing showed on the monitor to be abnormal even at other times of stress.

I now continue to be symptomatic most days. I am trying to do breathing exercises go for walks throughout the day when I feel off. The fact I can no longer go more than a day without my heart doing something abnormal is driving me nuts. I feel like half a person because a large part of my mind everyday is taken up by worry of when and where I will have symptoms and is it a heart attack. Do many of you feel your symptoms hourly and daily? How did you overcome the fear and develop a sense of acceptance of the panic attacks and their symptoms?
Any feedback is appreciated.

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