For the last several years I have had pain in the left side of my chest along w/back pain, but only in the morning and only once or twice/year, until recently when I had the chest pain a few months ago. Then a few weeks ago I got really, really sick w/the flu and bronchitis. A couple of days after becoming sick I woke up w/the chest pains, but this time it was so painful that I just couldn’t take it. I went to the ER, but by the time they got to me (about an hour and a half later) I felt fine, just tired… I actually fell asleep in the waiting area. When they took my heart rate they said it was in the 150’s. I have been told by docs in the past during checkups that my heart rate and BP tend to run a little low, so this was kind of strange. They gave me fluids b/c they thought it was due to dehydration. About a half hour later my heart rate was a little better, but they said it was still too high. The doc asked me a bunch of questions (answer was no to all): On birth control? Feel like heart is racing? Trouble breathing? Dizzy? Pain upon touching chest? Acid or burning feeling in throat/mouth? The ekg was fine, but I don't know if my not having symptoms at the time it was taken might matter or not. Doc said the pain was probably due to bronchitis and sent me home w/meds. I went to sleep for several hours and woke up w/the pain again, that was exactly the same (this was the first time I have had it other than in the morning), but this time only lasted 10 minutes. I slept until the next day, but didn't have it again. I didn’t bother going to the ER again the 2nd time b/c they said it was just the bronchitis.
However, the symptoms of chest pain w/bronchitis that I read were different – pain w/breathing. My pain was always present (this last incident as well as all the others) – not pulsing, throbbing, sharp, dull, crushing, or any other words that I’ve read that are suppose to describe chest pain. It was like somewhere in the middle of sharp and dull – it goes from just to the left of my chest and goes further left to where about the middle of my breast is, and is wider in area the further left it goes. Same area goes for the back pain – it’s almost like it’s one big block across my body, and it always happens like this. I don’t ever feel like I have trouble breathing or feel dizzy. Sometimes I feel a little lightheaded though, and I always feel very exhausted after I have these episodes. Changing position, walking, sitting, lying down, etc don’t seem to make the pain worse or better. The pain always lasts around an hour to a few hours, then it just seems to disappear all of a sudden.
The reason I never thought about this as a problem I guess is because of my age. I’m only 28 now, and this started around when I was 19/20. I’ve never been overweight or had any major health problems other than migraines every once every few months or so, and I don’t smoke, but I do drink, but not often b/c I usually get headaches, even w/just one. I always just assumed the pain was bad heartburn or something, but then again it was never quite this painful. Actually I have taken antacids before but they didn’t work, so I stopped trying to take them.
After this last incident it hasn’t happened again, but I’ve notice something new, and this is why I started researching my symptoms on the internet. After I eat, usually lunch or between lunch and dinner (I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day), I feel like my heart is racing and pounding. Sometimes it can happen w/breakfast or dinner, but not as often as mid-day. This doesn’t happen every day, but at least every other day and sometimes more than once. Thinking it was something I ate, tried to eat the same foods/drink again (even trying the same exact patterns all day), but the symptoms were inconsistent. I haven’t noticed any trouble w/exercise but I don’t do anything major – just a few times a week on an elliptical or stationary bike and taking my dogs hiking. Also have noticed every once in a while I’ll get a weird feeling in my chest then have to cough, but then it’s gone…. But maybe that’s just me getting rid of bronchitis? Not sure exactly what my heart rate is during these episodes, but it sure does feel fast.
As far as stress I do go to school in addition to work, but my schedule really hasn’t changed over the last few years, so I don’t know if that contributes to it. Family history is clear of heart attacks, but do have a few family members w/MVP and/or arrhythmia… Not sure on the specifics but they were all relatively young when diagnosed (younger than 40). Not sure if I could have that, but I’ve never been diagnosed w/it. A few family members have diabetes but they are the overweight ones and didn’t get it until they were older (over 60).
Should I bother seeing a doctor about this, or just don’t worry about it? I have to pay for my health insurance myself and have a high deductible, so I’m concerned about paying for expensive tests and my insurance going up due to that, then it be all for nothing. I’ve read a lot of forums where people have chest pain and/or fast heartbeat after eating, and after a multitude of tests they were told nothing is wrong, so could it just be psychological, and if so is there a way for me to get an idea of whether it is by waiting it out or trying to modify things in my life to save myself the money and hassle before going to a doc? At what point should I be concerned, if not now, or should I even be at all? Any input you have is very much appreciated.
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