California Blonde - Shortness of breath and chest pain?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    CB, I am starting a new thread with your response on GoneNorth's topomax thread because I don't want to hijack her thread.

    Here is what you posted:

    I am back on Weight Watchers so wish me luck with that. I completely went off of it over the summer, gained weight back, went back on in September, lost a little weight, then completely blew it the entire month of November. I won't weigh myself right now because I don't want to get discouraged but I will guess my weight is now approx. 175 pounds. I have developed a new symptom of shortness of breath and chest pain when I walk for more than a couple of minutes and that's starting to scare me. I have also suddenly developed high blood pressure. I need to lose this weight for health reasons as well as my low self esteem due to my looks. I was sorta hoping for a kick start to the weight loss but I guess I'm on my own. Holidays or no holidays I am going to lose this weight.

    Read more:

    PLEASE go to your doctor NOW NOW NOW! Do NOT ait, pass go, or collect $200.

    Shortness of breath and chest pain when exercising are not symptoms to play with. You are the primary caretaker and support for 2 children. They need you. Did you know that yoyo dieting, going up and down even 15 pounds, especially when done rapidly, is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your heart? My father in law used to go up 15-25 lbs each winter and down that much every summer. When he had a heart attack the doctor said it was the PRIMARY cause of his heart attack.

    did you know that you may already have had a heart attack and not know it? Your symptoms could be signs that your heart isn't functioning due to this. Do NOT let tests done a few mos ago be the reason you ignore this new problem. Make sure your doctor does thorough testing and does not blame ti on anxiety or use the old tests to say all is okay.

    If you don't make an appointment iwth your doctor tomorrow, sit down with your kids tomorrow night. Tell them you love them but not enough to take care of yourself and get things checked out when you get 2 of the most serious symptoms a person can have. let them know that you could die at any time if you do indeed have a heart problem, but you think it isn't important enough to be there for the rest of their lives to go to the doctor now.

    If you can sit and tell your kids that, then you can ignore these symptoms. If you cannot tell the kids this, get your tushie into that doctor's office ASAP. If your doctor does not take this seriously as it is a new set of symptoms, get a new doctor. I am NOT joking.

    Love your kids enough to make sure you will be there for them for years to come.
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  2. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I was already planning on making an appointment with my doctor. I saw her last year and she referred me to a cardiologist but my chest pain went away for awhile so I never went. Now the referral has expired so I need a new one. I am going to call the office today to get seen. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for your concern.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Not good enough, CB. You need to call an ambulance the next time you experience chest pains and shortness of breath. This is an emergency.

    Back in June, I did a very dumb thing. I was sitting at the computer and suddenly had chest pains that radiated down my left arm to the elbow and up the left side of my neck.

    What did I do? Like an idiot, I DROVE the half mile to the ER. Walking to the ER made the pain worse.

    Let me tell. Walk into an ER and announce that you have chest pains, and suddenly you are surrounded by people. Took them 5 tries to start an IV. BiPolar (BP) was up. Heart rate was up.

    I was admitted. I had an EKG, an echocardiogram, a stress test, and spent overnight being monitored. Luckily, in my case,all was normal.

    My problem turned out to be costochondritis, an inflammation of the nerves in the ribcage.

    Had any of those tests been abnormal, I would've been transferred to a major medical center 90 miles away for an angiogram and possible angioplasty.

    Instead, I spent a day and a night eating some of the worst food I've ever eaten in my life (cardiac diet WITH diabetic diet, YUCK!) trying to figure out why my BiPolar (BP) was so high (it came down on it's own) and guarding the one IV they finally managed to get in like it was gold.

    My point is, driving with a suspected heart attack is really stupid NOT going to the ER with chest pains is even more stupid.

    Just because you were OK once before doesn't mean you're OK now.

    You could be lucky and it could be something like reflux, or irritated nerves, or whatever, but you're not qualified to make that diagnosis.

    PLEASE! We CARE about you. For the sake of your children and your furkids, take care of yourself!

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad you are seeing your doctor, but ToK is right. If you cannot sit and tell your kids what I said, then you get to the ER when you have the pains.

    Part of the reason this scared me is because of family history. I never got to meet one Grandpa because he died before I was born. He had chest pains several times and ignored them. They went away, so how bad could they be? He had at least SEVEN small heart attacks that he ignored. By the time he saw a doctor, things were so bad that he could not be helped. He didn't even make it four more months.

    It is also alarming because I just saw an old episode of Dr. G,Medical Examiner. The patient suddenly fell over dead. Only it was NOT sudden. He had a major heart attack a few days before and ignored the symptoms. Only part of his heart died and was necrotic, meaning dead and decaying, by the time he actually died. Had he gotten medical attention, surgery could have repaired the problem so his heart would not have died and been turning black inside his body.

    Would you prefer to go and get checked and learn it isn't a heart attack, but have the CHANCE for surgery to save you if it is, or would you rather just let it 'go away' and then die because you let one of your most important muscles just rot away? Would your kids be able to cope with that? What if you were driving them around in the car when that happened? Would they get hurt?

