Freaking out


I'm having a bit of a meltdown at the moment and don't really know what to do. I went to GP over a year ago with breathlessness and chest tightness. As I'm overweight it was put down to possible heart trouble and I was sent for a scan and then an angiogram. This showed, while there was a slight build up in one artery, my heart was fine. The symptoms were never looked into further or explained. I was sent for a chest x-ray on Monday (now Thursday) and though the radiographer never told me anything, I saw his face when he checked the scan and I know it's not good. Since then I have tried to convince myself it might not be lung cancer but it's not working, especially as I have had shoulder pain for ages too. It's only been four days since the x-ray and I'm tearing my hair out, everytime I think about it (which is pretty much all of the time) I start to get panic attacks. My husband keeps saying it can't be that bad or I would have heard by now, but I know it takes time whatever the result is.

50 Replies

  • First of all, big hug x I think lots of people can identify with exactly how you're feeling right now, I know as I've been exactly the same. I posted a little quote in here recently that 'might' help. It said 'Will the negative committee that meets in my head, sit down and shut up'! It sort of sums it up for me as I do that all the time.

    I find I just have to try to keep busy and distract myself . It's hard, very hard. Your husband is right. I went one Friday afternoon by Monday morning the doctor was In touch and that was with the weekend in between.

    I find deep breathing helps me calm myself and talking like mad about how I feel too helps. Another big hug xx

  • Thank you. It's the 'talking about it' that brought me here. I have not told anyone else in my family as I know they would worry too much and I don't want to do that to them until I know what's going on myself. I try and talk to my oh but he just keeps telling me it will be okay (I think he's trying to convince himself as much as me). And thank you for the quote, I just wish the committee would listen to me :/

  • I've started writing down in my online diary how I feel. I sort of ramble about what I'm thinking and ask myself questions and answer them. Its called ' Me and my lungs' It reads quite funnily really as I have terrible thoughts then try and justify them. By writing them down I realise I can't justify them and it's me waffling on about what if this and if that etc!!

    For example, I woke up and my left nostril was blocked. What if it was a virus, what if this gets to my lungs, an infection, a cold... I'm on steroids my lungs won't cope... etc. Only by writing it down did I realise it was just a blocked nostril and guess what? Now it's gone. xx

  • That's a good idea, thank you xx

  • Very true many years ago I had a lump in my throat. Or so I thought only to read that there was no such thing and in most cases was due to anxiety. It disappeared at that moment lol! Anxiety can play some strange tricks on you.

  • Hope you start feeling less anxious very soon x

  • That is in the past, much more relaxed now but can understand why others can let it take over.

  • Hi, We always fear the worst for some reason. There are many causes for your symptoms. I think only two days ago we had a lady report that she had lost 4 Stone and her breathing problems had gone. The causes of shoulder pain are numerous and may well be nothing to do with your chest. When a radiographer looks at an x-ray they are concentrating on seeing that the quality is good enough to make a report on. The do pull some faces at times. Diagnosis by expression is very unwise and anything requiring urgent care you would have heard something by now.

  • Thank you. I know it's silly to go by the facial expression but it wasn't a 'this isn't good enough' look, it was more of a 'holy s*it that's nasty' expression, which is why I'm worried. They also took a second x-ray straight away, so maybe (fingers crossed) the look was more to do with it not being what they needed.

  • It's standard practice to take a second x-ray if the first is not good enough. That's why they ask you to wait. This is hospital protocol nothing more! The look could have been how did that happen! You are reading far to much into sometime that does happen with x-rays.

  • I know I'm probably being silly, I can't help it though. I have just tried ringing GP but was told they only give results out after 11

  • Please let us know. let's hope it's NAD (No Abnormalities Detected).

  • When my husband and I. found he had lung cancer his dr. was told before we got out of the hospital and called and seen him the next morning

  • Thank you for the reply, I'm so sorry to hear that. xx

  • I find that the more urgent/serious it is the quicker I am contacted. So try to see the delay as a good sign. :)

  • I really hope so, thank you xx

  • Thinking of you and hope the results are good. Xxx

  • Thank you xx

  • Sending hugs your not in a good place right now. Panic is the first thing we feel when we think results are going to be bad . The mind goes into overdrive and the coping mechanism is right out the window. Try a slow breathing technique by slowly taking air in through your nose and blow out slowly via pursed lips .it's called smell the roses blow out the candle it calms you down do it when you feel panicked. The radiographers face was maybe a face they use in general if you don't know them as a person how can you judge his facial expressions. If your concerned give your GP a quick call this morning and tell them how you feel get them to chase the results for you but try not to over worry things fingers crossed for you xxx Angie

  • Thank you. I was putting off calling as I was told 7-10 days, however I think I might give them a ring :/

  • Its many years since my babies were born, but I remember the fear I felt when I was in the ward after delivery, and a group of doctors with clipboards stood at the doorway looking atme, then discussing with each other then looking again. The fearful thoughts I had - was my baby ill, or dead, it wasnothing but how easily we can misinterpret what is going on when we are in a vulnerable place. Best wishes, Iris x

