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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Babette
 
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Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Babette on Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:58 am

This is mildly off topic. :lol:

I was told that sleeping on your left side was the BEST side for heart and GI issues.

Lately I've noticed I am sleeping nearly exclusively on my right side. When I notice that, I roll over to the left side, and nearly immediately experience chest pain in the vicinity of what I perceive to be my heart.

Now granted, my heart appears to be located beneath my left breast. It COULD BE the left breast is actually the thing in pain.

Anyway, my question is this - all you folks out there with your various heart ailments, have you experienced this? Do you think I should make a point of seeing a specialist about it? I did complain a year ago to my PCP about chest pain, and she hooked me up to an EKG, and they found nothing.

Many thanks!
Barbara

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Debjax
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Debjax on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:08 pm

Ok, I'm a bit of a wuss about it, after my husband nearly died from a heart attack 3 years ago.....that being said.....

If you are having consistent chest pain, you should get it checked out...what type of pain is it? Only when lying on left side or at other times also? Does it radiate out anywhere else?

I have angina, but I do not have coronary artery disease, instead my coronary arteries tend to 'spasm'. Per the cardio, it is fairly common in "women my age" :? While not normally life threatening, it is angina and pain management becomes an issue....and he suspects it may be related to apnea hence my sleep study....

EKG's do not always show existing problems in the heart. Heck, when hubby had his heart attack, his EKG's were "normal" in the ER, while half his heart was in the process of dying, his EKG did not show any abnormalities until about 3 days AFTER his heart muscle was dead (and him nearly so). A stress test is a more accurate (although not fool proof) test for angina and heart problems, there are other tests as well. The bottom line is when in doubt with chest pain, get it looked at sooner than later. Push if you have to, see a cardio of the GP can't answer. My run was from GP, who sent me to hubby's cardiologist, who after my cath was normal sent me to a Gastro (found out then I had GERD also) then back to cardio.

If it is enough to concern you, it is enough to get it checked out by the docs.....

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Babette
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Babette on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:22 pm

Thank you for a thoughtful response! I was kinda thinking along these lines, but being female, I like to talk it out. :lol:

The pain - same pain - used to come NOW AND THEN when I turned to my left side. Now it's CONSISTENTLY there, and at Christmas, it woke me up, it was so bad. I laid there for what seemed like hours, debating about whether I was having a heart attack, or if I was just annoyed at my BF and causing myself heartburn. :lol: I decided the next morning I was primarily pissed off. :lol:

For one thing - I've never been clear about what heartburn feels like.

I've had chest pains like this all my life. I can remember telling my 6th grade teacher about this pain and she just thought I was "making up stories."

One PCP I told this to dismissed it as "Pleurisy". :roll: And that was the end. No tests, no investigation, nada.

I do get this pain when awake. I'll go through phases with it. I won't have one for ages, then for awhile it's there in one form or another, for a random length of time, daily.

You're probably right. Just get off my ass and go see a Cardiologist. :lol:

Of course, as my mother points out, I AM a hypochondriac... :lol:

LOL,
B.

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Outlawswife47
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Outlawswife47 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:03 pm

It could be you've had a congenital problem all your life -- hence they think you're hypochondriac. I worked for a doctor who firmly believed there are NO hypochondriacs!!! He said either we haven't found the problem or the problem is mental....either way, it's real to the patient!

Now -- you could also be having many little "heart attacks"....my grandmother had 13 of them...she called them "spells". she came to see me (70 miles from her home) and had a spell. I called her doctor to find out her meds....he said she was having the flu -- some doctor, eh? He can diagnose without seeing the patient and from 70 miles away! I took her to ER and yes, she was having heart attacks! They put in a pacemaker and she lived till she was 88!!!

SO __ that being said, not meaning to scare you, but you need to find a GOOD doctor who will do ALL the tests and PROVE you're not in big trouble!!!!

good luck!
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kteague
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby kteague on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:02 pm

Babs, cardiology isn't something I'm real knowledgeable about, so I'll just relate a friend's experience. He experienced (and still does experience) pain in his chest when lying on his left side. A cardiac workup showed a valve that wasn't functioning properly. I think I'd ask for something more than an EKG. I've been willing to be called worse than a hypochondriac and for lesser cause, so I hope I wouldn't let that be a deterrant.

I like the post about the doctor who feels all symptoms stem from somewhere. I used to work for a neurosurgeon whose client was a young nurse at the local hospital. She kept complaining of excruciating back pain, but tests repeatedly showed nothing. In her chart he labeled her, for all her coworkers to read. But finally one time more tests were done while in the throes of pain. Lo and behold she had a bulging disk, in the doctor's words, the worst he'd ever seen. It's the nature of bulging disks to go in and out, but rather than assume her symptoms had a cause, he decided she was a "crock" looking for pain meds. He humbly (against his nature) apologized for allowing her months for debilitating pain. Only her insistence, even knowing what he had said about her, forced him to keep looking.

Follow your instincts. You know you best.

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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Outlawswife47 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:34 pm

kteague's response reminded me of something. While working for the doc we had a patient coming in constantly with excruitiating headaches. She's scream and wreathe in pain. They did every test imaginable in the 60s. One day her DH came home and found her out by the clothesline passed out. She'd gone out at 9:00 that morning to hang clothes and it was after 5:00 when he got home!!! Her daughter insisted she go down to LA to a big clinic down there. The docs down there (can't remember name of hospital) did a test and told her she had an aneurysm and they were going to do immediate surgery. He wouldn't even let her walk across the street to check in....they took her across in a gurney. If she hadn't gone to that doctor, she'd never have seen her grandbabies!!!!

