Another Hopeless Nightmare at the ER

Guys I am feeling so powerless, hopeless, and lost. I have been fighting continuous bouts of what I guess is anxiety. Dealing with ongoing shortness of breath, disconnect from reality, chest pain, back pain, and sleeplessness. I have tried to accept the anxiety, take my medication (Buspar & Zoloft) practice coping skills, and nothing seems to be working. I have been trying my best to stay away from the hospital but tonight it got to the point where could not take it. When I got to the er I was hysterically crying and thought that I was going to literally jump out of my skin. I had the typical test performed for the complaint of shortness of breath which were, EKG, Chest X-Ray, Bloodwork, D-Dimer, Enzyme, and gave urine. After waiting for about two hours, all the doctor could say was all my test were normal, that it could possibly still be an issue with my heart or lungs, or just generalized anxiety. He basically scared me half to death because I am just in fear of having heart disease which will lead to a heart attack because I am a smoker and obese (29 y/o female, 302 lbs). He set me up with an outpatient echocardiogram, told me to follow up with my PCP and request a sleep study. I have not had chest pains all day until after leaving the er. I also felt like I was not being taken seriously because of the fact that they didn't try to do anything to try and calm me down and made me sit for hours with no concern. Has anyone every had an echo before? I know that this is not an outlet for expertise but has anyone ever had a diagnosis of heart disease even after normal test results in the hospital. Please help me.

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25 Replies

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  • Lexi, first of all, please stop looking for pointing out the things that could be wrong with you. Anxiety is provoked for a chain of events, and this will make it worst. Breath...and schedule an appointment with your doctor or a cardiologist. An echocardiogram is non-invasive. They use a doppler, just like sonograms conducted to pregnant women. And it is a wonderful thing because it shows all your heart's functions, so you will have a definite diagnosis. I think you are doing your part in managing your anxiety with acceptance, coping skills and medication. If you already know that smoking and lack of exercise is not healthy, try making changes little by little without making you feel overwhelmed. You are very young and you have time to live a long, healthy life, with a sound mind. Emergency rooms are to diagnose life threatening symptoms, and if all your tests came back good, then you should not be worry about something bad happening. Control your fears, and you will see how you will control your nerves. You will be fine, just breath.

  • Thank you so much...I try my best not to self-diagnose or state that something else is wrong with me. Ugh I just wish that I could just turn all of these feelings off. I don't want to worry like this anymore. I feel like life is just passing my by and I'm just waiting on my demise. I used to be able to have so much fun, go out, smile, and had the most positive outlook on everything. I look at in the mirror and I don't even recognize myself any longer. I am scheduled to see my PCP on Thursday morning. Still waiting on my Echo appointment. Has anyone every felt like they would rather something be wrong just so it could be fixed? I want to speak positive over my life but the constant worry outweighs it all.

  • I know it's terrible to think like that, but I sometimes think that way too, "just find something already m, so I can know and fix it!" I hate HATE anxiety and I've only been dealing with it for 3 months. I've had several tests done as well and they always say everything is fine. It's hard to accept when it feels so real. Hang in there and try to stay positive. I know first hand that it's easier said than done.

  • Thank you bunches and I am trying so hard. I'm just feeling so defeated at this point. I visited my PCP today and told him that I am continuing to have shortness of breath and the medicine does not seem as if it is effective. I also discussed with him my night in the er. He stated that having an echo may lessen my worry however, stated that he really believes it is just anxiety. He increased my Buspar to 10mg three times daily and left me on the 150mg Zoloft. He also set me up with a sleep study. We discussed quitting smoking and reducing my cigarettes one step at a time. I felt ok after the appointment but then those chest pains resurfaced and have been hell on wheels daily. I just pray that something changes because I just don't know how much more I can take before I lose my mind.

  • Are them tablets sertraline(Zoloft) ? I've been prescribed them and I'm suffering really bad with anxiety. I've had it for over a year now and it's got worse. I used to love going out drinking with my partner and friends but now it scares me cos I just don't feel well enough to go out and socialise now. Did u feel okay on the Zoloft?

  • I totally understand how you feel. Yes it is Zoloft. I enjoyed social drinking and going out but I have completely isolated myself at this point. I refuse to take a drink because I fear it will make my anxiety skyrocket. At first I used to get belly aches for about the first two weeks but after that I got no side effects or no positive effects either. I have been on Zoloft for about eight months now

  • Just feel like this is my life now. Everyone says think positive but all I seem to think about is how ill I feel. I actually look at other ppl that are so happy and relaxed and think god why can't I feel normal again! It's getting me down now

  • I am right there with you. Life for me is so miserable and I feel even worse because I have my three year old baby who I feel like I am not giving her everything she needs because I am so anxious and sad all of the time. If I had one wish it would definitely be to go back to the old me.

  • I've got a 5yr old girl and 10yr old boy and I feel like I just push them away all the time cos all I can think about is how ill I feel. When I have an anxiety attack I get a choking sensation in my throat, it's awful. Can't remember the last time I actually felt like I could breathe properly

  • Tell me about it! I have the same thing! And its like you know you are breathing but it does not feel like you are getting enough oxygen and your going to be deprived at any second. Then there are the jitters in the stomach. I think what gets me the most besides the sensation of not breathing is I have really bad chest pain.

