"Chest pain" last night, scary as (fill in the blank)

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So yesterday I was moving and grooving between meetings, stopping for lunch, more meetings, picking up an air conditioner order at PC Richard warehouse (they loaded in the car), rushing home to drop it off, back to work, food shopping.....crazy day.

When I stopped by my house to drop off the AC, I have a hand truck in my car that I use now to move heavy items. The AC was in my back seat, I simply slid it towards the door, tilted it but due to the size of the box and not wanting to scratch up my door, I had no choice but to lift it 1" and pull it out the car, then immediately set it to the floor and used the hand truck to wheel it into my kitchen.

While food shopping, I felt a "clenching" or "tightening" feeling on my left side, back and front areas. It wasn't intense but it felt like it could have been a muscle spasm, or that feeling when you get a muscle cramp and you need to stretch it out. Thing is, I've been involved in the bodybuilding/fitness field for years and I know what a muscle cramp/soreness feels like. This felt "internal". I flexed my chest and back muscles and it didn't bother me at all. It's only when I rotated my shoulder front or back, or if I breathed in deep. 

This feeling is gone now, with the exception of the slight pain I still feel when I breathe in deep in my back. My PCP thinks it's muscular/skeletal. He may be right because my sleep position is awkward and I think I have a pinched nerve that needs to be adjusted. But the feeling I have when I breathe deep....it doesn't feel muscular, it feels "deeper inside" as if in my lungs.

I went to see a pulmonologist on Tuesday, he gave me a "breathing test" (not sure what it's called). So my lung capacity is excellent, my blood oxygen level was slightly low but not to cause concern, and something else he said was excellent. So why the chest pain when I breathe? He had me get a chest xray done last night, results are in I'm waiting on his call for the results although he may just tell me let's discuss on our follow up meeting Monday afternoon. 

I'm hoping it's not all tied in with my TAA (4.6)......scary feeling last night, if it is/was muscular, I hope that's what it was although it makes me feel older than I am sad  What I used to be able to do, and where I am today......sigh have no choice but to accept aging and changes in life

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  • Posted

    I get that most times when I go down the gym and bench press, I have been through all the tests you have mentioned

    I went to a meeting today, they are St Marys hospital, Paddiungton

    I had a chance to talk to the boss, the bloke who does all the operations, stents and stuff

    I had a chance to give him a grilling, I told him I still go to the gym, stil go out running, I still get my heart rate up into the 140-150's,

    I asked him 'If I am over doing things'?'

    He asked me 'how I felt after bench pressing',

    I said fine, just a tight, pulling feeling in my chest, its just a sensation'

    He then said 'If you dont feel dizzy, dont hold your breath while benching, its just the muscles working hard'

    I asked him 'Its every time I do chest work'

    He then said 'If you are worried, stop doing it you body will tell you when enough is enough'

    Well there was nothing more I could say to that

    I know when people are told 'Not to worry' its the first ting they do, I have got over that now, if it happens, it happens, there is nothing I or a doctor can do

    So I would wait and see what the results are, you could be fretting about nothing, so spend a bit of ME time, relax, chill (do they still say that ? )

    Yes your body is going to let you down the older you get, you train right, eat right, plenty of sleep and then it comes up with something like this frown

    I'd like to hear what the follow up meeting is like though

    You have the weekend to get through, try not to worry confused

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    • Posted

      Thanks Derrick. Unfortunately I have always been known to be an excessive worrier, although I've made strides to improve that over the years. Since this is all fairly new to me, I'm still getting accustomed to the awareness of my condition, limitations I need to be aware of, while doing my best to chill (I still say that, not sure about others LOL). Taking my daughter to her TaeKwonDo school party tonight, watch Logan on PPV and have a OJ/vodka cocktail. Tomorrow and Sunday washing/waxing the cars, house work, get back into cardio after 3 day layoff, and whatever else comes to mind (practice some guitar playing to get my 80's hair metal chords better smile )

      Will provide update on Monday as pulmo never called me back with the chest xray results. The nerve....you would think it's Friday! wink

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    • Posted

      When I was working (I was a plumber) I used to worry a lot about custmers, I had to service their boilers and many times they failed, so I had to shut down their bilers as they were killing themselves, (I knew they turned them back on)

      I couldnt stop them, they had kids and it wasnt until I took a CO2 detector round with me and showed them what they were doing, but even then it was hard work, in the end I removed a vital part and attached a note to the boiler with the faults and my phone number

