[Panic Attacks? and Cardiomyopathy?]

Author: Miriam (---.client.attbi.com)

Date: 12-27-02 15:56

My 19 yr. old son Anthony has mild retardation and I have had to fight for him to finally get a cardiologist thru my HMO. She at first diagnosed him with panic attacks and wanted me to pull him out of College (Career Prep for Special Needs Class). She felt his episodes of chest pains with blood pressure dropping to 60/39 was due to panic attacks? At first the emergency Dr.'s attributed his low blood pressure and chest pains to bradycardia. But I've taken his b/p at home and its normal 110/70. His symptoms have only appeared in the last year and have increased to being practically every other week and now its to the point where I don't want to bring him in to emergency anymore if there just going to send him home. His cardiologist finally did a stress test and rest test w/ gamma camara and found he did have cardiomyopathy with the left ventrical not working properly and bad flexability of the heart. But she still acertains that his episodes are also panic attacks! She says she does not want to medicate him cause he is so young and that she will consult with a pediatric cardiologist before making any further decisions and will get back to me in a couple months. A couple months! Meanwhile what am I supposed to do when he has another attack and blacks out. The last one happened on the bus and his whole body went into convulsions. She knows this and I asked her when do I know its a panic attack and not his heart? She tells me when his chest pains last longer than 15 minutes. His chest pains do last longer than 30 minutes and sometimes an hour and is sore the next day. Has anyone had this diagnosis besides Anthony? Is this something one is born with? The cardiologist says she has no idea the cause of this in Anthony. Anthony has had heart murmurs since 11 yrs of age or so.

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[Re: Panic Attacks? and Cardiomyopathy?]

Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

Date: 12-27-02 16:32

Miriam,

Call me in the office Saturday... this is too complex to discuss on a message board.

Do any other people in your family have HCM or other heart problems???

Lisa

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[Re: Panic Attacks? and Cardiomyopathy?]

Author: Mary S. (---.net273.fl.sprint-hsd.net)

Date: 12-28-02 03:55

I had the same thing happen to me! I went to my primary with chest pain and shortness of breath. He did a 12 lead EKG on me and it turned out abnormal. He looked at me and said 30% of people have abnormal EKGs. So he gave me a shot of valium some Paxil and Zanax and sent me on my way. I was fine for a couple of days because it was my weekend. When I went back to work that is when it got really bad. I was talking to my boss when I was overcome with chest pain and shortness of breath. He called 911 and sent the medics out and when they asked me my medications I told them about the Paxil and Zanax so they assumed I was having an anxiety attack. They kept making me walk back and forth to stop the "hyperventilation". At one point I looked at the medic he was pouring in sweat I on the other hand was freezing and getting a blue tinge. I asked them to take me to the hospital but they said I should go home and rest. Finally I demanded them to take me. After four hours in a wheel chair in the Er they finally did an EKG and they got serious. Thank God there was an awesome cardiologist on call. Lets just say this primary is not mine anymore. I cannot stress the get to a specialist it completly changed my life. I was 21 when all this happened.

Mary s.

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[Re: Panic Attacks? and Cardiomyopathy?]

Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

Date: 12-28-02 10:08

Sadly, there are way to many doctors who assume that young people "are too young" to have heart problems and go with stress/anxiety disorders b/c they are the most common thing --despite the medical evidence in front of them (eg the patient).

Miriam, please call Lisa and get your son to a specialist that Lisa recommends asap. I wouldn't bother with that doctor anymore. Blacking out is very serious and needs to be addressed NOW.

I'm sorry you have to go through this.

Sarah