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Chest Pains


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#1 ozzy69

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:49 AM

Friday night, I was home alone, because my husband and middle son were out of town. My youngest was at soccer practice and I was really exhausted just watching TV. I started to have chest pains that were like spasms that were in the middle of my chest and radiated through my shoulder blades and up my neck. They lasted about a minute or two when they happened. I kept trying to stretch to see if I could work it out. I started to get worried. I decided to go to the emergency room when my son got home. I felt stupid for going but they started to scare me. It felt kind of like it did before I had my gallbladder out two years ago. The closest hospital is one I really dislike because it is so dirty. The other nice ones are about an hour away so I went to the close one. They did a ekg and the nurse said it look fine and it would be a couple hours before the doctor could see me. The place is so gross; I decided to leave since the ekg was fine. I have a doctor’s appointment on 9/17/08 with my rheumatologist to go over test. I figured I would just see her. Has anyone else experienced any pains like this, and what was it caused from. I have had them before in the past and it is always at rest. It has even woke me up in the middle of the night. My primary doctor would just say it was nothing when I told him about them.

Thanks for any information,
Nina Lynn

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:10 AM

Hi Nina Lynn,

Although we naturally tend to think of heart problems first when experiencing chest pain, there are over a dozen possible causes of chest pain. Here is a good article on Chest Pain from Mayo Clinic.

Scleroderma perhaps increases the likelihood of chest pain being due to heartburn, pleurisy, costochondritis, or swallowing difficulties. But, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so I'm glad you got it checked out.


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#3 annkd

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:24 AM

Hi Nina Lynn - I have had several episodes like the one you described. I went to the hospital and they ran a ton of tests. It turned out to be "esophageal spasms". I was given a prescription for nitroglycerin tablets. I was told that if it got that bad again, I was to put one under my tongue. I have had several episodes and the tablet works very well. I also had to follow up with a whole bunch of other tests (endoscopy, barium swallow, etc.). I carry antacids with me all the time and they help if I take them at the first sign of a problem. I also take two nexiums everyday. It was truly frightening the first few times this happened, but now I know the signs and I deal with it. I'm not sure I appreciate that your primary doctor said "it was nothing" - because it is something! Take care and let us know what you find out. -Ann

#4 CFMBabs

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:37 AM

That's exactly the type of pain that I get after drinking fizzy drinks. If your heart monitor reading was okay then I'd be tempted to think that it was esophageal spasms just as Ann mentioned. I've had a number of these episodes recently and I agree that it can be quite worrysome. I applaud you for having the good sense in getting to the nearest ER, chest pain is not to be ignored.

I've also had my gall bladder out and the pain is similar to that I experienced when I had gallstones. Perhaps if you ate something fatty or full of cholestrol beforehand this may have contributed to the pain -- I know if I drink lot's of milk I have a problem!

Good advice from Shelley -- I hate this disease!

Best wishes
Barbara xxxx

#5 Peggy

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:08 AM

Good for you for going in! I know it was hard especially if the hospital isn't much to your liking, but it was important that you have it checked out. A person never knows and if it had in fact been a heart attack who knows what could have happened. It's not stupid for going in. You are better to be safe than sorry. With this disease it can affect the heart, as well as all of the other organs, so you are better to exercise on the side of caution. So I applaud you for going in! I wish you luck in finding out if it in fact is the spasms mentioned and I hope you are free of them in the future.

Warm hugs,
Peggy

#6 ozzy69

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:47 PM

Peggy, Barbara, annkd, and Shelly,

Thanks so much for you responses. I have not been dxed with Sclero yet, but my rheumatologist thinks that is what I have or MCTD. In the past, I have been dxed with servere raynauds, IC of the bladder, Fibro, IBS. I go tomorrow and met with her on my results from the lung function, Barium swallow, CT, echo, x-rays, and blood test. Hopefully the results will give me some insight to my chest pain. I have been tired and feeling sick and defeated again since Friday. My throat is so raw and has two blisters on it. It was like that when I went last month to my rheumatologist and see did a strep test and it was negative. I am worn out and hope to get answers tomorrow. Thanks everyone for making me feel better about going to the hospital. It really did scare me. The esophageal spasms sound like what is going on. I do know at my barium swallow test the pill they gave me kept getting stuck, and I had a hard time with it.