      I got several calls about it, I was even taken to court over it (i was charged with theft)

      After that I gave up with my gas safe ticket and went to work at LHR, I still had worries then, managers who never knew the job, they were managers and would cut budgets to save money

      I was with a gang of blokes, they had been there years, they didnt worry, they just did what they could with the resources they had, we did a pretty good job, no one died, no one got hurt (this isnt your normal plumbing job, it was fire mains, sewage pits, fresh water mains, 36 inch pipe, very high presures)

      Sometimes you worry over things you cant change or do anything about

      Now I am retired, I dont have these worries any more, but I still think about them

      I can only think to myself, I did what I thought was right at the time, I couldnt stop people lighting their boilers, I couldnt get a budget out of thin air, all my worrying was pointless, I lost a lot of sleep over it, now I have this triple A, I cant do anything about it, I cant cure myself, its not getting any smaller

      Now I dont even think about it until its time for another scan (or I go to another of these meetings) its like a game show, where they play out the tension, only to be told its the wrong answer, its a bit of an anti climax

      I was told my triple A hadnt got any bigger, I didnt know wether to feel elated or dejected, so whatever I am doing isnt making it better or worse

      At this meeting when I introduced myself, I daid, 'My names Derrick and I'm hoping to see Christmas, 2050'

      It raised a few laughs and set the tone for the meeting,

      So just go with the flow, enjoy things over the weekend, Monday will come all too soon, so just go in there with a big smile and dare the doctor to wipe it off biggrin

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    • Posted

      Thank you again Derrick for your insight. I've gotten much better at dealing with this, with occassional bouts of anger/concern which I fight off then feel better. Every day is another foot forward with education, acceptance and moving on with my life.

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    • Posted

      Well how did things go with the doctor ? (I havent read any of the other replies, sorry)

      Did he say you had anything to worry about ? (apart from the usual stuff, like work, bills, kids, the wife, the neigbours dog)

      Dont forget, we can all get angry sometimes, but breath in, count to five then see how it feels

      You must have had a decent weekend, because you are still with us biggrin

      Every day above ground is a good day, get up each morning and see that you have survived another night biggrin its a great start to the day (even when its p*ssing with rain)

      My posts on most of these forums are always upbeat, I try and look on the bright side at most things, I hope it dont cause offence neutral

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  • Posted

    Has your cardiologist said it was ok to continue weight lifting at the gym and moving heavy weights at home? The recommendations I have seen on medical sites says lifting heavy weights can cause blood pressure surges which can lead to enlargement of an aneurysm or even dissection. You should check with your cardiologist before lifting any more air conditioners smile

    I have no idea what is causing your pain, but I would not ignore it. If nothing turns up at your doctor visit, you could consider getting a CT scan, MRA, or ultrasound of your aorta to make sure that everything is still ok.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tim,

      I hear you, no moving air conditioners for me! smile Even though it was a slight lift off my back car seat and onto the driveway, it may have been enough to feel that sensation later that evening. Could have been stress from work added to it....who knows. It went away, if it happens again going straight to the ER. Now I have my AC unit in a box in my living room. For as badly as I want to take out the old one and put in the new, I have reservations about this as I would now surely have to lift it off the ground, onto a ladder, and into the wall sleeve. My 16 yr old son can help but I don't want to put too much of the burden on him, may wind up hiring someone....I roll my eyes saying this as I've been accustomed to moving heavy equipment, lifting heavy weights, etc. I feel like a helpless bird feather floating in the wind at times, but I realize all I need to do is aggravate this and it will just take whatever it takes for this to dissect or rupture, then I'm really up the proverbial creek without a paddle, rushing to the ED for emergency heart surgery. 

      Seeing my cardiologist Thursday, they didn't say what it's for, going to call their office shortly to ask. May just be consultation (I have a laundry list of questions), he did mention "at some point" I will have a CT scan done. I'd like to get the CT scan done sooner than later.

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    • Posted

      I know what you mean about feeling like a "helpless bird feather floating in the wind at times". I had a (previously undetected) 5.3cm aneurysm that dissected. I used to like to lift heavy weights at the gym, hike, lift heavy stuff around home, push-start my car when it wouldn't start normally, etc.

