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Thread: Terrified of pulmonary embolism

  1. #1

    Terrified of pulmonary embolism

    Hi everyone! I am 30 years old and have been consumed with fear of having a pulmonary embolism. A little background- a few weeks ago I noticed heart palpitations while out to lunch. I went straight to urgent care where they did an ekg and also a ddimer to check for blood clots which both came back normal. They put it down as anxiety and sent me to follow up with a cardiologist. Then on Christmas night I was sleeping and woke up to a extremely racing heart and couldnít breath! My husband called 911 and off I went to the hospital. There they did and ekg again and did a ddimer test which did come back a little elevated so they did a chest C.T. scan to check for pulmonary embolisms which came back clear. Again, was put down as panic attack. Fast forward to today, I went to urgent care again this morning because I have chest and back pain and there they did a ekg again which was normal and I begged them to re do the ddimer because I am convinced that when they did it in the hospital that it was a blood clot that was somewhere else and not on my lungs at the time and now Iím scared it is. They said my ddimer was normal today and that ddimer test are not the most reliable when elevated because almost anything can cause it to go up and that my normal ddimer test today is reassuring there is no clot. Iím trying to very hard to relax and not rush to the emergency room tonight because of this chest pain. Iím scheduled to get a 24 hour heart monitor on Monday because of my constant heart rate although the cardiologist thinks this is all anxiety and doing the monitor for my peace of mind not because he thinks I need it. Iím constantly checking my heart and oxygen levels and Iím just so scared that itís a PE and going misdiagnosed. Can this chest pain be from anxiety?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Welcome to No More Panic!

    Hiya Jm1188 and welcome to NMP

    Why not take a look at our articles on our home page, they contain a wealth of information and are a great starting place for your time on the forum.

    I hope you find the as site helpful and informative as I have and that you get the help and support you need here and hope that you meet a few friends along the way
    Emmz xx

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  3. #3

    Re: Terrified of pulmonary embolism

    Thank you venusbluejeans! I will take a look through the article.

  4. #4

    Re: Terrified of pulmonary embolism

    This has been one of my biggest fears too. I recently found out a few years back that I have a clotting disorder (yup- and PE is something that can occur due to it) and I have been super paranoid since. Three years back I was getting severe chest pains. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and every deep breath would hurt from my neck all the way down my shoulder into my back. I was also getting painful spasms. I had all this testing done, paranoid it was clot related. Come to find out it was due to muscle spasms in my diaphragm/ upper back. On a good note- I was told it's not a blood clot since it's been over 3 years. Bad news- it still hurts three years later! Muscle pain can also cause chest pain/ tightness. I don't ever recall an injury, but something as silly as bad posture could aggravate the muscles making them spit back at you. Since then I started doing more yoga and have found the breathing exercises can be of great aid during panic attacks or times of high stress.

    Maybe look into some breathing exercises to help calm you in times of high stress/ panic? You can usually tell if it's anxiety too when looking at a heart monitor (I use my phone to check on occasion). It could be beating at 120 BPM (beats per minute) during panic mode, then once you start deep breathing, it can go down to 70 or 80. That was one way my doctor mentioned you could tell if it was anxiety- is if your breathing can control it. Chances are if you notice an improvement in BPM with deep breathing, it's anxiety.

    My mom had 2 PE which really terrifies me; however, when they occurred, she couldn't breathe and it was VERY obvious something was wrong. While I am no medical expert, anxiety can really "mimic" our worse fears and amplify them greatly to make us think we have something much worse than we really have. My heart rate also runs high due to anxiety and I am often not allowed to leave doctor's offices until it "calms" down, but learning how to do breathing exercises have helped me quite a bit. Know you are not alone on this. I hope you get your peace of mind soon!

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