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I'm a 23 year old female who is very overweight (260 pounds, but trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle). Four days ago, while lying in bed, I began having chest pains that felt as if my heart was being squeezed. I wasted no time in getting to a doctor, where I was promptly diagnosed with costochondritis, despite having no tenderness, the pain not being related to my breathing or movement. He suggested tylenol or aspirin for the pain (which is less of a 'pain' and more of an uncomfortable tightness/squeezing). Neither helped.
Two days later, the chest discomfort had reached the point where I could no longer even sleep. To make matters worse, I had developed some worrying new symptoms. Arm heaviness/weakness, shooting pains, my left hand going numb/thumb twitching for seemingly no reason. I immediately had my boyfriend drive me to the ER.
They performed an EKG, drew blood, and took chest X-rays. Also checked my blood pressure and pulse. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, they told me everything seemed fine and it was probably just chest wall pain. They sent me home with a prescription for diclofenac sodimum, which has done nothing to help.
I wish I could believe I'm okay and this pain is just from costochondritis, but I'm having serious doubts. The pain I'm experiencing isn't 'sharp' and doesn't seem to be related to movement/breathing like others with the condition say it is. It's constant chest discomfort. It mostly feels as if someone is reaching into my chest and squeezing my heart. Other times it's more of a tightness and I have trouble breathing.
I'm concerned I'm headed for a heart attack or a stroke based on my symptoms. I wont lie; my eating habits for the past six months have been insanely unhealthy. I've lived on nothing but fast food, and I've been eating ridiculous amounts of it every single day. A combination of that, plus stress (my dad died last month after spending months in the ICU due to complications following a liver transplant) leads me to believe something might seriously be wrong with my heart. But the doctors didn't mention any abnormalities after all the tests they ran, so does that mean I'm just worrying for nothing?
I wish someone could tell me I'm just overreacting. I've always been a very anxious individual, so I don't know if my tendency to worry about everything is making my symptoms seem worse than they atcually are or not..
Sorry for rambling so much. My questions are: can costochondritis cause tighting/squeezing sensations instead of sharp, tearing pains? Is it possible to have constochondritis without chest tenderness (it doesn't hurt when I press on the area at all). Could the weakness/shooting pains/numbness in my arms and hands be caused by something that isn't life-threatening? Or am I in danger if falling over dead from a blood clot or stroke or heart attack?
I've been holed up in my house crying about this for days now, scared to death Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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