Thanks again, I will let everyone know my results.
Nina Lynn

#7 ozzy69

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:50 AM

I just wanted to update date you guys on this post. I did go to my rheumatologist yesterday. I was diagnosed with scleroderma. I had been having a negative ana test, but one she did last month and gave me the results yesterday. I had a high “off the charts ana with titer. I guess I finally got my answers. She is sending me to another doctor on the 26th and see what route we are going to choose. She talked some about Stem Cell or Chemotherapy. I feel shocked but glad to know I am not crazy after all. I not sure if it was form the stress of yesterday, but I had a really bad night. My chest was hurting. I feel like I have a upper respiratory infection. Then the chest pains again in the middle of the night. It helps if I sat up instead of laying flat down. It was really scary.

Thanks,
Nina Lynn

#8 Peggy

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:47 AM

Nina Lynn:

Sorry to hear you got the official diagnosis. But now you know that you have it and forge on with a plan like you are doing now. Your doctor will have you get a bunch of tests to stay on top of the involvement of the sclero on your organs, etc. There are a number of different treatments and everyone here at the forum can give you some insight on what they are doing and how it is affecting or helping them. The next appointment you may want to take someone with you who can be a second set of ears. These appointments can be daunting in the information that they throw at you and sometimes you may only be half listening as you are so overwhelmed. I know that if I didn't take my daughter and husband I wouldn't have the same results from these appointments. It's nice to see how they interpret what the doctor is saying and also have questions they may want to ask too. If you have questions now, write them down and take them with you so you don't forget to ask them. I wish you all the luck on your next appointment. You've come to the right place here for support and caring as everyone is wonderful.

Warm hugs,

Peggy

#9 LisaBulman

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:09 AM

I am sos orry that you finally received an official diagnosis but at least you know what you are dealing with and don't have to think you are crazy or imagining symptoms. Hopefully your next visit will give you more answers and you will be able to form a proper treatment plan.

Please keep us posted!

Hugs,
Lisa
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#10 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:35 PM

Hello Nina Lyn

So you've been one of the family all along. I know actually being told you have scleroderma is a shock but at least you know what you are dealing with and your doctors can provide an appropriate care plan for you.

I know I have said it before but there is plenty of life to be had after scleroderma barges in uninvited, it's just different to what you thought it would be.

You already know support and advice is available here for you 24-7.

I am sure I read in other posts that people with eosophageal issues prop themselves up in bed and get relief, if doing so helped your chest pain perhaps it was related to this. My mother has had 2 heart attacks and when having chest pain no propping up made any difference.

Please let us know how you get on with treatnent etc.

Take care.

Amanda
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#11 canon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:05 PM

Nina Lynn,

So sorry you have recieved a diagnosis of scleroderma. Hope you have used this website to read up on the disease to help you with developing some coping skills and knowledge. You will find by reading this forum that many of us have different symptoms of the same disease.

Having chest pain is not pleasant. Many of us have esophageal problems especially with reflux. Many have lung or heart problems. The rheumatologist will help you and coordinate who to see for specialist.

I have alot of esophageal problems and the most painful is the esophageal spasms I get from too much irratation even with reflux medications. The pain is in my chest which radiates to my teeth, jaw, arms and neck. I also get cold and clammy with them. This is also what a heart attach would feel like so it is un-nerving. The first time I had it I spent 4 days on the telemetry unit in the hospital because the doctors thought it was my heart too. Lucky for me it wasn't. It is much safer to let them figure it out and good that you got checked out. Did your rheumatologist give you some suggestions on what to do about your chest pain?

Keep us posted and stay in touch especially now.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#12 barefut

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:36 PM

Hello Nina Lynn ~

Yes! I have experienced the exact same pains you describe and also went to ER only to find out my heart was just fine. I also had gallbladder problems and had it removed. I haven't had an episode like it since - but that could be coincidence.

I have wondered if it was an esophageal spasm?

#13 ozzy69

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 09:55 AM

Thanks everyone for their replies. The last couple days I have been trying to deal with the emotional part of finding out. I am glad to know that I am not just crazy, sad & scared that I have Sclero. I have felt like I have the flu for the last 4 days. Hopefully it will get better soon. I guess I should do more of a proper introduction.