      Now I can go walking but am forbidden from lifting heavy weights of running or anything that could raise my blood pressure or strain my aorta and I'm on a beta blocker and two blood pressure meds.

      It's -definitely- a downer to have to reduce physical activity so much but but it's unavoidable for me. For me, it's the price I pay for not filling space in the cemetery. It's been hard to change my mindset - my dad was always a do it yourself kind of guy, even into his 70s and l learned well from him I guess.

      You're physical limitations may be temporary. If they should decide to stent or surgically repair your aneurysm you might be able to go back to your previous levels of physical activity.

      I kind of hate to mention this since you're already worried, but aneurysms can run in families. my mom had a 6.3cm TAA years before my "medical adventure" and had surgery to fix it. After -my- surgery, they told me i should tell my siblings to get checked for aneurysms and if i had any to get my children checked out too. I wish I had been told this after my mom's surgery. My life might be quite different now. As it turns out, one of my siblings does have a TAA that was previously undetected.

      I was also told that my aneurysm and dissection could be related to/caused by a genetic problem like Marfan's or other connective tissue disorder. They recommended I get genetic testing (i haven't done it yet) and if i have some sort of connective tissue disease or genetic problem i could alert my siblings. You may want to add this to your questions for your cardiologist. Maybe all this isn't applicable to your situation (they would be great for you!) and I'm not

      doctor so definitely check it out with one if you want.

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    • Posted

      They are the best people to speak to, they know a lot more about these things and any implications that may occur (sorry for jumping in) but that is sound advice biggrin
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  • Posted

    Hey everyone, been swamped at work as of late, getting out late and totally exhausted (IT manager at a large hospital in NY) - tons and tons of emails, escalation calls, WebEx meetings, walkthroughs, complaints, etc - plus my neurotic manager who means well but needs to back off a bit smile  We all have our stressors in life, my job is good and secure but not without mental stress and a heightened sense of urgency.

    So since my last post, I mentioned I had a chest x-ray and it was discovered I have an uncoiled aorta. I read that this condition in and of itself is not considered alarming, however combined with anything else it can be (my TAA). I went for this test prescribed by my pulmonologist as I have been complaining of back/chest pain when breathing deep, coughing or sneezing the last 2-3 weeks. This pain is intermittent, and sometimes it's stronger on certain days but never so painful that it's debilitating. Pulmo said lungs look good, just mentioned the uncoiled aorta and wanted to prescribe me for CT scan with contrast to rule out a pulmonary embolism

    Went to cardiologist follow up Thursday night, lost 9 lbs in a month (Woo hoo!), BP was 120/78 and pulse was 72. Cardiologist was proud of me, told me to do more cardio (currently squeezing in 2-3 times/week). Diet is cleaner most days, drinking lots of water most days. He didn't express concern over the uncoiled aorta at all, told me to live my life, don't live in fear, and come back in 2 months. My wife feels a lot better, with me I constantly battle between being brave and ready to continue enjoying my life, vs thinking about what suit I will wear at my wake, who will show up, what Heaven will look like....I know, extreme. I'm doing better as I accept this each day, thankful to God for another day waking up and seeing my children, my wife and our dog.

    Friday afternoon went to Radiology office and got the CT scan done, tech said no embolism was found....AWESOME!!!! I asked then what can be causing this? She said it could be a multitude of things, could very well be muscular/skeletal but my doctor will call me to go over the results. BEST PART of the test results is my TAA is 4.4cm, not 4.7 as my cardiologist stated (first he said 4.5 or 4.6, then Thur night he said 4.7.....I'm like WTH it's getting bigger???) NOT happy with that aspect. I am hoping and assuming the CT scan with contrast is the most accurate test of them all? 

    Being happy over the weight loss and the reduced TAA size, went out with my friend to see "Rough Night" (girls movie yes but very funny) and we went to an Italian restaurant beforehand. Treated myself to 2 meatballs, large salad, avoided the bread, then went next door and had vanilla ice cream with whipped cream, and at the movies had peanut M&M's. I know, total overkill but I figured next day (today) right back on track. 

    Still going to be super careful. I'm staring at this new AC in my living room, shaking my head that I know I can lift it and replace my old one, but can't so as to not risk aggravating my TAA and have to hire someone....UGH

    I'd rather that than risk losing time with my family and friends. Every day is a blessing, enjoy life and look forward to the good things we have and the people/animals that love us.

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