Extreme abdominal pain that wakes me up an hour after falling asleep, lasts 5-10 minutes.

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I'm 30, 6 feet tall, 250 pounds. I don't take any prescription meds, do any drugs, or drink. Pre-existing conditions are anxiety, depression, and GERD.

For the past year I've been having an odd thing happen to me. Once or twice a month, I'll wake up an hour after falling asleep. At first I just feel very hot or very cold, nauseous, and scared. Then, after a couple minutes, it feels like my insides are starting to seize up. Like a huge hand is inside me, trying to crush everything inside my abdomen. The pain seems to be located more toward my back, just below my ribs. My heart races. It's hard not to panic but if I stay in bed and focus on controlling my breathing, I can avoid hyperventilating and the pain usually subsides within 5 to 10 minutes. Towards the end of the episode, I end up going to the bathroom for a BM, which gives me some relief. Then I go back to sleep.

When I wake back up later, I typically feel fine. Maybe a little sore in my back and a little nervous about whether it'll happen again next time I sleep, but I've never had them two nights in a row thankfully.

And yes, it always happens an hour after falling asleep. Never while I'm already awake, never three hours into sleep, never six hours into sleep. Always an hour later, give or take 20 minutes.

Today I had the worst one I've ever had. It was much more painful and lasted two or three times as long. I tried my best to hold on, clutching my sheets and trying hard to control my breathing and wait for the pain to go away. But it was very scary and intense, and to my embarrassment, I ended up calling 911. By the time the paramedics arrived, the pain had subsided, but they took my vitals anyway and saw nothing of concern. I went back to bed when they left and slept a few hours. I'm more sore in my back than usual and I'm worried about having to deal with that again, but otherwise, I don't feel the sort of aftereffects I would imagine I'd have after 10 minutes of excruciating abdominal pain. It defies explanation.

So basically every two or three weeks I wake up an hour after falling asleep, develop very intense abdominal pain, and basically suffer immensely for 5 to 10 minutes (closer to 15 today) until the pain subsides. Then I'm fine afterwards.

I definitely plan on seeing a doctor about this, but I'm poor and uninsured which makes that hard. And if I ran off to the emergency room for any of these events, the pain would be long gone by the time I arrived. It really does feel terrible, like I'm about to die, but I never do - obviously. And I never even have lasting effects from it. What could it be?

Thanks for your time.

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  • Posted

    Wow ! I would go to a family clinic and get healthcare insurance from Aetna Better Health plan. You won't pay for most services depending on your income. As far as your issue, see a doctor and get a catscan done. Do something because it's only going to get worse. Keep us posted!

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  • Posted

    Hiya I too get what you are experiencing however mine happens during the day I've had 4-5 episodes and each one has been more intense and longer. The third one I had lasted around an hour on and off its so intense it takes my breath away, since then each episode is unbareable. The pains just under my ribs where you'd feel a stitch like its cramping up so bad. Since that episode I've had constant constipation and abdominal pain daily, docs have said it's IBS but I have a scan booked to investigate further. It's worth getting it checked at least for peace of mind. I hope you find answers soon.

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    • Posted

      I had constant constipation and abdominal pain for three and a half months.  All my scans were clear and was diagnosed with IBS.  I accepted this, and my symptoms got better.
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