Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Last night I was up for all but 2 1/2 hours. Don't get me wrong; I was exhausted and wanted to sleep. However, I could not due to an uncomfortable feeling in my chest. It was the same feeling I experienced last May after I had thought I was having a heart attack (which I'm assuming looking back now was an anxiety attack, a first for me). I didn't have another anxiety attack last night--just the unnerving feeling in my chest that I've experienced several occasions in the past 9 months. It's not necessarily painful. The only way I can describe it is it feels as though something isn't right, isn't normal, is "off", as though I am on the verge of feeling something painful. It's very frightening, if you want to know the truth. I tried to think of all the possibilities: we'd had a large dinner, so at first I thought it might be heartburn or indigestion. And my back/neck hurt all day yesterday so then I thought perhaps that was affecting my chest muscles. But I took a Tums and Aleve for those symptoms and yet my chest still was freaking me out. I'm not sure what to do. My instinct says I should get it checked out, but what do I do if I already have? Last summer I underwent an extensive series of tests ($$$!) and was finally told by a cardiologist that my heart was healthy, that he could not explain the symptoms I'd been having (he suggested maybe it was a pinched nerve, etc), and that I had no reason to worry.
Easy for him to say.


LaFawnda said...

I was up WAY late, worrying about a close friend and HER SISTER, feeling helpless. If you feel uncomfortable, check it out, if you don't like the answer, go somewhere else. I MEAN IT!!!
I've had that awful feeling, I pray for the spirit of comfort and peace, because I think sometimes we are being prepared to listen to the spirit.

Josephine said...

Okay this is going to sound out there but I am just trying to offer what I have experienced. Occasionally sometimes I will get an incomfortable pressure in my chest, it isn't a pain, just pressure, similar to what you describe. After much research I think mine is related to my gal bladder, which is in your chest and can cause pain in between your shoulder blades and in your neck. Perhaps it has less to do with your heart (scary) and more to do with other organs? Just a thought.

Hope said...


I went to our Family Physician, Dr. Alisa Knowlton, to get her opinion as to whether or not I should speak to another cardiologist. She reviewed the test results from last summer and agreed with Dr. Osborne (the original cardiologist) that my heart looked great and any problems I am having are not heart-related. We then discussed several possibilities and finally settled on two:

The fluttering and palpitations I am feeling are most likely caused by anxiety attacks. I raised my eyebrows at this and said to Dr. Knowlton that to me anxiety attacks are referring to hyperventilating and feeling very worried or stressed about something. She said often that is the case, but other times people experience them as a simple body-reaction to a lack of seratonin in the brain. She prescribed the smallest dose of Xanex available and gave me instructions to take one when I feel an attack coming on at night.

The other hopeful solution is for the pain I'm feeling in my chest. She believes that is caused by something separate from the anxiety attacks, most likely an irritated nerve in my left breast. To help with that (and my extreme back pain) I am to take 2 anti-inflammatories (Aleve) every morning and again at night for one month consistently. She believes by the end of 30 days, the nerve irration should be gone and hopefully will not return.

So there you have it. Relieved it's not my heart, although she understood why I thought it could be, and also relieved to have some possible solutions.

Jen said...

Praying for you, Hope. Hang in there.

(We've went through real similar things with Erik, and doctor after doctor told him he has anxiety, to which his constant response is, "I'm not anxious or stressed about anything!" I kept telling him it's not always a stress issue, but a hormone imbalance in your brain can cause it, too. Glad to hear this is a similar situation and that you're more willing than he was to take something to "fix" or help it.) Love you!

Wonderland Girl said...

Hope you're doing okay. love ya.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson