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Chest pains and shortness of breath

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This is going to be semi-long, but I want to try and cover everything. My symptoms started in mid July, 08. I was on vacation overseas, when one day I was taking a hike with some family through the mountains. Walking uphill, for the first time I got really exhausted quickly, and experianced shortness of breath. I would have to try and take in a deep breath sometimes to "feel" as if I could get enough air. We continued walking and I continued to have the symptoms. I was still overseas for 2 weeks, and had no real doctor to see so I was worried. It did not get better at all, and I was constantly short breathed most of the time. One day, I was just sitting on the computer over there, when my heart started racing (~170 beats/min) and I quickly went downstairs and to my grandparents next door, since I was alone in the house with the PC. I thought I was going through a heart attack. When I got there it was still racing, and I started to feel weak. I sat down on the couch, and layed down and rested, and slowly I calmed down and nothing bad happened. We did call a doctor who came to the house and checked me out, and said that there wasn't anything wrong and prescribed me valium because she thought I had some anxiety or something like that. I also threw up twice while there. Both times in the morning, and out of no where. The feeling just came, without a reason. The last week while overseas, I felt a little better and was able to walk around some without feeling totally worn out. I called to the states and already had a doctors appt scheduled for when I got back. So the time comes to fly back to the states, and luckily I feel okay during my flights...

Back in the states, I see my general doctor, and he perfoms an EKG, chest X-ray, and blood work on me. The EKG shows that my left ventricular chamber is slightly enlarged, the x-ray looked normal, and all my blood work came out good. Cholestoral, tryglicerites, everything they look for in heart conditions is in normal levels. He then refers me to a cardiologist who continues more tests.

The next week, I have an Echocardiogram done, and also wear a holter monitor for 2 days. The holter monitor results came out normal, but the echocardigram test results say that I have left ventricular enlargement, mitral valve prolapse, mild valve regurgitation, global hypokinesis, and ejection fraction is estimated at 40% (normal 60%) Doppler velocities are normal. Because of this, she next schedules me a stress test.

I get my stress test done, getting images of my heart on a special machine (and a radioactive dye in me) before and after the threadmill run. This test confirmed to my cardiologist that my heart isn't pumping as well as it should, and she said mayb I have cardiomyopathy. She then tells me she is going to do a heart catherization on me, which I just had done on september 11th. It wasnt bad at all, just had to lay there for 4 hours while my insertion site closed up. She told me that the preliminary results are good, and my heart is in good shape, and the reason my test results from beforehand are a little off because my heart is laying slighty horizontal in my chest. She is also going to be sending me to a lung specialist. (pulmonary I think its called?) I dont know if my height 6'5" has anything to do with it. I have my followup for my heart cath on Sept.16th which is in 2 days. As of now, I dont believe it has anything to do with my lungs. I dont smoke, and all my blood work is normal.

Last night, sept.13th, I was driving home late at night. The roads were clear, so I punched the gas and hit 110MPH. I got a nice adrenaine rush, but right afterwords I had the most scary feeling in a long time. My heart slowed to about normal pace, but the beats were really hard. I physically felt my chest too. It was BEAT BEAT NOTHING BEAT BEAT BEAT NOTHING BEAT.... it did this for about 3 mins, and I got lightheaded in the process. I took in deep breaths, but it really felt like it wanted to stop, but kept going after the missed beats. It took my breath away everytime it did it, and this is something im going to bring up on my follow up appointment.

I forgot to mention, I also have a few hard chest pains right over my left chest area sometimes. I can be sitting down, or working, walking around. This is starting to hurt me emotionally. I miss being able to go out running, riding my bike, or just being active. I'm an outdoors person mostly, and although I dont work out, I was active when outside. Im 6'5" tall and weigh 155 lbs (down from 160 before my symptons) I also had the vomiting feeling a few times here too in the states, again without a reason. What could this be? I'm so worried, and want to be able to do the things I was once able to do without a problem. I get exhasted and short breathed so easily, sometimes to the point of dizzyness If i dont stop what i'm doing and rest. Tonight I went for a half mile walk, and afterwards I was short breathed for a whole hour with an increased heart rate, at one point getting really dizzy. Thanks for taking the time and reading this, and I'm hoping to get some more insight.
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replied October 24th, 2008
Community Volunteer
How was your follow-up with the lung specialist? Have you gotten any answers to your shortness of breath and dizziness? It sounds to me like you did the right thing by visiting your doctor and having everything checked out.

Here is an informative website about shortness of breath that may be able to help you determine some causes: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/ar ticle/003075.htm

I hope everything worked out well.
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