Anxiety and Depression Support
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Dilemma

Hello,

I posted here recently regarding anxiety about upper body pain and shortness of breath, but tonight I also coughed up pink, frothy sputum for the second time in three weeks. In neither instance did I have a bloody nose, bleeding gums, or throat irritation. It is clearly coming from my chest.

I know anxiety can be responsible for certain symptoms, but I am having a hard time believing that it can cause this. Besides, this symptom is not even occurring during a panic attack. I have had problems with dyspnea and sinus tachycardia since being hospitalized with pneumonia last January. My problems with chest pain and pink sputum precede the pneumonia.

I don't know what to do here. My sputum is no longer pink, but my chest feels tight, and I have a productive cough. I know conventional wisdom says it's all anxiety, but what if it isn't?

I realize no one here can give medical advice, but I'm scared and don't know what to do. Should I go to the ER? I don't know what's real when it comes to my body anymore.

Please help.

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mrmonk

SEEMS to point to PULMINARY EDEMA,a build up of fluid around the lung, PERHAPS its coming off your chest,clearing up the excess. part of getting better..??

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Edema is what I thought, too, 2stroke. That's why I was/am so freaked out and anxious. I went to the doctor today, but no answers as of yet, unfortunately. I'm not looking forward to white-knuckling it through the night.

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go to the doctor...a very bad respiratory infection is going around. If your immune system is already compromised, you are at high risk. I wouldn't second guess yourself, go and get a work-up.

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Thanks for the heads up, fauxartist. I think I am at greater risk for respiratory infection since having pneumonia. I saw my pulmonologist today, and he ordered a chest x-ray, though I wasn't able to schedule the test for today, so I still have no answers. He thinks it may be something minor, like a burst capillary, but at least he had the decency not to dismiss my concerns. In fact, he wanted to order a chest CT, but I explained to him that I have had six CTs in the space of little more than a year, and was told by another doctor not to have another if it can be avoided.

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Hope you are feeling better these days....

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Thank you, Denise, for checking in on me.

My pulmonologist told me if I didn't hear back from him, then there wasn't anything urgent to report. I didn't hear back from him, so I was more at ease...for a while. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was back in the emergency room with chest pains and other symptoms. They kept me overnight to monitor me and run some tests. They gave me a clean bill of health and sent me on my way. And yet...almost every single night remains the same: the same abject terror, the same questioning, the same trying to talk myself out of going to the ER. Rinse and repeat.

I did have my first therapy session in many years recently, but I haven't learned anything new yet to help me through the awful nights. And the sessions will just be once a week, anyway. Six more days until my next session. Five more nights.

The nights are just the absolute worst, the pits. Everyone in the house is asleep. I think it would be easier if I knew someone were there with me, which is why I come here in the hopes of finding someone to talk to -- being alone just amplifies my anxiety.

It's almost funny -- just before I was discharged after my recent ER visit, the hospitalist came in and broke the news to me: my tests all came back normal; I was fine. The doctor looked at my face and said "That's good news." It was like I was actually disappointed there was nothing wrong. That's not true, of course. I was happy that I was physically okay for the moment. But it's the daily/nightly fear that this well-being will change -- and it can for any of us -- that keeps me in a kind of paralysis that won't abate and, at least at night, will not let me sleep.

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I dont sleep well either & can relate to how hard it is at night. I am new to this area so I dont have a single friend or associate. I can understand you feeling perplexed by the good news. Its hard to be relieved when youre telling me nothing is physically wrong but not providing me w any hints as to what the problem may be. I just want someone to help me find the answers so I can rest, relax, recharge!

Any recommendations for docs or mental health in the area?

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Hi Denise,

My health anxiety has me pretty much housebound, so I've just started remote/online therapy. It's a good option wherever you're located because then you have the choice to work with any mental health practitioner licensed in-state, who offers the service (and is available).

Locally, I don't know any specific providers to recommend, though I do know there are support groups in the area that meet regularly. I have not attended any of them, however, so, I have no firsthand knowledge to recommend them, but they could be worth a shot.

(I was going to post the link to the support groups, but I realized the URL revealed the location of our part of the state, and I didn't know if you wanted that info out there, so I'd be happy to send it by private message if you like.)

I've been back in the area for almost a year now, but only recently begun to seek professional help. Two great resources I utilized to search statewide for a therapist were Psychology Today and Open Path; you may already be aware of them, but here are the links, anyway:

psychologytoday.com/

openpathcollective.org/

I hope you find the support you need as well; we're all in this together.

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