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SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid PowerDork
8/13/14 3:59 p.m.

So I drove my wife to work and hung out for a couple hours, then drove her home, stopped for some ice cream on the way, and by about the time I got home my chest started having a dull ache that I felt was possibly gas. After about a half hour, my left arm started to also get a dull ache and a tingle in he elbow and wrist.

At that point I decided to not screw around and I had the wife take me to the ER. They ran all the tests and everything came up negative. They told me I had an anxiety attack and then said they have the symptoms as a heart attack. Great.

Well they gave me some Nitro, aspirin, and Lorazepam, then told me to not go into work to make sure everything is ok, which was fine by me because the Nitro gave me a nice headache for about 12 hours. I came home and crashed and slept until this morning. My wife stayed up all night to keep an eye on me.

So I guess I'm all right, but it did freak me out.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
8/13/14 4:05 p.m.

As someone who knows what your wife went through last night you need to give her a hug and thank her. My father was a heart patient and we had to go through the same things as your wife did last night. It's torturous.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
8/13/14 4:07 p.m.

Although we went through it many many times in the 13 years my dad was a heart patient. 95-08. Not fun, keep your ticker in good shape for your families sake.

Toyman01
Toyman01 UltimaDork
8/13/14 4:11 p.m.

BTDT. Sucks, to say the least.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
8/13/14 4:11 p.m.

BTDT 3 times now. False alarms every time. It's still a harrowing experience.

Oh yeah, and nitro headaches are the berkeleying WORST!

bludroptop
bludroptop UltraDork
8/13/14 5:12 p.m.

You did the right thing. I waited 5 hours because I was sure there was no way I could really be having a heart attack.

I was wrong. Time is muscle - the consequences of being wrong are not worth the risk.

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
8/13/14 5:19 p.m.

I'm glad that you didn't have a heart attack. I recently had one. I woke up at 8am with back pain. I thought that I had twisted it. At 5:30 pm my chest started to hurt, then my left arm, then my jaw. My wife and I were traveling and were in MA. I pulled over and told her that I thought that I was having a heart attack. I still wasn't sure. She got me to a hospital. It was after hours on a Friday night. They confirmed that it was a heart attack, brought the Cardiac team in and inserted 2 stents. I'm a severe diabetic and now they tell me that I need bypass surgery.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/13/14 5:25 p.m.

Rob, you can't die. We'd have to rename your tree.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/13/14 5:26 p.m.

Also, I know alllll about panic attacks. They berkeleying suck. Time to go see a doc, doc.

DrBoost
DrBoost UltimaDork
8/13/14 5:30 p.m.

I had those same symptoms a few weeks ago. It was enough that I was scared. I didn't go to the ER though because the insurance at my new job hadn't started up yet. I figured it it was a heart attack I'd be dead. If it wasn't a heart attack, I'd be paying the bill 'till I was dead.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
8/13/14 6:21 p.m.

My wife recently had some anxiety issues like that. Any idea on the root of your anxiety?

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/13/14 6:25 p.m.

He ran out of gummy bears.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid PowerDork
8/13/14 6:30 p.m.

Lol, no.

I have a feeling that the root of my anxiety is mainly work. I hate going there anymore. I am having a hard time finding another that I will enjoy. I also have some ongoing family issues, plus a million other things I worry about on a daily basis.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/13/14 6:31 p.m.

On the truthful note, I know for real how much it sucks dreading your job every day. There's a reason it took me as long as it did to go back to work.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
8/13/14 8:25 p.m.

I went through that once at the beginning of the year. I was slowly being poisoned by Black mold in my old rental and having all sorts of weird issues with infections, blood pressure, and some minor palpatations.. woke up to go to work on morning feeling absolutely sick.. packed a bag, and as soon as I made it outside into the freezing cold air.. I was fine. Very very scary

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
8/13/14 9:15 p.m.

My father in law had similar feelings, but it turned out to a be inflammation of the heart sack (don't know the proper term for it). Basically, the lining around the heart was irritated and causing issues. While it is not considered a heart attack, it is still considered worrisome, and he's got all kinds of tests to do.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
8/14/14 8:32 a.m.
DrBoost wrote: I had those same symptoms a few weeks ago. It was enough that I was scared. I didn't go to the ER though because the insurance at my new job hadn't started up yet. I figured it it was a heart attack I'd be dead. If it wasn't a heart attack, I'd be paying the bill 'till I was dead.

Yep. I'd rather keel over and die instead of spending the rest of my life working 3 jobs and living in a ditch to pay off a million bucks in medical bills. I have a "DNR" on my helmet for just this reason.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
8/14/14 8:53 a.m.

Also make sure you don't have Acid Reflux, it will burn/ache around your heart as well.

I went to the ER a few months ago for this, Sleep Apnea and Acid Reflux. YAY!

