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crushing chest pain


About the Author


meggy8868 retired teacher; had my first echo which indicated HCM in 1999 but was not told I had the condition. Find out more about meggy8868
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  • crushing chest pain

    Early Sunday morning I was awakened by such a crushing pain on my chest worse than any chest pain I have ever had (I have had a variety and most defy description). It was like a boulder crushing me awakening me out of a sound sleep. I sat up and it didn't leave, so I went downstairs to take another atenolol. It was 3AM. Once down I couldn't go back up, I was incapacitated. I could really move or talk. I sat with the phone about 20 minutes before I hit 911. I had taken my own BP and the HR was 93. I thought I might be in A-fib which causes me to feel incapacitated. First responders came and the Ambulance. I was not in AFib, but in sinus rhythm so I wanted them to go and finally the chest pain after 11/2 hours abated. But the ambulance drive insisted and I spent an unfruitful 5 hours in the ER with nothing accomplished and NO ride home. sunday was run over by a truck day, but am feeling fine today.

    I simply cannot distinguish between a "spell" that I have from time to time and something serious that requires 911. I would appreciate any and all comments.

    I am supposed to go to Mayo Nov 24, but everyone is involved with Thanksgiving and I have no one go with me. And we have 12 inches of snow already. That was as soon as I could get in from a doctors request that I be seen ASAP.

    HOCM diagnosed Mayo Clinic Aug. 2010

    25 mg of atenolol.

  • #2
    Re: crushing chest pain

    Sounds pretty awful and I'll keep you in prayer. I think you did the right thing by seeking medical attention when you did. I had a similar experience shortly before I left for Mayo for my myectomy on 10 October - happened after I took a dose of Sumatriptan for a headache. It passed in about 30 minutes though. I contacted the physicians assistant up at Johns Hopkins and she told me that what happened was that the medication had provoked my obstruction and thats what caused me to feel such intense discomfort. I wasn't sure I was going to survive. It happened at work and I told a co-worker what was going on and told him that if I gave him the word that he should call 911. Fortunately, that didn't need to happen. I share this with you only because I think its important for you to know that no one is going to criticize you for calling 911 if you are in such distress. If you have a local cardiologist, you may want to let them know what happened, as they may be able to tweak your medications to mitigate this as well. Others on this forum can give you some more precise ideas in that regard.

    Born 1955 in USA, DX'd w/HCM 1996, in United Kingdom
    2011, 2013, 2014 ablations for Afib and flutter in UK, INOVA Fairfax, VA, and Johns Hopkins
    June 2014 DX HOCM at Johns Hopkins
    October 2014 Myectomy and Cryomaze at Mayo Clinic


    • #3
      Re: crushing chest pain

      Hi Meggy,
      Well, that sounds really awful.

      I have no useful advice, except, maybe, this (which echoes Joel's comment): if you're incapacitated, there is nothing wrong with calling 911. The fact that the ER docs didn't find anything doesn't really change that. Obviously, you'll want to discuss this with the Mayo docs and see what they think -- but, really, I don't think you should hesitate if something like this happens.

      Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


      • #4
        Re: crushing chest pain

        You did the right thing. When I read it, I was hoping it wasn't a heart attack. Just because we have one thing, doesn't mean it could be something else! Glad you got it checked out. Do hope Mayo has some answers for you.
        Diagnosed @ 48
        Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
        Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
        AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
        After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
        Quietly going insane . . .


        • #5
          Re: crushing chest pain

          Yes, my heart enzymes were okay. I brought my whole 3 ring notebook with me to the ER. I almost have too much information and they don't look at it anyway in the ER. They just go through all of the protocol to the point of my exhaustion. My chances of making it to Mayo now are slim with winter in full blow! I just can't discern hcm symptoms from A-Fib. If I only could tell the difference. But yes, Joel. I simultaneously have shingles and it seems that when I have an outbreak, it stresses my heart more, or perhaps it doesn't like the Neurontin.
          Thanks all. That's the trouble with HCM, it is such a mockingbird.
          Last edited by meggy8868; 11-10-2014, 07:03 PM.
          HOCM diagnosed Mayo Clinic Aug. 2010

          25 mg of atenolol.


          • #6
            Re: crushing chest pain

            If you are someone concerned about whether you are going in and out of A-fib. I would recommend getting the Alive-Cor phone app... ( HCMA members get a 50% discount) You get an on the spot 30 sec lead one ECG anytime you need it...
            This does not take the place of calling 911 when in severe distress.
            But gives you added info to go with your symptoms.
            I Hope for your sake you find a way to keep your appointment at Mayo... It could be the key to adjusting your medical plan and making life better for you.....!!!
            After years of symptoms:
            Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
            Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
            Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
            At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani


            • #7
              Re: crushing chest pain

              Jill: Thanks for the info. I researched alive-Cor and it doesn't work with my phone (just new and just new to smart phones). Thanks Joel for the prayers. Thanks Mcube and Gordon for responding. It is such a good feeling to have a support center. Weather is bright today making me think I can make the drive, but will have to do it alone.
              HOCM diagnosed Mayo Clinic Aug. 2010

              25 mg of atenolol.