Posted By Renee on April 28, 1999 at 17:21:05
I hope you can point me in the right direction. Infrequently, I have sharp chest pain that worsens when taking a deep breath. The pain(s) is located in the middle of my chest, and also located on/under the ribs, far left side. The first time was 2 years ago in the middle of the night. Lasted only a few minutes, went to ER to be sure it was nothing serious. They hooked me up to a machine (EKG?) to check my heart and all came out normal. A few weeks later I wore a 24-hr Holter monitor, which showed normal and had an echo (no treadmill) that was normal too. At that point, I chalked it up to stress. The next time it happened was this past February. I was sitting down, got up, turned around and there they were. It's almost like something catches inside and I must wait (and do shallow breathing) until it passes. That time lasted approx. 1 minute. Went to doctor, had chest x-ray, came out normal, EKG - normal, Stress Echo (treadmill) showed (as the technician put it) my heart was perfect before and after the treadmill. Cardiologist was present and said blood was flowing just fine to and from the heart so and there was nothing pointing to blocked arteries. Again, I chalked it up to stress, although I truly have very little stress. Last week as I was loading the dishwasher, it happened again but this time the pain (when breathing deep) lasted 30 minutes rather than subsiding quickly. So I just did shallow breathing until is subsided. Got me scared again, I called my doctor and she seems to think it's stress and said that if there was anything wrong with my lungs it would've shown up on the chest x-ray and if there was something wrong with the valves, the echo would have showed it. Could this be some sort of temporary pleurisy, a quick sort that comes for no reason or some sort of muscular-skeletal problem? The pains are sharp, unlike the pains for angina or heart attack. I have no history of pneumonia or bronchitis and smoked for a few years but quit about 4 years ago. Are there any tests you can suggest? Thanks so much.
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