After years of my DHs illnesses I've learned that you have to be an advocate for your health.....BUG the heck out of them....they'll get you to the right doctor if for no other reason than to get you out of their faces!!!

good luck.
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Babette
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Babette on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:45 pm

Monster ate my post.... :lol:

Okay, thanks all for your thoughtful replies! I think I'll call my PCP, she wants to do more bloodwork on me for my cholesterol anyway, and force her into sending me to a cardiologist.

BTW, anyone able to give a real good explanation of what "heartburn" feels like? I once told a pregnant friend that I was having this pain, and she laughed and told me it was heartburn. I settled for that for awhile, but I'm just.... I dunno. Skeptical?

And, of course, an hour after eating at MacDonald's (BAD Barbara!!!) I have a small amount of pain under my left breast.... :oops:

I AM taking my stupid GERD medicine religiously every night. Despite the fact that I don't believe I HAVE GERD... :lol:

Is this GERD???? :lol:

Thanks!!!!!
B.

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I currently have a stash of Nasal Aire II cannulas in Small or Extra Small. Please PM me if you would like them. I'm interested in bartering for something strange and wonderful that I don't currently own. Or a Large size NAII cannula. :)

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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby sleepycarol on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:00 pm

Babs,

Please lesson to them -- go to the doctor -- or even the er when you are having the pain!!

I have had chest pains now for the last few years. I took Prilosec faithfully. Kept having it!! Went to er a couple years ago and heart checked out fine. Told me to take two Prilosec a day. Kept getting worse. This last spring I ended up back in the er and they checked me out with every test BUT the cauth part. Nothing wrong with heart. Did an endoscope and found still have ulcers and reflex. My gall bladder doesn't function properly either. Between those = chest pains.

BUT until you know for sure -- don't mess with it!!

We love you too much for something to happen to you!!

Get your fanny to the doctor!!
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I am not a doctor or other health care professional. Comments reflect my own personal experiences and opinions.

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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby SeaPappy on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:06 pm

[quote="Babette"]Monster ate my post.... :lol:

Are you sure it wasn't those damn flying monkeys? :? :wink:

Seriously, go get yourself checked out by a competent cardiologist... if for nothing else, peace of mind. We're not a young as we used to be. :cry:
When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes.'
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Babette
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Babette on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:17 pm

So tell me about "cath". What is that and how do I demand one? :lol: I kinda know it means "catheter" of some sort, and I just really am looking forward to having something poked inside my chest... NOT! :roll:

Carol, what tests and what type of doctor ended up diagnosing you?

Thanks so much!!!!
B.

_________________
Machine: PR System One REMStar 60 Series Auto CPAP Machine
Mask: Nasal Aire II Prong CPAP Mask with Headgear
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Additional Comments: Started XPAP 04/20/07. APAP currently wide open 10-20. Consistent AHI 2.1. No flex. HH 3. Deluxe Chinstrap.
I currently have a stash of Nasal Aire II cannulas in Small or Extra Small. Please PM me if you would like them. I'm interested in bartering for something strange and wonderful that I don't currently own. Or a Large size NAII cannula. :)

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plr66
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby plr66 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:53 pm

Just a thought. Following my mother's heart attack some years ago, the MD specifically instructed her to sleep on her right side so that the heart would not have to work as hard. And I've read here that GERD folks should sleep on their left side....so I guess that dilemma could be a question to address with your doc as well. Hope it's simple and benign, Barbara.
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Babette
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Babette on Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:04 pm

My prediction (puts on Swammi hat):

PCP: Quit sleeping on your left side if it hurts.
Barbara: Okay

LOL,
B.

_________________
Machine: PR System One REMStar 60 Series Auto CPAP Machine
Mask: Nasal Aire II Prong CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: PR System One 60 Series Heated Tube Humidifier with Heated Tube
Additional Comments: Started XPAP 04/20/07. APAP currently wide open 10-20. Consistent AHI 2.1. No flex. HH 3. Deluxe Chinstrap.
I currently have a stash of Nasal Aire II cannulas in Small or Extra Small. Please PM me if you would like them. I'm interested in bartering for something strange and wonderful that I don't currently own. Or a Large size NAII cannula. :)

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JeffH
 
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby JeffH on Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:42 pm

Hey Babette. I just had an echo cardiogram last month and they do them with you laying on your left side. Takes about 20 minutes and is completely painless. They can look into your heart and see if anything is obviously wrong. I would highly suggest you get one...FWIW.


JeffH

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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby Songbird on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:39 pm

Babs, it also could be a hiatal hernia. I've had one for 30 years or so, and when it was bad (at the beginning; it's totally under control now), you could have convinced me I was having a heart attack. I completely agree with what the others have said... and I know you know this... you need to get it checked, girl. In my opinion, wondering is always worse than knowing, even if knowing what you're facing will be a tough path. I know this is totally selfish, but there you have it.... Babs, I don't want to do without you on this forum. We need your energy, your spirit, your humor, your outlook, your experience. Schedule a test. Tomorrow. I know it's easy to say, since we're not the ones going for the appointment, but we'll be with you every step of the way in spirit, since we can't be there.

Marsha
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Re: Chest pain when sleeping on left side

Postby jnk on Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:18 pm

Babette wrote:. . . I've never been clear about what heartburn feels like. . . .


According to ABC's Dr. Stein:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HeartDiseaseScreening/story?id=4222504
"All quotes are actually misquotes."-- Never directly attributed to Bartlett.

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