July 2, 2007
I am a 45 year old who suffers from panic and anxiety attacks for the last several years. But these attacks have gotten worse and worse over the last several months due to my personal situation (unemployed, adopting a baby, lawsuit, selling my house). To say I am under pressure is an understatement.
I had not had a full blown panic attack since March but 3 weeks ago (June 10) I had the worse chest pain I had had in the last 20 years. The pain went from my outside left rid all the way into the middle of my chest. I couldn't breathe for a few seconds and the pain was VERY sharp. It stopped after several seconds but my heart was pounding.
Since that date the pains have been coming more and more frequently and closer together. Where as before they would happen every few months, now they seem to happen every day. This morning I had another bad one. While food shopping I got a sharp pain in my left chest that went again to the middle of my chest. Again, trouble breathing and the pain last for a few minutes. It is now 3 1/2 hours since that happened and there is still discomfort and pain in those same areas
Last week I went to St Francis Heart Hospital in Nassau County, NY (one of the best heart hospitals in the area). They gave me a battery of tests, echo, EKG, a stress test before and after my echo test, blood tests, chest x-rays, etc. ALL tests came back negative. They told me that the only other thing they could do is an angiogram to test for any blockage but this is risky. For the record, this is my second ECK in 2 weeks. I also had some test to determine blood flow in my caryatid arteries and heart - again, all negative.
As I said, I am 45 years old, my blood pressure is about 110/85, and my cholesterol level is 112. I do not have any history of heart trouble in my family (my dad left us when I was 1 year old so I have no idea about his history although I know he is still alive). I do not smoke cigarettes but do smoke one cigar per day when the weather is good. Never did drugs and drink about one glass of red wine per day.
My fear is that there is something very wrong with me and the doctors are missing it, even though I went to four hospitals and they all told me the same thing. I know panic attacks happen at anytime for no apparent reason. What concerns me is that they are now happening almost every day, the pain is getting worse and the pain seems to stay with me more than just a few minutes. It seems to last for hours at a time (like today).
Any advice, suggestions, contacts, etc. that you can provide would be VERY appreciative.