This is kind of a long story so please bear with me. It all started Thanksgiving Day 2011. I was playing football with my family and got a pain in my chest. I figured I had strained something and brushed it off, went home and went to bed. I woke up still having the pain and feeling out of it, like I couldn't concentrate as well as I used to. I slowed down on my smoking and this went on for about a month and I noticed it was gone one morning shortly after Christmas when I woke up, like someone had flipped a switch. The month of January I was feeling normal and good except that I was coughing up thick stuff that had blood in it. That lasted a couple weeks and quit. The pains and loss of concentration and everything came back February 2, 2012 and it hasn't gone away since and I'm so tired of worrying it's my heart and feeling out of it. I just want to be my old self again. I've been to the ER countless times. They've done EKG's, blood work, and chest x-rays each time I've gone but everything came back normal each time. I've talked to my regular doctor about it and she ordered a few tests. I've had: and MRI on my head, a CT scan of my chest (one looking at my aorta and another checking for blood clots in my lungs) and I asked for a referral to a heart doctor and they did an ultrasound on my heart and a stress test. Again everything came back okay so I've left it alone and have done my best to quit worrying about it. She talked to me about it being anxiety but I've never been an anxious person. I'm always calm and I never get mad. Lately the symptoms have been getting worse again. I went to the ER the other night and they did an EKG, blood work, and a chest x-ray as usual, and everything came back okay. They diagnosed me with Pleurisy and Bronchitis but it doesn't hurt when i breathe, it just comes on randomly. I've also been to a neurologist and he ordered a test where they put electrodes on my head and monitored my brain activity while asleep, with flashes of light and other things, I've forgotten the name of it, I'm sorry, I believe it was an ECG? Everything came back normal though. I drink absolutely nothing almost but Diet Mountain Dew for a few years now. They told me it could be the caffeine so I switched to caffeine free Diet Mountain Dew but it hasn't helped. The pain is normally just to the left of the bottom of my sternum, but I've had pains in my back left shoulder blade, my neck, my left side, and my left arm and leg. I've had one episode where my arms and face started tingling like they were falling asleep and it felt like there was a tourniquet around my chest. I went to the ER that time as well and everything came back normal. It also seems like my ears constantly need to pop like they do when you're in higher elevations. I'm just at my wits end because it's really affecting me everyday with me thinking it's my heart. I never leave the house without 2-3 aspirin in my pocket just in case it is my heart. I'm just hoping someone could give me a little advice and thank you for bearing with me and reading all of this. Here are some facts about me:
I'm a 26 year old male. I'm 6'4" and 160lbs I've smoked for 9 years now, but I've cut back a lot. I smoke maybe a pack and a half a week. I've never had any major illnesses or diseases. I don't have the best dietView Thread
Quitting smoking completely. I've been tapering my smoking down over the passed month. I got down to about a pack a week, so I went ahead and cut them off completely. Whenever I get a craving I munch on some fruit or just go outside and take a few deep breaths. They weren't prescribed yet, my doctor just asked if I'd be willing to give it a shot since all of my tests over the passed year came back fine. So, since I no longer have insurance, I'm waiting until I get my income tax return so I can make an appointment and talk to her about them. I hope I do too, I'm so ready to feel normal again View Thread
I'm in my 3rd day of quitting now, it's hard but not unbearable but my symptoms seem to be getting worse. I've been debating on going to the ER for a day or 2 now. The pains have been sharper and more frequent and are radiating to the right side of my chest now too. I had one sharp pain last night on the left side while I was laying down to sleep and it made me feel really out of it, like I couldn't think clearly for a few, then it went away after a few minutes and my head felt normal again. It's pretty scary and I just don't know what to do. I've been having almost constant pains in my left hand and arm as well, however it doesn't hurt when I breathe, it just comes on when it wants to. I don't have health insurance any more so an ER seems like my only option, I'm just scared they won't find anything. I didn't realize that was a high blood pressure, I just never thought high blood pressure could affect someone like this. Also, sometimes I get like a "flip-flop" feeling in my chest, for lack of a better term. It's all just pretty scary, just don't know what to do. I know there's something wrong, I just wish someone could figure out what it isView Thread
