Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On my way to self diagnosis? [Don't think I'm crazy]

I know we live in an age of Google and where any wacky minded person can go off looking to match symptoms in order to self-diagnose.

I found myself as part of that set of persons, but hopefully you've know me long enough to know that I'm still VERY open-minded and not too wacky-minded.....but

What I found just now is hitting home.

Let me bring you up to speed.



And even though it's still at a dull stage (and I DOWNED 3 ibuprofin within the first hour of it coming on), it's still a nuisance and bothersome. I certainly hope the ibuprofin is keeping the (potential) pain at bay.

Rather than retyping just about everything I did on a forum, I'll paste what I wrote there:

The world of Google!!!!

For the past 6 months, I've had this reoccurring SHARP left (ONLY left) chest pain that (naturally) started to scare me once I felt it "spread" beyond my left shoulder down my arm. (the third remembered incident).

I am 35, avid runner, 45BPM resting heartbeat.....in shape! Eat well; my only vice is my too-occasional cup(s) of coffee (daily). (1-5 depending on the day).

The time this pain occurred at the end of May, 2011---it was just scary! I was incapacitated; as I literally couldn't do much except mope off to bed and PRAY that sleep found me. It was so painful to breath; couldn't take deep breaths. The pain felt quite sharp, and constant pressure---location seemed to be "surrounding" my heart on the upper left and lower right sides. Ibuprofin is my drug of choice, but nothing helped. This incident was the 3rd that I really remember, and they were reoccurring every 3-4 weeks (my only simple recollection at that time.)

In June, I felt the oncoming of this pain again, and I FEARED for the rest of that day, so I headed in to the ER, simply fearful of the unknown. Heart attack? Heart problems? EKG and heart ex-rays showed an excellent heart; no other tests were done. Doc didn't know or have much to say.....was giving me the "must be skeletal/muscular" speech and had me follow an ibuprofin regime for the next 5 days. That week, the pain never reached that of May's episode, BUT it lasted for 4-5 days before I felt back to normal. Maybe the ibuprofin WAS doing something afterall?

NOW! It's happening again. And I just started menstruation this morning. This got me to thinking about June's episode----the nurse asked me when I last menstruated, and I KNEW I was due to start any day. Sure enough, the next day, my cycle started.

So, I thought......hmmm....maybe a connection? So---google lead me here. Is there a connection? I'm thinking YES!

I used to take birth control pills for much of my adulthood, however no longer have a need to for the past 5 years and have never had any pain like this (that I recollect). I only recall this pain for the past 6 months. So, I'm trying to put pieces together to make sense of this.

My pain ranges from minor dullness to ACHING, SHARP, CONSTANT PRESSURE POINTS. It mostly is noticed in the upper pectoral region near the shoulder joint, however can seem to travel over the shoulder/down arm at times, and also migrates to the inner left breast area (which is the most painful.)

I realize my post/comment is lengthy, but like many of you, I'm glad I found this list and simply want to debug my symptoms too. I will observe more for the next month or so.

If you're still with me, I hope the part that stands out from my post is the connection that I've made to menstruation times. The connection didn't make sense to me, but I googled "chest pain with menstruation" when I got online tonight just to see what I'd find.

Nothing I found gives any diagnoses, but I found other women who also share many of the same pains that I have.
- Forum I posted to: MedHelp: Chest pain with menstruation
- Case report: Angina menstruation
- BBC news: Link between heart pain and menstruation?

I'll stick to being a teacher, but I'll also keep tuned in to my chest pain/menstruation cycle. As for treatment----all I can do is stick to ibuprofin and hope it keeps the pain at bay as best as possible.


Andee said...

I get menstrual migraines (started today too, LOL!) and I think I recently read something about how the hormonal changes can cause us to be more sensitive to pain...so there may be a link. Still scary not to know what is going on, I hate that. Prayers going up for you!

Linda said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. I don't know anything to tell you except I'll keep you in my prayers. Also, when was the last time you went to a gynecologist? I think I would call him and run your pain by them just to see what they have to say. If they don't know anything, try a good Internal Medicine doctor or a Pain Management doctor. The internet offers alot of info but it will also scare you to death too.

Here's another thought, maybe you're just getting older....Happy Birthday, I hope it's a good one.

Quilting_Chris said...

Hi Amy, I would like to suggest having your gallbladder checked into. There is some relationship to higher estrogen levels prior to menstruation and the affect on the gallbladder. I just had mine removed after three attacks. They were the worst pain I've had and I was afraid it was heart related until the paramedics indicated it wasn't my heart.

Quilter Kathy said...

Oh my gosh that sounds so scary! I have no idea what to do but I think I'd camp out on my Dr's front step if I was in that much pain...but then again, I am a wimp!

scraphappy said...

I'm with Linda in thinking a trip to a doctor is in order. Are you up to date with all your annual exam type stuff? The. Fact that you are in excellent shape and health makes it even stranger that this is happening. Keep us posted. Hugs

Dee said...

How scary! I hope it's some comfort that you've found a link between the 2 and that you're not the only one experiencing these symptoms. Isn't the internet great for searching out stuff like this? I'm praying that the pain goes away and doesn't return.

Kerry said...

Scary to have such pain and no obvious reason for it. I agree with Quilting Chris, referred pain from one ailment to another area can be really unusual. Also agree with seeing your gynaecologist- endometriosis can give some strange, non-textbook kinds of pain too, and not give symptoms like you'd expect.
Thinking of you, prayers too.

Candace said...

Sorry about your pain, but the cartoon is hilarious, reminds me of DH and myself. I hope that soon the dr's either figure it out and fix it, or it goes away. At least you know that you have a healthy heart and general good health and are in good shape.

Denise said...

Oh Amy - I'm so happy for your post and links. It seem I may finally an answer to my chest pains. I had never made the connection before but now I have and it's nice to know I'm not alone. Thanks again...Sorry you have to go through this I know it's not a nice thing to have...Happy Birthday as well.