i am 22 years old and have had chest pain for nearly 6 months now.
about a year ago, i was diagnosed with pericarditis. it took a long time to get this diagnosis. my doctor kept telling me it was just stress. i began seeing a therapist and taking anti-depressants. i knew something was wrong with my body and was feeling more and more helpless each time i went to the dr, in pain, and was told it was all in my head. only after i demanded a ct scan did they find the pericarditis. at one point, i had a bruise on my lower left ribcage and a throbbing mass underneath. this was where most of my pain was located. the physician's assistant even thought it was abnormal and said it was pulsing. but when the dr came in,he said it was just the aorta and he sees that all the time. when, he finally ordered the ct scan, the dr even told me "don't tell anyone i'm doing this. i'm ordering this test just so you will see things my way and accept that this is a psychiatric problem." i was so angry, but also tired. i was treated with indomethacin and then prednisone. the cause of my pericarditis was never determined.
i thought i had fully recovered. but after beginning birth control for the first time in january, i begin immediately notcing a tightness in my chest. this tightness increased day by day, until i finally woke with a throbbing pain in my left rib cage. i quit the birth control. some of the tightness went away, but since then, the pain has continued.
i had an echocardiogram, which showed mild mitral valve regurgitation, but was otherwise normal. an ekg was normal. my pain continues, and no one is taking me seriously because i am young and female.
sometimes the pain extends to my jaw. at other times, my pinky and ring finger go numb on my left side. i used to work out all the time. i no longer can do so. the pain and shortness of breath is too great.
i am at a loss for what to do. the first time i went through getting ill and not being believed really took a toll on me emotionally. i do not have the strength to go through it again. i am terrified of doctors and terrified something is very wrong with my heart.
i am calling a local cardiologist monday, but i don't expect much to come out of it as i am so young and female and this is small town with not so great medical care.