Oh I know, I apologize if I came off sounding rude by the way well I've always heard that diet drinks were worse for you in the long run anyway so I haven't had a sip of one in 2 days and to be honest I do feel a bit better but I'm still having the pains and feeling a bit out of it. I've been eating healthier the last few days as well, trying to turn it into a good habit instead of my usual food just because it's convenient. When I get tired of water I'll either sip on some tea, or if I just get a craving for some pop, I'll take a few sips of regular Sierra Mist or Sprite to get me by the craving. I know better than to waste money on things like that haha it's not that hard to let go, although regular sugar is taking some getting used to.I'll just keep this up and hope the doctor can help me out. At this point, I'll try the anxiety meds, I've just always been worried that any changes they'd make in me or my personality would be big changes and permanent ones I just don't know a whole lot about them. Thanks for your concern and help by the way it helps me out to talk about itView Thread
No I don't believe everything that I read on the internet especially considering all the research I've done on it consisted basically of people pointing fingers and saying how bad it is for you, that's why I asked here to just get some thoughts on it. All the bad news I read about it seemed like it was a little too good to be true, as the symptom list that aspartame "causes" contain a lot of the ones I'm having. Just racking my brain in the time leading up to my doctor's appointment. I figured I've been drinking diet drinks since high school so I would look up some of the adverse effects of long-term intake of diet drinks and the aspartame thing come up so I thought it might be worth looking into.View Thread
Yeah it sucks lol I hate it Has anyone seen the symptom list for long-term aspartame use? As I've said, I've been drinking almost nothing but Diet Mountain Dew for maybe 5 years now. However I've been doing research on aspartame and a lot of my symptoms seem to match. I went to http://www.sweetpoison.com/ as well as a few other sites and I'm pretty amazed at how bad it is for you. It's basically an artificial sweetener that they put in a lot of foods and drinks. Especially in diet drinks. I was just curious as to if anyone knew anything about it or thought that this could be a real possible cause of everything?View Thread
Sorry, I've been busy with work and stuff around the house as well as my little sister. It seems to be getting gradually worse to be honest seems to be spreading to the right side of my chest and I've had a headache on the left side of my head and face for 3 days now. My heart keeps an elevated pace as well and it feels like it's like, beating hard or pounding I guess would be the word. The ringing in my ears has been getting more frequent too, however the symptoms seem to be worse at night than they are during the day. It's all just really worrisome. I had to let my insurance go because of bills etc so I'm going to have to wait on my income tax before I can see my doctor about it. Just not sure what I should talk to her about. Can anxiety really cause all this or is there something else I could talk to her about?View Thread
Yeah gatorade because there's a lot of physical labor where I work. It's hard even just cutting back lol. As I said I'm not sure what a normal, healthy range for blood pressure is, but as far as I know it was normal each time. That's why I was always thinking it was my heart, or maybe my left lung. Just throwing maybe's out there because I'm all out of ideas. Might try the anxiety stuff my Dr was talking about but I was really hoping to avoid it View Thread
Thanks for all the input guys. I figured quitting smoking and drinking Diet Dew at once would be a little too hard so I've been cutting back on both, switching between water and gatorade. I've cut back on my smoking a lot as well, used to smoke a day what I smoke in a week now lol. They did blood tests at the neurologist for vitamin deficiencies and all that came back good too, so I'm really at a loss. I've also started taking the One-a-Day vitamins for men too to see if that would help and it hasn't yet. The highest I've seen my blood pressure was during the stress test, and, it was a few months ago, but I want to say it was like 170 something over close to a flat 100. The other night when I went to the ER it was 141/83, though I'm not sure what a healthy range on blood pressure is. Also, there's no family history of illnesses or diseases. A couple family member have had stroke or heart attack but they were over twice my age. My Dad had blood clots in his lungs but again he was 50 and had been smoking for 30 years. I always got enough exercise what with work and keeping the house straightened around (I live by myself taking care of my 11yo sister since my mom passed away from COPD) so I thought I'd come here and get some suggestions, even though I wasn't sure if I posted this in the right section lol. Again, thanks for the input and bearing through that long read, I figured it best to tell the entire story at once.View Thread
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