    I know this tugs at your heart, and some seems really icky and gross. That is because the reality could be heartbreaking if you allow it to get that far.

    Just because you have anxiety issues doesn't mean you cannot still have a heart attack.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Actually, having anxiety issues increases your risk of heart attack by increasing the secretion of the "stress hormone" cortisol.

    Please get this checked out. I assure you, even though my medic-alert tag clearly states that I'm bipolar (and anyone reading my medication list off my records knows anyways), no-one wrote my symptoms off.

    I was treated as a heart attack patient until it was proven otherwise.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    CG, I have near-syncope episodes and they are not life threatening, but every time I have one I take no chances an d reluctantly call the paramedics. My thinking is, "It's probably anxiety or hyperventilation or maybe I didn't have breakfast, but I need to check it out if I want to dance at my granddaughter's wedding, which I do."

    Do it for your kids.. Yes, it's a pain. Yes, I am embarassed each time the paramedics flash their lights where I'm at. I sure wish they could keep the lights off for non-emergencies. But I keep very close tabs on my health because I still have work to do here in this world and have people who love and need me.

    My motto, of which I have so many, but this is another one : "Better to be safe than sorry."

    Hugs :)
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am going to the doctor tomorrow. I will let you know what I find out. I am also going to bring up my frequent headaches and numbness I've been experiencing. Hopefully this time she will take me seriously.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    CB, if she does not take you seriously, go straight to your ins co website or phone # and find another primary care doctor. Life is WAY to short to allow someone to disrespect you and your health and your family by blowing you off when you go to them for help and are paying them.

    YOU are paying the doctor, and that makes YOU the boss. If you don't get appropriate care, and she blows your symptoms off a second time, it is up to you to find a doctor who will behave appropriately toward you and your healthcare needs.

    I AM glad you are seeing the doctor. Write the symptoms and problems down, and insist that she take them seriously. They ARE serious.
  9. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I agree that this health issue needs to be taken seriously by both your medical team and you. Do take a moment to jot down your concerns, to use as an organizational tool when you are with the doctor~ it is well worth the effort.

    As challenging as it may be, when you go to the doctor, follow the directions you're given; otherwise you are wasting your time & you will not recover the way you expect to.

    I have had a heart attack & it is one of those things that I might have been able to avoid, had I taken my own health more seriously before-hand.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    The appointment went as expected. My EKG and chest X rays came back normal. The doctor seriously doubts I have heart issues but just in case I'm being referred to a cardiologist for more tests. The referral will go through by Friday and I am to call and schedule my appointment then. In the mean time I am battling pain every day. Right now as I'm typing I have joint pain in my arms, hands, and fingers. Sometimes the pain radiates down my back and into my legs. My doctor recommended taking over the counter pain relievers which I've already been taking aspirin for. Sometimes the medications help, and other times they don't do crap. So I'm back at square one till I see the cardiologist.

    I am very dismayed to say that I gained back every single pound I lost on weight watchers. Literally every single one. I started out at 171 pounds, went down to 154, and now I'm back up to exactly 171. At my height that puts me right in the obese category. I asked my doctor about weight loss surgery and she said that it's definitely a possibility. I am going to schedule a consult after the holidays. It seems like I just can't seem to lose any weight on these damn antidepressants they keep giving me. I am getting fed up with myself. In the meantime I will go back on weight watchers and try and lose some of this weight on my own. Being in pain all the time and being overweight isn't much fun.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am proud of you for getting the testing done. Even though the doctor 'highly doubts' that you have any heart problems, it is still critical that you see the cardiologist. They test things and see things in EKGs that reg docs just don't. been there done that back when the pediatrician told us that J had a heart problem where the first visible symptom seen with-o an EKG is dropping dead. SOOOO much fun to hear as a parent - NOT! We freaked and then they wanted us to wait four MONTHS before seeing a cardio or getting any treatment because the cardios here were 'busy'. I cried on the phone to the scheduler at the pediatrician cardio and we got worked in the next day. I didn't do it on purpose, I was THAT scared.

    So I trust anyone but a cardio to diagnosis heart problems as much as I trust the bus driver to operate on me. That was our third experience with a non-cardiologist giving us totally incorrect info and diagnosis about a heart problem or lack thereof. So PLEASE don't put this visit off.

    I am sorry you are in such pain. Are you doing anything other than OTC aspirin?

    As for the weight, I am sorry it is such a battle.
  12. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    The doctor told me to put warm compresses on my chest the next time I have pain. I am happy to say I didn't have any chest pain at all yesterday although my arms and hands were aching pretty badly. I am going to schedule my appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow and hopefully I can get seen sometime during my upcoming Christmas break.
  13. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I finally got my appointment with the cardiologist after me calling for two days and having nobody answer the phone. My appointment is on the 13th of next month. Hopefully I do okay till then. Last night I had to cut my walk short due to more pain and shortness of breath. I am super anxious to get this weight off but I don't want to push myself too hard physically. Good news is I have lost 4 and a half pounds in the last ten days so I am making progress. I just wish I could get to feeling healthy again.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CB. I would advise cutting out the exercise completely until you get a clearance from the cardiologist. What you are experiencing sounds quite a bit like angina:pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle.