  • Being a mother of two that must have been terrifying for you. I'm glad all was okay though xx

  • Glad to say that baby is 51 now so there was no need to worry. Mind you, he did cry a lot in the first few months! Lol

  • Haha, one of mine was like that too

  • Radiographers take X-rays , radiologists interpret them away from the patient. Radiographers pulling faces is probably because the technical quality is poor and they need to have a second go to get exactly the picture they have been asked for. In the dear dead days beyond recall X-rays were film and often had to be redone. You probably wobbled or breathed or a fly got behind you. Try not to worry about it, your husband is probably right, and if there is anything really concerning you will hear quickly enough. Good luck xx

  • Thank you, and you were all correct :) I called into the surgery while out earlier and asked about it, the result was normal (phew!). I know that doesn't mean I'm in great health, there's obviously some kind of problem with my breathing, and tightness in the chest. My GP thinks it could be COPD but I can't go for my spirometry test until August as I recently had antibiotics, though I would have thought that would show up on the x-ray if it was.

    Thank you all for your comments, it's so much easier when you can talk to people who have been in a similar position. I might actually be able to sleep a bit better tonight xx

  • That's great news, so pleased for you.

  • Good news. :) Depending on your spirometry results you may be sent for a CT scan. That is the usual way of diagnosing COPD.

  • Thank you :)

  • Glad you got the results and it wasn't as bad as you feared it would be hope you are feeling less stressful keep thinking positive and let us know how you get on and how you are coping x

  • It's a huge relief, I genuinely thought the worst. I will let you know once I have my spiro :)

  • Hi glad you got the results you wanted hopefully you can start to relax now I'm in much the same place you where I had ECG. Yesterday and the Ming whirls with all sorts of possibility funnily enough the one time I was fairly relaxed I ended up on oxygen .Hope you and your husband have a lovely evening x

  • Thank you, I hope it all goes well for you (fingers crossed)

  • I think your husband is absolutely right. I had an x ray just over a year ago which caused the hospital to demand an immediate CT scan and, having smoked in the past, I was convinced I had lung cancer. The CT scan results declared bronchiectasis and I was delighted! It's scary but I think that the longer you go without results the better and even if they need to investigate further there are many different possible outcomes. I know that maybe this doesn't help. Maybe you could call and look for them. Good luck. X

  • Same here, did you find out the cause of the Bronchiectasis as never got to bottom of mine prob. due to nasty infections at start of the year

  • They think it was pneumonia I had a few years ago. They think!

  • Whoops.... I didn't read all the comments.... so pleased all us well!!! 😀

  • hi maur very big hugs from me , but as for the guy or girl in the radiographer he or she could of look at your x ray and at the same time may of been thinking shit i forgot to put the bins out today and if it was that bad they would of had you back in by now ,i was told on mon i well need oxagen to walk around with but it well be 6 week before i have my teast so i take that as i cant be as bad as i think i am so like the song say maur always look on the bright side of life big hug

  • Thank you. I hope the oxygen helps you, I know it's a pain, my sister was on it permanently but it made a huge difference to her breathing. xx

  • Hold on Dear Maur, 'Diagnosis by face ' is something the tech does to make sure HE got a good image. Most importantly, you have a good heart and its working! This site is the best for sharing our angst & the life experiences of others has helped me immensely. If you can, keep busy, small binge on Netflex, clean the house, iron [yuk], get out of the house for a small walk about. Crying is good also - but not all day. I am 3000 miles away from you - but you got a new friend as of 3:30am east coast time. Large hugs for you & one for your husband - who is listening to you. LOL. mary

  • Thank you Mary. It did come back clear thankfully so I know it's not 'worst case scenario'. For the record, I actually quite enjoy ironing lol. xx You also have a new friend (hugs)

  • Oh bless you I know how you feel it's such a worry not getting any quick answers keep trying to think positive hopefully you will get some results soon keep in touch and let us know the outcome I'm thinking of you x

  • Hi I had an abnormal chest x ray & also panicked as my father died of lung cancer. Didn't help when sent quickly for CT scan BUT it wasn't Cancer ! Hope this helps

  • Thank you, and I'm so glad yours wasn't either.

  • Have you not collected your xray films and looked at them ? I don't know where you live but here in Australia we can collect our xray films the day after, generally speaking and this is without private health insurance. When are you seeing your GP next ? I would try not to worry until you actually know what's happening with your health. Please let us know how you get on. Take care of yourself.

  • lol just read down through the thread and saw you got a good result !!! Really happy for you !

  • Thank you x

  • Don't upset yourself. Wait until you hear. The expression he made when he looked at the scan might have been totally unrelated to your result. He might have had a slight twinge from his gall bladder, for instance. Feel better.

  • Thank you, I did get a normal result yesterday. It wasn't just his face though, the woman in the room also looked at it and she did the same. Maybe there was something wrong with the image from a technical point of view, who knows.

  • Very glad you got a normal result!

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