Advice please: Last night I had severe pain in-between... - NRAS

NRAS
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Advice please

Last night I had severe pain in-between my shoulders and in my breast bone. I rang the help line to see if it was possibly a chest infection or RA related. They called an ambulance as it could possibly be a heart attack. I knew it wasn’t and I felt this was a waste of resources . Paramedics did and ECG all clear and chest clear still none the wiser if it is RA related. No chance of getting to see Any GP as there are no appointments because most of them are on holiday 🙄Any body else have these symptoms?

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Did they suggest it might be acid reflux? It is frequently experienced as a sharp pain between the shoulder blades. Do you still have pain or has it passed?

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I’ve still got the pain I take oemprazole everyday. This is my 3 rd week of max dose of methotrexate. Could that cause my reflux to be more active?

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Sounds scary & can feel it. I've been fortunate enough that this is one thing I've not had though my h has. So, my initial thought is it could be costochondritis. The pain is not only centralised around the chest area (sometimes worse to the left though not always) but can spread to the shoulders, why I thought of it. Costochondritis is painful, caused by inflammation of the cartilage which join the ribs to the sternum (or breastbone). It can go as quickly as it came, or at least the sharp pain turns duller & eventually goes. If symptoms persist a localised steroid injection can sometimes help ease or rid you of symptoms.

Definitely something to mention at your next Rheumy or nurse appointment. If it becomes too painful & you're not due to see your Rheumy do seek help from your GP.

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I’m going flying out on holiday next Tuesday do you think I need to see someone before I go?

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That's something for you to determine really, it's you needing to cope with the pain. If it was me I definitely would, no point going on holiday & not reaping the benefits of being able to relax from 'normal' everyday life. Double check your insurance cover, not wanting to be a Debbie Downer but should you need to see medical help, even if it's just a doctor & prescribed alternate pain relief meds it's one less thing to worry about.

Do you have a Rheumy helpline no you can call, ask advice of one of your team? Was it them who gave you your Depo-Medrone injection?

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Yes they gave me Depo injection I’ve Left a message to contact me

Thanks x

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I think the various replies of what's it's thought you're experiencing is just cause to see a medical professional don't you?!

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I agree with nomoreheels, I have had this twice. First time was virtually unbearable and I would definitely say see your Rheumatologist team. You don’t know how this could “ take hold”. I had Prednisolone ( as other inflammation elsewhere) and luckily a well timed physio appointment. On walking in he took one look at me and said we need to try to sort this. He managed to get his fingers in enough to find a few very tight muscles and massage as best as possible. I would say it’s the steroid needed to quickly get the inflammation down ( a depo medrone jab doesn’t work for me). Hope it eases before your trip away.

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Thanks I had a depo madrone jab 3 weeks ago I’ll give them a call

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Happened to me last year and went through the same as you, I’ve also got angina so I think that’s another reason they got the paramedics out, everything was fine and I managed to get an appointment with my GPS next morning and still none the wiser they put it down to the RA xxx

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Hi

I have had costochrondritis and the pain is frightening. I couldn’t take a full lung of air. I thought it was a heart attack and ended up in A&E where I was told they would always be pleased to see patients like me as I had RD and was taking Methotrexate.

Looking back I think for me it was a sign the methotrexate was not controlling the RD. it took ages to calm the pain down.

You have had some good descriptions and advice from others. Personally I would talk to a doctor sooner rather than later especially if I was going on holiday.

Get well soon.

BG

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I am on my fourth week of starting Methotrexate and I can say that it definitely can cause acid reflux as I have it at times during this 4 weeks myself. I used to take Omeprazole and had some here and found myself having to use it several times already. In the beginning the reflux was quite bad for a few days but now it has gotten better. Please still be seen by a doctor because you never can be sure and its so important to be well and have peace of mind. Also, I don't remember having sharp pain etc, I had the nausea stomach and the reflux part. Hoping your feeling better soon!!!! :)

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I had frequent bouts of something similar for a number of years. It could get very painful on times and I ignored an actual heart attack thinking it was a particularly nasty bout of this thing, which goes to show that it's not a good idea to ignore chest pains. Not much fun for a few months following the heart attack worrying if I was having another one or just more of these long standing chest pains! :-O For whatever reason they eventually stopped a couple of years ago. My rheumy never knew what the problem was but suspect it was RA related.

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When I had Costochondritis for the first time, I was warned that it can sometimes feel like a heart attack.