I am 38 years old and just been diagnosed with Sclero. I have had Raynaud's for over 6 years. I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC) of the bladder 2006, fibromyalgia in 2006, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I have always thought my primary doctor was missing something, but I had to battle him over everything. He would always tell me it's just fibro. I do plan on finding a new primary doctor. I did find a great rheumatologist, and I am glad. I work for my dad so, I have been lucky that when I was sick I could take off. My doctor and I talked about going on disability. We both agree that right now I will be focused on deciding what route to take with sclero and raising my boys.

I have three wonderful boys, ages 19, 17, 15 and a loving husband. I am so used to going and going, but now I realize I must change my life. Instead of not paying attention to when my body hurts, I need to listen to it. I joined this site back in march when my doctor first told me about Sclero. I have been reading since.

Thanks everyone,
Nina Lynn

#14 Nina

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 11:05 AM

Hi Nina Lynn ~
I'm actually very happy for you to have gotten the official diagnosis, at the very same time I know you are feeling the mixture of feelings that we have all felt. I guess the best feeling is, "I'm not crazy."
Now it's time to put the focus on YOU ~ listen to your body and rest when you need to rest. I've gotten very good at it, and it can make a big difference.
It sounds like you have found the right doctor, so give thanks for that. I too have to find a new PC doctor, and for some reason I have put that off for now. I just hate having to go through all the explaining. I find we have to say "Thank You" (either silently or like me out loud) for every little thing we find that makes us smile.
Please keep in touch and try to relax,
Much love,
Nina (DE)

#15 debonair susie

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 07:57 AM

Hi Nina Lynn,

You are SO RIGHT...about the feeling, "I'm not crazy" afterall. To be diagnosed is scary, yet to have confirmation for the symptoms...is somewhat of a "relief".

You are on the right track...the listening to your body when it signals you to rest and take care...is very wise. Sometimes it may not be "convenient" but please know that it's easier to rest and take care than deal with what the alternative can turn out to be.

My hubby's sister-in-law was describing "flu-like" symptoms to me a few years ago. Like me...she had cleaned homes for people for several years. Always a hard worker, she found it difficult to function at the same pace, with these "flu-like" symptoms that had been going on for about 6 months before my hubby and I spent a weekend with her and she revealed this to me.

Because my Sclero started out like hers, I suggested she see a rheumatologist soon...yet I didn't tell her that I suspected she might have Scleroderma too. Since I don't have "MD" after my name, I only stressed that she go to a doctor soon, which she did.

She DID find out that she does also have Sclero. Once she had a diagnosis, she told me that she slowed down her schedule and quit cleeaning homes. She also told me that she was taking 2 hour naps, which she had never done before. I was glad to hear that she was taking care of herself and not pushing to do as much.

I know how hard it is to HAVE to slow down becasue we literally cannot go at the same pace we did pre-Sclero and/or Fibro.

BTW, when your doctor said, "Just Fibro" to you...it's obvious that he doesn't have it...or he would realize how taxing it really is on a body...wouldn't he?

It's wonderful that you are working for your dad and have the ability to take off when you need to. If your job is such that you enjoy it and it's not stressful and when you are feeling good, you can handle it...that's a good thing!

Yet, you mentioned that your doctor suggested disability. If that's something you feel might be the thing to do...after all, you know your limitations...then it's definitely another option.

I am on disability because my doctor felt I had already felt I had worked 4 years longer than I should have. Yet, my hubby and I work GREAT together and it was truly helping me mentally and emotionally.
However, because it was a very physical job, I turned out not to be the "brightest bulb" in the room, as the hard work I was doing took a very physical toll on my entire body.
We also had to get up at 3:30 5 days/week...in the beginning, it was 6 days/wk. Everything we did, power sleep, power eat...I was chronically fatigued for those 5 years. Once I went on disability, I was so very sick for a full year.

I apologize for this long post, but just wanted to relate that there are folks who understand what you are going through.

Take care of yourself!
Hugs,
Susie
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#16 ozzy69

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:47 PM

susie,

Thanks so much for your reply. I like my job but I feel like it is time for me to take a break. I have cut my day to three day a week instead of five. I finally feel it is time. I had three surgies in 2006, gallbladder out, ovaries out and a mass removed 5 months after ovaries. In 2007, I had to deal with my IC of my bladder and fibro. I had weekly bladder installs and tried many treatments. I worked through all of this but I think I am ready to take a break and figure what my steps are going to be to deal with the scelro.

I am meeting with gastro doctor tomorrow.

Thanks again for your reply
Hugs
Nina Lynn