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Need To Get It Off My Chest



I have finally swallowed my darn pride and admitted I need help and am going to the mental health clinic on Monday.

Here are the reason why:

I have been having chest pains with heart palpitations, sweats, and occasional numbness in my arm since 2001. This started after I had ran a 10 mile race. I went to the emergency room with the above symptoms a headache and a nose that had been bleeding off and on for 8 hours. Diadnosis high blood pressure. I then ran a race 2 weeks later (13.1 miles) after getting medical clearance from a stress test and heart doctor. 3 days later I was jogging home and my hip was hurting. Got home and sat for 10 minutes when I sttod up hip would not hold me: diagnosis hip bursitis. My chest pains continued and I kept telling the doctor. One night at Wal-Mart it got really bad so I went to the Emergency room. Heart Cath done, have a good heart, check gall bladder etc. everything okay. Chest pains continue.

Since retirement in September 2004, I have isolated myself more and more from family, not enjoying going out, tired of the pain in various parts of my body to the point where I thought about buying a gun. Three months ago my back went out for third time since retirement and as I was driving home, thought the underpass wall looked like a good way to stop pain. Luckily my cell phone rang and distracted me. The chest pains and heart palpitations are coming more frquently (7-8 times per week) and I am at my wits end.

My wife is getting on me for staying in the bedroom, I had to change jobs at work to keep me away from other people, I need to constantly be on guard against thoughts that lead me to believe that there is a way to escape the pain. Of course it does not help that I only sleep 3-4 hours per night because of that pain and thinking houw much it sucks.

My wife has a good friend who she was complaining to, the freind told my wife that I needed to seek help.

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this is a success story, going to get help can be an enormous challege to a veteran for all kinds of reasons including yours. i say going to get help takes as much if not more strength of character than enduring the pain. i'm glad for you brother and your wife. i hope you find the help useful

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The wife's friend might have saved your life!

You sound like you are in pretty good physical shape-even with the HBP if they are monitering it- and all of this might have a lot to do with anxiety-

I have heard that anxiety and panic attacks can mimic heart attacks and do all sorts of physical things to someone-

It pays to get it all checked out-and with the mental health professional- tell it like it is veteran-

Physical pain can be medicated, emotional pain can be treated-

nothing in the world is worth having suicidal thoughts over----nothing at all-

And the wife- she should be your best freiend at this point- tell her what she needs to know too-

We are in hyperspace-on your side- but she is right there-

That ER that checked you out- I assume this was a private hosp?

If this was a heart attack in progress they would have admitted you-

and lack of sleep? that is when those bad memories can come out-

Getting some help for better sleep patterns might make a world of difference for you-

Huskerfanfl- tbird said it all-

and if they suggest talking with other vets at a vet center or something- dont hesitate to try that-

Actually the VA itself-even though I gripe about them- can give you help here-

they do have some excellent counsellors and professionals in the mental health field.

And they do not judge a vet and are not surprised at all by anything they hear-

they have heard it before- you are not alone.

You will be OK veteran-you are taking the right steps! Berta

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I have had anxiety attacks where I ended up in ER. Anxiety can raise your blood pressure and make you feel like you are gasping for breath with a pounding heart. You don't want to over look a real heart problem, however.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Go see as many doctors as they will let you. I have had many of the problems you have had. Neck, back, head pain, dizzy spells, could not cathch my breath. I would not run ten feet to catch a bus for ten years. I still wake up at nights with my heart pounding. However, I have been through it so many times that it does not cause the anxiety it used to. I now ride the bicycles at the gym for exercise. I can watch my pulse while I exercise. I do not know why but it makes me fell good to know I can control my heart rate by the amount of effort I put into the exercise program.

Press the primary doctor to keep up with the cardio tests. That is what they go by. My brother had a heart attack and it was a combination of chest pain and fatigue. He could not walk up the steps of the hospital. I had to get a wheel chair to get him from the car to the ER. Two days later he walked out of the hospital with a stint in his heart and he felt ten years younger. There are losts of things that produce pain. The fact that you did not have difficulty with fatigue or breathing is good news.

I lost twenty five pounds and things got way better. The neck pain goes through times where the symptoms drop off. I now take blood pressue meds.

Physically therapy, posture training, relaxation techniques. Learn all this stuff. They had clinics at the VA for all this stuff. Your primary care doctor can make referrals.

Most important. Dyhydration can cause all the problems you talked about. Do not drink any fluid other than water and see how you feel. Ask your doctor how much you should drink. No coffee, no diet coke. This is the single most important thing to do. The night time attacks I have only happen when I am dehydrated.

Everybody I have talked to doctors, paramedics etc. Say the same thing. < DRINK WATER> Only clear fluids count. Some sport drinks are also good.

Hang In There

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Thank you all for your advice.

Yes Berta the first time I went to the hospital emergency room, they diagnosed high blood pressure after doing EKG and xrays. I was released that day and did a stress test two days later. The next trip to the emergency room, a few months later resulted in an overnight stay and a heart cath the next day. The heart speicialist said I had the heart of a 20 year old, from all the exercise I imagine. The panic ayycaks had started in between my races before the first visit to the hospital. They were both in private hospitals.

They ran tests adn could not find anything, and like I said, now I feel I am depressed. I will let the VA shrink determine for sure. Right now I am just worried about getting help. After I get to feeling like I am not going to want to kill myself I will try to sort out when it started and how it is connected to my service. I am not up to trying to fight that battle right now.

I am trying to exercise, but have problems with my right leg (hip, knee, and ankle) and back that causes me to limp. I have built up to walking 2 miles though. Hurts like hell but I make it.

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