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My heart, is not normal, afterall. Please aid me, friends.

Dear Medhelp.

I have spent the past 3 years on a quest to find out what is wrong with me. I am a very obsessive person and I have turned into one three years back when I had a medical emergency.

I was jogging with my dog, came back to have a shower and prepare the food, as soon as I shoved the spoon into my mouth for the second round, I go into euphoria. I get my first out of body experience, feeling light headed, unable to talk, unable to walk, weak, and a very very fast beating of a heart.

I was rushed to the emergency dep by the local clinic, from there I recovered and walked out. I was never, ever the same ever again.

I had a phobia of jogging. I no longer do sport any more, neither do I want to. ER did everything they could, and they found me to be normal. However I said to myself, ER doctor's opinion does not matter, I need to find the truth myself.

so I embarked on a medical journey to try and find what is wrong with me, eventually I was banned from two private hospitals.

The doctors I visited:

1- I approached cardiologist #1 - He did an ECG and Troponin and other cardiac enzymes, says my heart is fine, and tells me to leave.

2- I approach cardiologist #2 (Same hospital) - He preforms another ECG, then runs Full profile (CBC/LFT/RFT) and tells me Im fine, and to leave.

3- I approach cardiologist #3 (Private hospital #1) - He performs a third ECG, installs a Holter monitor for 24 hours and asks me to come tomorrow for a heart echocardiagram (doppler). All turned out to be normal, he sent me back home like the others. Told me what I have could be anxiety related, refers me to a psychiatrist and a Gastro consultant to check for GERD related issues.

4- Psychiatrist gives me SSRI and benzo and sends me off, I go on SSRI and throw the benzo for one whole year, still problem is there. Visit the gastro department, they perform an endoscopy + colonscopy (since im already in anesthesia, he thought why not?), tell me I have gastritis+H pylori + Gerd, puts me on eradiaction treatment and then Im told weeks later I only have GERD which I maintain with 20 mg nexium.

5- My problem still exists. I get palpitations when I take deep breaths, I feel them in the middle of my chest, and at the base of my neck, I can barely go up the stairs fast without losing my breath, I used to be 100 pound more, and used to be a 1 pack a day smoker, and was climbing the stairs WITH EASE, now with a great BMI and non smoker status I cant do any of that?

6- I go to the Gastro again and inform him my problem is still there, does a cervical + upper abdomen MRI with contrast and performs ultrasound, and tells me its all normal, he said "Go check with a cardiologist", and I told him that "I've seen a cardiologist already". He sends me off to a endocrinologist (The thyroid man).

7- Endocrinologist welcomes me, Performs a full panel (TSH+ T3 +T4 +Antibodies), turns out my TSH is 1.68 and both T3 + T4 is normal, but antibodies are 3 fold positive. Diagnosis me with Hashimotos, throws cortisone immunosupprassants into the mix, I deny treatment and go to another Endo. The other one advices me NEVER to take the imunosuppressants and just live my life to see myself turn into a hypothyroid dude, then do a surgery and live off synthroid. Tells me my Panel is great, and it wasnt causing my heart related stories.  Tells me to do some extra hormonal tests, by the names of ACTH + Aldestrone + Cortisol, all came out normal. Decides to sends me to a Neurologist.

8- Neurologist welcomes me to his office. Listens to my story of being euphoric. and feeling unable to talk. Sends me on a mission to have a brain MRI and EEG test. Both came out negative from lesions and electrical issues. Still decides I am suffering from partial seizures, or some form of absence seizure, prescribes me anticonvulsants? by the name of lamicital, tells me I need to up it to 100mg within a month. I walk out of his office, throw the medication in the bin, Im telling him something about my heart palpitations and he diagnosis me with seizures?

9- Go back to my GP and tell him about everything I went through, tells me to go see a friend of his, another cardiologist.

10- I walk into Cardiologist number 4, Asks me that my tests are quiet old and he needs a fresh one, so he gives me the cardiology coctail of tests, ECG, cardiac enzymes, CBC, LFG, RFT, Electrolytes, then Echo, and adds a 36 hour holter monitor into the mix, and tells me to bring a running shoe tomorrow (I was like wtf?) why, Im not running.

