Is this serious?

By BrendaBarry Latest Reply 2013-02-05 18:54:35 -0600
Started 2011-08-26 00:51:38 -0500

I'm not sure if I actually have something serious going on or if it's just normal. I guess I'm afraid of over-reacting and going to a doctor to find out I'm just suffering from heartburn or something…lol

About 2 weeks ago, I had had a very stressful weekend. Three times more so than my normally stress-filled life. Sunday night I was cleaning the house, and very angry with my son, the result of a weekend-long anger building up. He left to finally do what I was asking him to, and I started feeling a sharp pain behind my left breast. It felt like a fist was in there squeezing everything. My throat started to feel like it was clenching shut and I thought I was going to be sick. I started feeling kind woozy and dizzy, enough so that I was having trouble standing the vacuum upright, I remember thinking I couldn't figure out which way was up. I had no pain in my left arm but it was very heavy, I was having trouble lifting the vacuum cord out of my way with it.

I laid down thinking that would help. After about 20 to 30 minutes, the squeezing started easing up, but I could feel a strong fluttering at the base of my throat and a strong throbbing right below my ribs. I work third shift and was supposed to work that night, but ended up calling in sick, which I never do.

Throughout the night and since then, the squeezing pain has come back on and off, but never as bad as that night. I also frequently get that strong pounding in my chest, sometimes waking me up. I'm also still experiencing the fluttering sensation in my throat from time to time. And I've been exhausted since then, no matter how much sleep I get.

Could this have just been an anxiety thing because of the bad weekend? I'm only 48 years old and fairly healthy. And I guess I'm really not wanting it to be something with my heart.

13 replies

mr.awesome 2013-02-05 18:54:35 -0600 Report

This is the common symptoms of heart failure.u should go get ur blood pressure measured and see if ur on high cholesterol like me!

Avajlaas 2011-08-29 20:39:02 -0500 Report

Brenday and Hearthawk, Had the same symptoms for four days prior to my H.A. It would come and go for those days, mostly stayed with me to some degree. I ended up on the floor where no one would have found me, but took the phone with me just in case. SOOOO glad I did!!! I have however been waking in tears when I get the slightest pains. My therapist mentioned angina and I'm not really sure what that is. Haven't googled that yet. Can you tell me what it is please. I do know it happens with exertion and stress… Hope you are both feeling much better Also, does the sadness and fear continue for long?

BrendaBarry 2011-09-01 21:45:23 -0500 Report

I don't think the fear ever leaves, to tell you the truth. Whenever you've experienced a serious medical condition, it's always there. But you can learn to ignore it…lol With every little twinge I get, I often find myself wondering…is it happening again? I've had my lung collapse twice for no apparent reason. And I'm always conscious of it. However, I think a little bit of fear is good. It helps us not be stupid about things…to a certain extent. I tend to still try to ignore things. Once I've determined that it's not the same pain as my lung, there goes my head in the sand again…lol

You just need to try to turn it into healthy caution instead of out and out fear. I've never felt sadness with it, though. Good luck.

HeartHawk 2011-08-31 22:14:28 -0500 Report


Angina refers to a condition when a heart artery becomes temporarily narrowed causing pain from oxygen deprivation. Stable angina generally occurs with exertion or in the event of a vasospam, is temporary, and is treated with drugs unless the pain becomes crippling. Unstable angina is similar to a full-blown heart attack and is often treated similarlly with a stent or angioplasty as the pain will occur without exertion or last for lengthier periods of time.


HeartHawk 2011-08-26 01:04:38 -0500 Report


Yes, it could be anxiety but it could also be something cardiac related. One thing is certain, neither situation is likely to improve unless you get it checked out. If it is not heart related you will be put at ease and your stress will reduce. If it is heart related you will be able to treat it, reduce your risk of serious complications - and reduce your stress.

The bottom-line is to always treat these symptoms seriously. Head straight to the ER if necessary. Why take a risk? Better to bury your pride than bury your body. Get it checked out ASAP! Regardless of what it turns out to be, you will be doing yourself a huge favor!

Anonymous 2011-09-28 13:04:18 -0500 Report

My problem lies in the ER and how women are treated there when your complaint is chest pain. I was recently driving when I had a sudden crushing pain in my chest. I immediately went to the ER and I felt my complaint was treated very cavalierly, in particular by the female nurses. I am 66, my mother died of a massive heart attack at 52 and her father, my grandfather, died of the same at 53. I also smoke. That makes my risk factors fairly great. How do you alert the ER to the fact that you are not just there to pass the time? It was my first visit to the ER for chest pain but now I question whether to go the next time or just wait it out. I thought medical personnel were now taking women seriously when it comes to chest pain. Am I wrong?

HeartHawk 2011-09-28 22:31:57 -0500 Report


There is a common misconception even in the ER that heart attacks are a "man's" disease. Don't let their ignrance kill you.

Short of outright lying, forcely communicate every symptom and warning sign you have. Make certain everyone from the person at the front desk, to the nurse, and especially the attending docs knows you have a family history of heart attack. This ought to wake them up as ignoring family history would leave them open to a nasty malpractice claim.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease!


HeartHawk 2011-09-30 23:19:30 -0500 Report


Yeah, healthcare is a dog-eat-dog world. One doc treats 1000 patients wit 10,000 different diseases and conditions. The numbers do not favor the meek or faint of heart health consumer! You gotta do your homework and aggressive or end up as just another statistic!


tinman101 2011-10-01 21:21:21 -0500 Report

Maybe I'm not being aggresive enough. The last time I saw the cardiologist for angina pain, I had my blood pressure taken and he listen to my heart and said I'll see you in one year.

HeartHawk 2011-10-02 20:20:46 -0500 Report


I know this is a lot of hassle but, frankly, its time to start shopping for a new doc. It may well be nothing but to present with angina and be afforded nothing but a check of primitive vitals is malpractice in my book!


BrendaBarry 2011-08-26 01:19:21 -0500 Report

Thank you for the reply. I guess I tend to try to bury my head in the sand instead of fessing up…lol I'll go to the walk-ins tomorrow and see what they say.

I take care of my parents, who both have Alzheimers, and my adult son and his girlfriend just moved in with me because their building suddenly became unsafe. So, as far as reducing my stress, I don't know if that will work…lol But you're right, knowing I'm not having random little baby heart attacks will be one less thing to worry about. I just don't have time to be admitted to the hospital right now if they want to go that route…but I guess I also don't have time to be buried, huh?

VERY good point. Thanks again for your input. I'll get my head out of the sand after work tomorrow.

HeartHawk 2011-08-27 23:43:58 -0500 Report


And if it is anxiety that is actually quite easy to fix with medicine and/or therapy! I've been there. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how an anxiety attack can mimic a heart attack!