I am a 47 year old American living in Portugal. I say this only to highlight that I am working through a health system that is not entirely my own.
About 5 days ago I started having sharp, stabbing pains in the center of my chest. The pain comes for a split second, then goes away, only to reoccur in another hour, two hours, three hours, etc. The frequency appears random, and I cannot reproduce the pain mechanically by moving, deep breathing, etc. It just comes, and goes, and then comes again. I will note that this has happened episodically over the last year 1-2 other times only to go away after a few days. This time, the pain has been worse, more persistent, and more frequent.
I went to the emergency room 5 days ago and they worked me up for possible heart attack - Blood work, EKG and chest X-ray. The verdict was no heart attack, and no emergency, with a suggestion to follow up with my GP. Which I did the next day. He checked vitals - all was OK - and wrote me up for a 24 hour holter, an EKG with stress, and a CAT Scan of my thorax. At this time, I am waiting for results of the CAT, have to redo the Holter, as the first unit apparently could not download its contents, and the EKG with stress was negative for blood flow issues to heart - All OK there (despite having read that the accuracy of the stress test is only so good, and that a nuclear test should be considered. In any case, the emergency room visit and the stress test do not revel anything at this time.
Meanwhile, the pain continues, exactly as I describe it above. Happens during the day, happens at night, happens when I am asleep and wakes me up. No rhyme or reason can I discern. Again - sharp, piercing pain, center of chest, lasts for a split second, goes away. Comes back again in some unspecified and irregular amount of time. No other lasting effects are obvious, suck as shortness of breath, squeezing pain that persists, spreading pain to jaw, shoulders, etc
I am freaking out because A. The pain is quite shocking when it comes, and disruptive. B. Due to the long delays in obtaining exam write ups here, and then the results, I have absolutely zero indication of what might be going on, and no results yet that I can hold onto, other than a negative emergency room visit for heart attack and the EKG stress test. I pound the internet, and see some ideas in Pleurisy, Pericarditis, Costochondritis, but all of these have symptomology that does not entirely fit.
If anyone out there can help me I would be greatly in your debt. If this sounds familiar to anyone there, please share your experiences and let me know anything that could be useful to me. Thank you very much in advance.