11- I come next day to be surprised by him wanting me to do an ECG+ stress test, consisting of 5 levels. fortunately though, I finished the test, and sat on the edge panting, trying to catch a breath, about to pass out. Heart beating at 180 bpm, I told him to get ready to CPR me if I collapse, he sits there watching me breath. My heart goes back to resting rate, tells me I suffer from anxiety and gastro problems.

2 years fast forward, I am in deep depression. I am afraid of leaving my home, I am unable to catch a flight. I feel fainty, tired, weak. I know something is wrong with my heart, why do I feel tightness in middle of chest? Why does my heart beat so fast by catching 1 set of stairs? why do I get palpitations when I take deep breaths or change my positions?

I walk into cardiologist #1 and find #2 sitting next to him. Apparently, they heard my case from the last cardiologist I visited as they are all in the same area and attend same conventions. He says what seems to be my problem, I ask him I need a brain angiogram and a heart one as well (since they share the same dye), I would love to also have a 256 slice scan of my heart with one of the new machines. Asks me why I need these? I said because I suspect I have clogged blood vesseles that are causing the fainty/euphoric episodes and palpitations/tachycardia ones as well.

He refuses, he says that his medicine school/board follows a protocol/algorithm that doesnt allow him to put me through these tests given my circumstances, and it would bring him a great shame among his peers. I tell him that I need it, AS A PATIENT I NEED THIS TEST, I know my heart is clogged, otherwise why I keep getting all these symptoms. Asks security to throw me out, and hospital black lists me, so does its sister hospital.

I am tired guys, I need help, I know I am not myself any more. I can feel I am not myself any more. This is not some stupid hullicinations, I am having these symptoms for a reason, and they a root cause must be found.

What could I have?

Extra info:
A whole body MRI was done recently to rule out any tumors masses, and a CRP test thrown in to check if its positive (>6 mg/l) to outrule cancers and tumors.
2 Responses
1124887 tn?1313754891
Your post is a TEXTBOOK description of "somatoform autonomic dysfunction" - a variant of health anxiety. To get better, you don't need any additional tests. You've done all of them. You need some insight into what symptoms fear of heart disease can produce.

But first. If you can't trust 4 cardiologists telling you that your heart is fine, who should you trust? Yourself? Are you more qualified to diagnose your heart than 4 cardiologists? What is the chance that 4 cardiologists are all wrong? And what is the chance that you are wrong? Which is more likely?

To your symptoms, it's easy to say but somewhat harder to do, but you should try, it sounds silly but it's the best advice you can get. I got it from a psychiatrist who in fact had a heart disease:

Forget that you have a heart. Ignore it. You can't do anything to control your heart, and if it suddenly decides to stop beating (which in fact is extremely unlikely) you are dead anyway, so there is really nothing you can do. And it's not the worst way to die. You want a guarantee that your heart isn't going to stop or fail. You can never have one. It's a fact of life, just like the fact that sooner or later you are going to die. You can't prevent your own death. Of course, we want to live for 50 more years. But we just can't know for sure.

Life is uncertain. You don't know when or how you are going to die. You might get shot if you are unlucky. Do you wear a helmet and a bulletproof jacket? You may get killed in traffic. Are you afraid to drive? If not, why not? Why do you need a guarantee regarding certain "dangers" but not others?

Live healthy. Exercise regularily. Don't smoke and avoid illegal drugs and binge drinking. Except that, it really isn't anything you can do. Everything else you do will only reduce your life quality and make you depressed (as you without doubt have found out already).

I know I shouldn't provide reassurance to someone with anxiety, but you can get some reassurance anyway. Everything you describe can be caused by anxiety, in fact most of it sounds like what adrenaline can do. Nothing sounds dangerous at all. I can honestly say that much of the stuff my heart has done due to anxiety sounds much worse.

Live your life in the real world. Let your heart control itself and ignore it. And please, don't ask your doctor for further tests. If you need them, your doctor will suggest them himself.

Good luck
1124887 tn?1313754891
By the way, sorry for a harsh answer. I know how you feel. It's horrible. But I believe the answer can be helpful, even though it sounds rough.
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