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Shortness of breath- almost went to ER Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

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Unread 08-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

This happened to me 5 days ago, and I've been watching/waiting to see if it happened again, which is why I didn't post about this sooner.

Last Saturday night I went to bed at 8:30. At about 9 I started having heart pounding and shortness of breath. My heart was not racing (pulse about 65), and I was not breathing rapidly. This went on for awhile. I had to sit up, because laying down seemed to make it worse. I was not in any distress, other than feeling like I couldn't fill my lungs.

Then my thumbs and hands started tingling, then my feet. That made me get scared and I started sweating. At that time I thought I might be having a heart attack.

We finally called the doctor at 11:30pm. She said it didn't sound like anything, in the absence of chest pain or cough. But I should go to the ER, so they could do an EKG, chest x-ray and maybe a CT scan.

I suffered with this for another 2.5 hrs, because I believed the doctor, that it wasn't anything emergent. Just about 2am I got up and walked around a bit, went pee, and my heart stopped pounding. The breathing came under control soon after.

The next few days after my diaphragm hurt, most likely from all the deep breathing I was trying to do.

I have not had another episode like this. But if I do, I will go to the ER, or urgent care and get it checked out.

Just wondering if anybody has any insight as to what may have been happening.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 05:58 PM
Re: Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

sounds like you had an anxiety attack!
Unread 08-19-2010, 06:11 PM
Re: Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

I agree, it does sound like an anxiety attack. I had one in the hospital, and since I was being treated for DVTs and a pulmonary embolism, they did the chest xrays and cardiac monitoring. All came back normal, and my PE was stable. My doc said that my body was under a lot of stress from the surgery, the complications I had, and the sudden menopause, and it was understandable and expected.

I do recall that I could not seem to catch my breath, and I had a pressure, but not pain, in my chest. It woke me out of a sound sleep. I still get them from time to time, but not as severely. I'm not on HRTs.

If you keep getting them, you might want to consider asking your doc to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety med.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 06:23 PM
Re: Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

Wow, I really appreciate your replies. I never would have thought anxiety attack, but that makes sense. The sweating was definitely a reaction from being scared, and I think the tingling was from hyperventilating from deep, deep breaths.
Unread 08-19-2010, 06:56 PM
Re: Shortness of breath- almost went to ER

Anesthesia always gives me shortness of breath and can be a bit scary. It could easily lead to an anxiety attack if you're not feeling well to begin with. Hyperventilating can bring on an anxiety attack, as the other posters mentioned. I would let your doctor know so he/she can help you prevent another episode.

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