  • I get chest tightness but not really pain. I get pains in my back when my muscles are so tense(which is every day and nite!) my anxiety is alot worse on a night time tho. Lack of sleep is making me feel so down. I have work in a few hours and just can't sleep

  • I agree same way with me but I think some of my sleeplessness stems from sleep apnea so thank God my PCP set me up with a study. We gotta to get through this we have children to live for.

  • I ended up in the ER today actually :( taken by ambulance since the ekg looked abnormal. Turns out it was something I already knew I had! Could have avoided that whole fiasco if I had just remembered and told them! But I was in such a panic that it freaked me out even more! You live and you learn. At least I know my heart is fine. I'm also on a very low dose of buspar but feel like it's not even working. Are you in any form of therapy? I've been going for the past 3 weeks and feel like it will be the only thing to help me. Try some breathing exercises they usually help me. Best of luck to you!

  • May I ask what was abnormal about your EKG? If your heart is fine why did the EKG come out abnormal? I would've been scared too.

  • I forgot what it's calle, but my right side beats slower than the left or something like that, it's not life threatening and very common from what I understand. No blockage was found and my heart is very healthy.

  • I am so sorry for that terrible ordeal! I had to end up getting off last night because I felt so horrible so I just forced myself to sleep. I am currently not in therapy but I plan to start as soon as possible. I am willing to try any and everything to get myself under control. I made a mistake today and began to google. I ran across some things that frightened me and I have just been telling myself you have go to stop this. Ugh this is definitely the worst thing I have ever had to endure in my life. I wouldn't wish anxiety on my worst enemy.

  • Same here, I am willing to try anything to get over this. I've tried different supplements different meds, I'm going to start CBT and hope that that is the answer. I know exercise would help a lot but I'm afraid of my heart rate getting too high.

  • That is the same way I feel. I want to lose weight so bad but I am afraid of causing myself trouble with cardio exercise. I was thinking about dropping some weight first then beginning the exercise regime. My friend told me that she was going to look into some local gyms that monitor your vitals while working out so that I will feel less anxious about exercising.

  • I've lost 16 pounds since November bc my anxiety caused me to lose my appetite. I had started to workout but stopped bc of my fear of my heart rate. You need to begin with a healthy lifestyle and then incorporate exercise. Even just going for a walk is better than nothing.

  • Yes that is so true. I have been on you tube looking at weight loss journeys to increase my motivation. I have issues with weight gain and or losing weight because my job requires me to be in the field all day and I don't even eat until around 9pm-10pm so I know this is the route of my issue. I was thinking about starting the slim fast diet where you do the two replacement meal shakes, 2 snacks, and a 500 calorie meal. I figured that this would be the best for me since I don't eat during the day anyways. Not only has the anxiety been a big burden on me, I no longer feel physically attractive because of my weight. I have been chubby since I was in late middle school but I was still confident because I was in shape. Now I don't even buy clothes or fix myself up because I don't feel pretty. I believe this has alot to do with the reason my fiance and I ended things. He was the type of guy who always told me I was beautiful no matter what my size was. He has always been thing and somewhat muscular but can eat anything he wanted but never gained weight. So he would eat and eat as well as pressure me to eat too. I think he was frustrated with my negative attitude and it was down hill from there. Sorry to talk your head off but it makes me feel better to talk to someone who understands what I am going through.

  • Just a small comment to you...Hdelmari, Your absolutely RIGHT, I have been suffering from the FEAR, PANIC, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION for 50 some years, and my mother also had all of it. Getting rid of it all, is most assuredly EASIER said than done :'( As we all no, it IS a constant battle :( My mom always said she wouldn't wish this on her worst enemy :(

  • I always say the same thing. I don't wish this on anybody! :(

  • Hi, I can relate to the fear you deal with.....I won't go into my battle of many yrs with panic disorder and General Anxiety Disorder...and trying meds, therapy, CBT classes, meditation, natural products etc etc. I am having probs with my heart, PVCs, irregular heart beat, going for a resting and non resting tread mill test soon (with dye)...oh joy! Terrified ....I can tell you that I have had several echo cardiograms and you have NOTHING to worry about. You put on a gown, lay on a table, the technician dims the lights, puts the electrodes on. She will use a bit of gel so the "wand" or whatever you wish to call it, will move or slide over the areas she wants to see....you will hear your heart beating....you will likely be asked to roll a bit on each side while she slides the wand over your skin. She will give you a cloth with done to wipe the gel off and you will go home. The drs. office will contact you....this is one of the easiest tests to have done next to an ECG....you have nothing to fear from it.

  • Hi there thank you so much for your input. I don't think I am really afraid about the process of the echo it is more so I just want to be helped. I have a feeling that this echo is not going to give any piece of mind. I just want to be free of all of these feelings.

  • how well I know how you feel, I over think so many things, I dwell on what if's ....I worry worry worry. I feel there is no hope for me....I am embarrassed by myself, I just want to be happy, and enjoy what is left of my life.....we have to take one day at a time....one step at a time......

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