Possible Embolism

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hello everyone,

I am 22 years old. First let me preface this by saying I understand no one on here can definitely tell me whether I have a PE or not, and I know the best course of action would be to see a doctor. For about 3 months I have been experiencing intermittent moderate chest and shoulder pressure on my left side. It can be felt from my left chest to my left upper abdomen. I also have been feeling random split-second needle like sensations in that same general area. I wouldn't describe these sensations as painful. I would say they are more uncomfortable and almost like an itchy feeling for a split second. In addition, sometimes I feel a "bubbling" sensation in my chest/upper abdomen. I also have been experiencing random increases in heart rate that are exaggerated from going from a sitting position to a standing position. This increase in heart rate seems to come on randomly. The time period when the rate will jump significantly with movement can last anywhere from an hour to a day or days. It also seems pretty much correlated with the chest/shoulder/upper abdomen pressure. Full disclosure: I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks.  Once this pressure comes on and my heart rate increases, I feel funny and a little disoriented but I think these symptoms are from the panic. I have been to my doctor about this. She has run several tests and does not seem to think it is anything serious. I think her diagnosis is pretty much GERD and indigestion. However, I don't think she has considered a possible blood clot. She has not run a d-dimer test. Based on what I have typed, do those that have actually experienced a PE think that I should urgently seek out a d-dimer test or are my symptoms not really indicative of a PE? I appreciate all positive input. Again, I understand no one on here can actually diagnose me. Thank you!

0 likes, 6 replies

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Regina,

    I had similar feelings the months prior to being diagnosed with PE. I would recommend asking for a chest CT scan to rule out PE the disadvantage to this is that it’s a lot of radiation. When I went in the doctor and nurse was certain it was something with my abdomen but added a chest CT when the pain got out of control in my chest after taking blood. Especially if on a form of hormonal birth control a chest CT wouldn’t be a bad idea just to be sure because if it is PE a blood clot can block blood flow and stop your heart...not to worry you more but just to be on the safe side. 

    P.S. I was 21 when diagnosed and have anxiety attacks too. Let me know how things go, best of luck.


    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I will try to get a chest CT. I forgot to mention that it almost feels like there is something in my left shoulder and chest. If I bend over, it feels like something is in there. It's strange. I don't know if this makes it more or less likely to be a PE or not.

  • Posted

    Hi regina,

    ?As you say no one can possibly tell you whether you definitely have a pulmonary embolism. Only your doctor and the recommended tests can confirm. Now what is interesting with your symptoms is that it resembles angina, but without the moderate to severe chest pain ?  reflux/heartburn needs to be excluded, sounds like you maybe on top of that, does reflux medication work when any of these symptoms occur ?

    ?Another consideration is have you had an ECG done, it also sounds familiar with AF (atrial fibrillation) , have you ever felt like passing out ? 

    ?The most pronounced symptom for PE's  is severe shortness of breath and lethargy, I have angina and I presented to our emergency department as I couldn't control the angina attack. Now prior to this I had thought I pulled a calf muscle by twisting the wrong way while working, the calf didn't improve in a week so I mentioned it to my GP and he had a look and a feel and was of the same opinion, strained calf muscle, 2 -3 days later my   leg was sore to walk on but not sore to the touch, it was hot and puffed up, now as mentioned above I went to emergency department for my uncontrollable angina attack, the triage nurse asked why was I limping, I explained the situation, she pulled my trouser leg up and took a look, she said that she was more worried about my leg than my chest pain this particular night. D - dimer was done, come back positive in the extremely high range,(D -dimer is not accurate, it's only a guideline, extremely high - good chance of a clot(s) ) As that came back high a contrast CT scan was done and they found blood clots everywhere in both my lungs, here I was thinking it was my angina causing the even more severe breathlessness , I'd get puffed getting dressed, showering and even after walking very short distances. I realise everyone is different with symptoms but breathlessness is the big give away for PE's especially in the young, fit and healthy.

    • Posted

      It might be GERD but acid pills don’t seem to get rid of it. I have seen a cardiologist about the heart rate increase, but on the day when I had my EKG and my Holter Monitor on my heart wasn’t doing it. It comes on randomly. The cardiologist said there was nothing in the test that pointed to any diagnosis.  I wouldn’t really say I have shortness of breath, at least it’s not the thing that comes on first. It comes on after I get anxious about my heart and chest feeling. My heart rate gets really fast when showering (in the 140s). I don’t remember it always doing it before, but maybe it has and I’ve just become aware of it because I own an Apple Watch.  
    • Posted


      ​Have a look on here in the forums, look up discussions on Prinzmetal Angina, MVD (cardiac) and Syndrome X and look through the experiences they have gone through to be diagnosed with these conditions, see if any symptoms match yours, these are all the harder to diagnose type anginas.

  • Posted

    I was also meant to add, other heart rhythm/heart problems as well, as the one I mentioned. 

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