I went to the emergency room in February with severe pain in my upper abdomen which radiated across my upper back, with nausea. The ER doctor thought it was my gall bladder and did an ultrasound which came back normal. All blood work came back normal, including pancreas functions and liver functions. They sent me home and told me to take acetaminophen for the pain.
For the next two months, I have had several bouts of this pain, some lasting days. I had to quit my job, I can't eat anything without becoming ill, and I am terrified that I am going to die.
I have always suffered from anxiety and have had some weird symptoms before, but never have I had so much pain as I've gone through over the past couple of months.
Anxiety can manifest itself in many painful and frightening symptoms. That you went to the ER and had a fairly rigorous exam was the best thing you could have done..........but, since this pain is continuing, in my humble opinion, (and if I was you) I would pursue this further before accepting it as just anxiety.
I certainly do not want to scare you, but as I'm sure you know, heart attacks in women presents much different symptoms than in men. I'm sure they listened to your heart and probably did and EKG while you were in the ER, but both those examinations will tell the doctor only what your heart is doing AT THAT MOMENT. Blood test to look for heart enzymes will reveal past heart attacks. I would suggest seeing a cardiologist for proper blood work and possibly a stress test and echo. That way an MI can be definitely ruled IN or OUT of the equation.
I WAS going to say "gallbladder" when I first read your post as your symptoms are pretty classic, but the ER ruled that out.
Please don't let my response frighten you, but please don't ignore it either. There are other disorders that can cause similar symptoms.
Two years ago I was having some pain that did not seem related to my heart at all. I was told it was GERD, stress, a pulled muscle, my arthritis......I finally took it upon myself to see a cardio and thank God I did. I now have two stents in major arteries of my heart that were both blocked well over 80%. I was a heart attack waiting to happen. Not one of the other doctora I had seen had suggested a cardio work up. Pretty spooky, eh? Which only proves to me that we must all be totally proactive in our health care these days..
They can't call it anxiety unless, and until, they have ruled out all physical reasons for your symptoms. To do less is not good medicine.
I wish you the very best and if you want to talk, just post as much as you want.
Thank you for that warning, Greenlydia! The hospital did an EKG, but I don't think they checked for heart enzymes.
I'm going back to America next week and I'll have a thorough checkup once I get there. The NHS here in England has long waiting lists for any kind of tests, so I've been in almost constant pain for months now, with no real answers. It has really been debilitating and depressing.
I'm so glad they discovered what was going on with you. That's so scary!
Oh, happy day!!! I went back to see my doctor today and he said he truly believes that I have stressed myself into an ulcer! I felt almost instant relief just knowing that it's something so treatable and so minor compared to all the fear-invoking diseases I was afraid of!
He's put me on more Lansoprazole, he prescribed Kolanticon Gel for IBS, and some Lorazepam for the anxiety attacks.
He said to try this for six to eight weeks, then if it doesn't improve, I should have a scope done to see what's going on, but he feels that I should improve over the next few weeks.
I was going to recommend a referral to a GI doctor, in addition to a cardiac work up, like lydia discussed. The good thing about ulcers, or GERD, is usually, with medication, you will notice fairly obvious and rapid relief. Like your doc said, if you don't show improvement after starting the medication, an endoscopy (scope that goes down your throat) would be indicated.
Hopefully you get some relief, update us when you can!
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