    Don't take chances. Weight loss is the least of your worries right now.
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Even though it will be hard I guess I will cut out the exercising for awhile. I am just so impatient with this weight loss. My very good friend just lost 130 pounds and it only took her nine months to do it. She is a stay at home mom of one teenage daughter and she has been walking to the gym every day and working out for two to three hours a time! I am jealous. I wish I had that kind of time and that much energy to work out that often and that much! I suppose for now dieting and drinking green tea will have to do...sigh.
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CB, weight loss isn't a competition. You've got to get that through your head. You should also knock off the green tea unless you are drinking decaffeinated tea.

    Caffeine isn't good for the heart or blood pressure. Meanwhile, eat a heart-healthy diet, reduce salt intake, eat small amounts of healthy fats, and take care of yourself. Be nice to your heart until you can see the doctor, and if you are smart, continue to be nice to your heart after you see him/her.
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I never said it was a competition. There's nothing wrong with being a little envious of my friend's weight loss. I also greatly admire her and she is my inspiration.
  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's OK for her to be your inspiration. It's just that right now your priority has to be your heart and not weight loss. You can find information on eating a heart healthy diet by visiting the American Heart Association online.

    You will find that if you follow that diet, you will lose weight without trying.
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Hope you folks don't mind my jumping in. I have, sadly, lots of experience with weight...both gaining and losing...and with blood pressure, chest pain, and well...lots of stuff.

    Shortness of breath accompanied by pain isn't just because you are heavy and you said you "suddenly" developed high blood pressure. I don't know why your doctors aren't more concerned. That sounds very serious. I have a heart arrhythmia and have had episodes where it felt like someone was sitting on my chest...not pain, but pressure. They did a stress test (which, luckily showed that my arrhythmia evens out with exertion rather than getting worse) and then followed up with a cardiac cath, but all was fine in the end. Better safe than sorry. Have they done a stress test? A 24 hour holter monitor?

    With your description of pain in your it possible that you have spinal issues? I have in my upper back...right between the shoulder blades...and it causes pain to radiate down both arms and in the shoulders. They'll actually crack and pop...but there's nothing wrong with the shoulders, it's in the back. It can also cause chest pain. Just a thought.

    Weight Watchers is great, but the flaw is you have to do it forever. Ladies, I don't admit this often, but I am classed as "morbidly obese" (isn't that a horrible term?). At 5'10", at my highest I weighed 328 lbs. So I know what I'm talking about with weight problems. I did WW and lost 100 lbs! I was so excited. Still at 228 but it down to a size 14/16 and I just felt so good! But it was like a little man in my head said, "You're done!" and flipped a switch. A few McDonald's and Krispy Kreme trips later and I was back to 295. Which is where I am today. I didn't' regain the whole thing, but what took me two full years to lose was back in about 8 months. (I did maintain for a year or so.)

    CB, it looks like you are about 10 years younger than me. You have time to get healthier...but medical issues do need to come first and foremost. Take care of those and everything else will follow. Wish I had done it 10 years ago. I agree with everyone a heart-healthy diet and wait to see what the doctors say before going crazy with exercise. Try Yoga or other gentle exercise until then to keep you motivated.
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  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    CB,I know you want to be thin and feel good again. What you don't realize is that what your friend did very likely put SERIOUS strain on her organs. I don't know many docs who would recommend her routine as esp as she had so much weight to lose. Losing weight that fast,esp that much, strains not only your heart but ALL of your organs and can take years, if not DECADES off of your life. The body just isn't designed to filter out that much from your body. The kidneys and liver become seriously stressed and the heart does too. The cardio my father in law and stepMIL saw said that his heart attack was directly caused by periods of sudden weight loss that happened every year. He would go on a strict diet and suddenly go from couch potato to exercise nut to lose weight very fast. Over a period of about 10 years it almost destroyed his heart and he had signs of severe kidney and liver damage too. He has changed a lot and a lot of the damage has healed, but it took years of biopsies (VERY painful and can cause severe bleeding or worse if things go wrong, plus the risk of anesthesia each year to have them done) and careful lifestyle choices to get to where his doctor no longer is worried about organ failure happening.

    I don't care if it looks better to get thin fast the way your friend did. It simply is not healthy, and if you were to make real changes to your lifestyle it would be FAR better than continually dieting or going off and on diets. Your body simply isn't designed to do that.

    Given that you take medications for medical conditions, your kidneys and esp your liver are at more risk than other people's are. Those medications are filtered out by your kidneys and esp your liver, and they take a real toll on them. You do not want sudden over-exercising or under eating to cause you to burn muscle or even too much fat. The byproducts of burning those, along iwth the release of medications that are stored in the fat (some medications build up in your fat and when the fat is burned they are released and the body has to deal with them by filtering them out), can actually clog your kidneys to the point of failure.

    Whatever is going on is not normal. Please be sensible until you see a cardio. You cannot do without your heart and your kids would not cope well if they lost you. For all the koi your mom gives you about your parenting, you are your kids constant and their support.