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Couldn't swallow and felt like I couldn't breathe


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Mar 23, 2010, 4:41pm   #1
Chanel522's Avatar
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I'm hoping someone can help me out a little bit here or at least give me some comfort and peace of mind.

I was on my way this afternoon to get my son new soccer cleats after school and I was eating pretzels in the car and talking to him and then all of a sudden I just couldn't swallow and felt like I couldn't breath. My initial response was panic in my head, but my heart wasn't racing. It was actually beating more slowly than normal. Then after I really had freaked out (to myself, I didn't want to scare my 7 year old), it started to race maybe a little, but still not terrible. I guess it just felt like it was beating kinda weird or maybe a little weak. I don't know. It all happened pretty fast and I was in a blur. Needless to say it scared me terribly, but I feel semi ok now.

I do suffer from anxiety and have for about 12 years, since I was 14. I had a similar situation happen last year right after I fell asleep. I woke up gasping for air and felt like I couldn't swallow and when I went to the ER they told me I was perfectly fine and sent me home with Xanax. I didn't have another episode like that until about a month or so ago and then it happened again, but I just went back to bed.

I've had stress tests (2 years ago), EKG's and 24 hour Holter monitors both within the past year, MRI's, ECG's, MRA's and bloodwork and I've passed all tests with flying colors other than some PAC's and PVC's on the Holter test which the Dr. said was perfectly normal.

This feeling of not being able to breathe right and not being able to swallow is AWFUL!! Well, I haven't found anything anxiety related to not be awful, but this one is particularly scary for me. I don't smoke, drink, eat badly or anything and I'm 26 and exercise pretty regularly. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? I'd love to hear feedback since I'm pretty spacey feeling and nervous right now about all of this. I just keep worrying that the Dr.'s might have missed something I don't know what to do

Sorry this was so long and thanks for taking the time to read it
Mar 23, 2010, 5:16pm   #2
babypie's Avatar
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Awww, so sorry this happened to you

This definitely sounds like a panic attack symptom to me. Especially since you have a history of anxiety. Have you had panic attacks before? That's how they usually arrive - suddenly and randomly.
Mar 23, 2010, 5:22pm   #3
lorihmatthews's Avatar
Doberhuahua!
That definitely sounds like a panic attack. Have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist to talk about it?

I had panic attacks after surgery 2 years ago -- my body just freaked out. (I found out later that about 10% of the population experiences panic attacks post-surgery as a side effect from general anesthesia.) Thankfully I'm OK now but it did take a while to go away. While I was dealing with it I took medication to control the symptoms. Now I'm just fine.
Mar 23, 2010, 10:38pm   #4
jmcadon's Avatar
Jimmy Choo lover
First of all relax. This absolutely sounds like panic attacks. Since you have had a holter monitor, I am assuming this was a heart beat issue? I have been diagnosed with PVC's and let me tell you, this can scare the h out of you. My doc told me 95% of the population has them at some point. Not everyone feels them, tho. He also told me that the big issue with this is getting past the fact that these are not life threatning. If you have had all those tests and your doc says you are OK, then believe him...not what you think! Your brain tells you to run and hide when you experience this and your body then reacts...just like there was a tiger in the room! Adreneline pumps into your system and you feel like you are going to jump out of your skin...don't let your brain rule how you think! Breathe...just breathe. Deep inhales with longer exhales...I swear it will make you feel better.
Mar 24, 2010, 12:54pm   #5
Nishi621's Avatar
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Sounds like free floating anxiety/panic attack. i am so sorry, I have suffered with this for my entire life.
Mar 25, 2010, 4:20pm   #6
Chanel522's Avatar
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Thanks everyone for the reassurance. I have had anxiety attacks before, I just feel like my anxiety lately has been more generalized or symptomatic. I used to not worry much, but I would have anxiety attacks every now and then. Now I have more everyday symptoms with less full blown attacks. I don't know which is worse. Neither is any fun to deal with. Its just so stressful worrying all the time. Even when I'm occupied doing something its always in the back of my mind which is draining. My doctor told me to use Xanax as needed and wanted to give me a daily medicine, but I said now for now because I really don't like taking meds. It almost gives me anxiety!

I have been having a really frustrating time for the past month or so with being able to get deep breaths and then I feel dizzy or off balance half the time. I went back to the doctor today and he thinks its all anxiety related. I'm so focused and over aware of every body feeling or sensation.
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