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Heart Issue or Possibly Panic Attack?

Hi, I'm wondering if any can chime in about symptoms I've been feeling last couple weeks, especially last few days.

I have had an issue with being woken in the night with heart palpitations (pounding not racing, pulse is usually 80-100bpm), and sometimes a flushing feeling in my stomach for more than a year or two. This is usually accompanied by a dream where I am exerting myself (chasing someone, being chased, etc.). I have constant stomach issues and pain that also wake me up. So sleep is not great. I know this is may be anxiety related.

But a couple weeks ago I awoke with a very sharp pain on the left side of my chest and a little under my left arm. Didn't go away for more than 30min. I was sleeping on left side. Since then, this has subsided a bit, and I avoid sleeping on left side. I've continued to feel a bit of discomfort at times (more pressure than pain) under my left armpit.

And a coupe days ago, I was sitting talking to someone in the evening when I suddenly became very dizzy and lightheaded. I had a bit of difficulty focusing my thoughts as well, but possibly due to wondering what was happening. Eventually went home. Just took it easy, as I felt generally pretty weak. But I have no symptoms of sickness.

Then, this morning at 5am, I was awakened by a very intense 'attack'. It didn't seem to be associated with a typical dream. My heart was pounding very heavily, and this time I felt a flushing or heat flash over the left side of my face for a few minutes. This has NEVER happened before. I just sat in bed and completely focused on being calm and peaceful. After a while, it died down a bit but never fully went away. And I had to remain on my back, not my sides, or things would get worse.

Today there is still a bit of pressure or heart palpitations on the left side of my chest, and there is also a bit of pressure under my left armpit. I have no numbness or tingling in arm/face, though. And I've never experienced 'shortness of breath' (I can take deep breaths during these episodes). Just feel pretty weak and 'out-of-it' overall.

- Thoughts anyone???

- Are these symptoms of panic attack, or possibly something worse?

I have never taken any meds for anxiety, nor have I seen a doctor about any of this. Unfortunately, I don't have insurance and just started the application for it last night. So I would love to wait a few weeks til that kicks in, but don't want to take any chances if this might be something more severe?

- If I did need to get it checked out, is there a way that is less severe or expensive than ER visit (i.e., urgent care facility, regular visit with cardio doctor, or maybe a physical with emphasis on heart)??? Really don't want to ruin my chances of health insurance coverage if at all possible.
1 Responses
1137980 tn?1281285446
Personally i think from what you have described that it is important for you to be checked out by a doctor so that they can take a look at everything you are experiencing.  Sometimes i think during the heat of things all of us try to explain it away as anxiety, stress, etc. because i think it is the normal way of denial when we suspect something not so great is happening within our bodies but personally i don't think any one of us could put a price on our lives in terms on not having or having insurance because depending on what is going on w.you a delay of two weeks could put you into a world of hurt long term.  From my experience the cheapest way to go is to a private doc vs. a hosp. or urgent care however alof of clinics actually have you pay on a sliding scale of what your income is and actually let you make payments.  My understanding that if you reside within the U.S, you cannot be denied medical ins. because of a pre existing illness or diagnosis however it doesn't say anything about how high your rates can soar to.  For a safety zone until this is over you would be better off going to a heart doc rather than a public entity for your issues because those records are not as easily obtainable as a public hospital or urgent care or even clinic is because there are literally thousands and thousands and thousands of docs in private practice out there and it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  I would def. get checked out tho....you are throwing a few red flags here ...take care and happy holidays...
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