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Hmm, I did ask my rheumy if it was costo but she didn't seem to think so....I never pressed her about it though. Don't know for sure, but doesn't costo affect the ribs as well? Anyway, whatever it was it gradually ceased. No more heart issues since I had the heart attack approx 15 years ago I'm extremely pleased to say! :-) ...hope I haven't tempted fate by saying that! :-O

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I was getting these pains on and off for about 6mths between shoulders and through to chest real agony, turned out after a scan it was gall stones and resulted in having my gall bladder removed with keyhole surgery no problems now a nd pain gone. If they persist ask to be see about about having a scan. Hope the pain doesn't last too long.x

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My daughter is having similar chest pain. She was scanned and also diagnosed with gallstones, and is waiting to have her gall bladder removed. Good to know that removal stopped the pain, which she's been having for 6 months like you. She will be pleased when I tell her about you as she's still not confident that the op will cure the problem.

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I can feel her pain worse ever like severe indigestion. Only thing I have to be careful of now is not too much fatty food . Hope all goes well for her x

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Thanks Pulfs, it took a long time getting a diagnosis. She would probably still be waiting if she hadn't got fed up of the time it was taking and decided to go private. Not good is it! :-(

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I had my gallbadder removed last spring and haven't had any problems at all since. Hope your daughter gets the op quickly. The pain is absolutely horrible.

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Thanks attatel, that's two cases I'll tell her about! :-)

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No it's not I had to push my Dr for a referral in the end x

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I don't know if it's a money thing or what, but her GPs just seemed to be dragging their feet, which one can well do without on top of how long the waiting lists are to see a consultant, have a scan, etc......

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When I was 1st diagnosed with RA I went private to be assessed then he saw me on NHS. Don't know what she can do except keep pushing for a referral. Hope it won't be too long.

Don't know what area you come under but I'm in Berkshire and the choice of 3 hospitals, 2 are private which take nhs patients. Only other thing is to present herself at A&E when she has an episode,not ideal but might get something done.xx

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She got fed up with it all and paid to see a specialist who referred her for an MRI, which she also paid for. It was then that the gall stones were discovered.

She's just waiting for the op to be done under the NHS, which is 4 -6 months in Gwent. One month gone so 4 or 5 to go! :-O She is taking painkillers which are helping and have stopped her losing any more time off work, something her employer was beginning to get a bit fed up of.

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Has she got her name on a cancellation list to be called in at short notice ?

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I doubt it, so I'll let her know.

Thanks Pulfs

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I did have this several times. Once really bad and I thought heart attack as well. It was diagnosed as costcochondritis. Part of RA. Seems there are tiny joints in the breastbone somewhere. They did do a stress test workup which came out fine. It was awfully painful while it was happening. They had me on prednisone to get rid of the inflammation. Six months later doing ok with that.

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Bonnie, the chest pain I was having was more or less confined to my upper breast-bone area and through to my back between the shoulder blades. Is that similar to your costochondritis? As I've heard said that costo affects the ribs as well as mentioned in my above reply to poemsgalore.

Though it's not important now as I no longer have a problem, but would still like to know, if possible, just what it was that caused me a fair bit of discomfort, and later worry ,for not far off 10 years.

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Wishbone, yes exactly. That’s why heart attack came to mind. I was at work when it happened and they were going to call an ambulance I didn’t want that. Called the doctor and went to the office. Just had a six month follow up to cardiologist yesterday. He wants me on a better diet as does my son. I am going to try. About three months ago, I did have a terrible pain in my back like I was PUNCHED with a knife. Doctor said it was RA spreading to my spine. It lasted about as long as the other episode. I think these medicines we’re on cause these things. My cardiologist was happy to hear I took myself off the MTX. He said “good for you.”

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My chest pains were worse when my RA was relatively well controlled with methotrexate. It's difficult to recall precise dates/times that I changed medications etc, over the years, but since I stopped taking methotrexate the chest pains do seem to have gradually decreased, which doesn't fit if they were RA related as that has got significantly worse in recent years. So I suppose it could be possible that methotrexate was the culprit and not my RA. There again RA is a funny old disease hence difficult to be sure what symptoms it is responsible for. :-O Anyway, I'm just glad the bloody things have stopped! Can you imagine how worried I was post-heart attack not knowing if I was having another one or if it was just another bout of the stupid chest issue! :-( It took a few months before I learned to relax a little.

Hope you don't have any more worrying chest pains and your heart beats strongly for many moons to come. :-)

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Thank you, wishbone. I wish the same for you.

Since off MTX, my breathing is so much better as are other things like thinking more clearly. Hugs to you. 😊

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