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Shortness of breath, tightness in chest, gasping for breath - What could it be?

This is kind of a long one, it's been a terrible couple of weeks...

On around Monday March 9th, I started to feel a tightness in the area above the belly and below the breast, right in the center. I just figured it was a symptom of an energy drink I had (experienced something similar a couple years prior). Later that week I started to feel some burning pain in that spot and whenever I'd lay down that burning would spread all over my gut. If I lay on one side or the other the burning would be there.

I spoke to someone that said they experienced something similar and said it was ulcers. They took some Nexium and were better.

Tuesday night I felt the burning so I sat in my chair. I started to fall asleep in the chair and woke up gasping for breath. It scared the heck out of me. I stopped taking ibuprofen pills. My old doctor had me taking 800mg daily for back pain as I'd sleep (this was 4-5 years ago though). I looked online and found out that it could cause ulcers. I thought this might be the cause so I cut those out.

I bought some Nexium 24hr the next day (Wednesday) and took one of the pills around noon.

I took a nap for about an hour and woke up gasping for air. I felt that pressure in the center of my chest again and my throat felt sore and tighter. For a couple hours afterwards it felt like I had a shortness of breath. I ate and felt better that evening.

I went to bed and it felt like the air passage was being blocked, so I'd sit in my chair that night. Every time I'd fall asleep, I'd wake up gasping for breath. I didn't get any sleep.

The next day (Thursday) I took my second nexium pill. I felt tired all day and I ended up sleeping in my recliner. When my brother came in to talk to me I'd fall asleep mid-conversation. After a few hours I felt perfectly fine. I was productive all afternoon and evening. Then I went to bed.

Like before, I'd feel the air passage start to block as I'd lay on my sides or on my chest. I went to my chair and slept there, and like before, I kept waking up and gasping for breath. So I stayed awake until about 6am, when I took a nap. I woke up in my chair around 7-7:30am and went to bed. There I slept for another 5 hours, no problem.

That afternoon I decided to lay down for a little bit. I couldn't get comfortable and the same air blockage came back after about 30/45 minutes so I got up. For a couple hours I'd feel like I have a shortness of breath. There was a tightness in my chest and throat, both of which is still there.

I should tell you that I am 34 years old and morbidly obese. I'm currently working on that by doing keto.
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Avatar universal
This is a red flag for obstructive sleep apnea.  Not saying you have it, but you should discuss with your doc.
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