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
8/14/14 9:06 a.m.

Last September I woke up at 3:00 with a piercing pain low in my chest. At 8:00 the wife said we are going to the ER. The lady at the desk asked me what was wrong? how old are you? Within five minutes, i was in a bed with an IV and people swarming around. They did not listen to me saying this is NOT a heart attach, it has happened before. No shortness of breath, funny tingling sensations etc. Two rounds of enzyme checks and two EKGs showed no HA. "But just to be sure, we are keeping you over night and doing a nuclear stress test in the morning." Well $13,000 and 18 hours later they dismissed me and told me my heart was fine. "Go back to your doctor to find out what is wrong with you. But your heart is in great shape. You should go buy some life insurance." Turns out it was my gall bladder. And yes the nitro/morphine headache is a bitch.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad Reader
8/14/14 9:14 a.m.

In reply to PHeller: pericardium

And for everyone here. If you ever feel these symptoms. Take an aspirin and a shot of Maalox. Head for the hospital. If everything is feeling better by the time you get there, it was heartburn and the Maalox took care of it. If not, it could be a cardiac event and the first and best treatment you can have done is the aspirin.

(4 years in an ER)

moparman76_69
moparman76_69 SuperDork
8/14/14 9:26 a.m.

In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid:

The lament of the cable guy. I feel your pain.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde SuperDork
8/14/14 9:33 a.m.

I just had a heart attack about 7 weeks ago. Similar symptoms. Funny thing is, they still don't know what happened. I had mildly elevated enzyme levels and the EKG was heart-attack consistent but the heart cath showed 0 blockages and no areas of decreased heart function. I'm 38, I was riding a bike 40-75 miles a week and working out, I was eating right - low fat, 80% vegetarian, etc. All signs show my heart muscle works just like it should but something happened. My cardiologist said he has "no idea what happened." When I asked how I could prevent it, he just shrugged.

My GP says he thinks it was myocarditis - an inflammation of the heart muscle wall, often caused by viral attack. No way to confirm that without a heart biopsy, which we will NOT be doing. The weekend it happened I was having flu-like aches and pains and fever but no respiratory issues. My guess is that I actually contracted west nile while working on my boat about a week before - the particular symptoms I was having are a perfect lock, and one of the complications of West Nile is myocarditis. So I most likely had a heart attack because I forgot to wear bug repellent.

Recovery is now a long road although I feel great - I'm doing rehab 3x per week and can't ride my bike yet. Hopefully in another month I can start tootling around the neighborhood and maybe get back on the group rides next spring. I'm on 5 different prescriptions for at least a year. From now on, every questionnaire I fill out, I will have to check the yes box next to HA.

At any rate - if you have the symptoms, take it seriously no matter how fit and healthy you are. The consequence is too dire not too. The aspirin and Maalox thing is a great plan, but I'm now a big proponent of calling a damn ambulance so that care starts sooner IF you are having one, and if not maybe they can confirm it without spending half a night in the ER.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
8/14/14 9:43 a.m.

Glad your heart is OK! Panic attacks are awful, scary, and hard to understand at times. Hope you feel better soon.

If you say chest pain in the ER you will be fully worked up for heart attack, as you should be. I worked there 4 years and there were still times I was surprised by who was having a heart attack and who wasn't. Symptoms can be very vague.

A good rule of thumb is, if it hurts worse when you press on it, if it hurts worse when you move your arm, if it goes away with Maalox, then it's not a heart attack. If you get short of breath, if the pain radiates to jaw, back, or shoulder, or if it's a "crushing" pain, like an elephant on the chest, call 911, do not pass go.

YMMV, Caveat Emptor, etc etc.

edit: oh, and "DNR" on the helmet isn't a valid request. Your written DPOA needs to be on hand with your physician in order to prevent full resuscitation. In Michigan, even living wills aren't considered legally binding by hospitals.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
8/14/14 10:24 a.m.

What kind of ice cream did you have? I may want to avoid that flavor.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
8/14/14 10:35 a.m.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid, I'm glad it wasn't a heart attack! If it was a panic attack, I hope you can get it under control. But be careful - medical personnel aren't the only ones that need to diagnose you. Pay attention to your body and see if it might be something else causing you issues.

Gearheadotaku wrote:
DrBoost wrote: I had those same symptoms a few weeks ago. It was enough that I was scared. I didn't go to the ER though because the insurance at my new job hadn't started up yet. I figured it it was a heart attack I'd be dead. If it wasn't a heart attack, I'd be paying the bill 'till I was dead.

Yep. I'd rather keel over and die instead of spending the rest of my life working 3 jobs and living in a ditch to pay off a million bucks in medical bills. I have a "DNR" on my helmet for just this reason.

Exactly this, and it cracks me up when people try to claim we have the best medical system in the world. Maybe if you're Bill Gates!

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