Yesterday morning at 4 a.m. saw another panic attack; Again, stinging pains in my chest and the feeling that I couldn't breathe. The increasingly atrophied sensible part of my brain knew that I wasn't having a heart attack - the fact that it was beating nineteen to the dozen and that I was pacing around was evidence enough of that - this didn't stop the primal instinct part of my brain screaming "Fuck!Fuck!You'reDyingGetSomeHelp!Fuck!Fuck!" at me for two hours though.
NHS Direct were duly called by my ever-patient girlfriend and an ambulance was dispatched. As before, I was shipped off to hospital for a bout of ECG/Blood Pressure fun - along with two lots of blood letting; should have only been one - the first batch haematised on the way to the lab though.
With the pain in a more identifiable point on my body than last time - located most definitely in my sternum that was sensitive to the touch - a diagnosis was made, which both doctors agreed with - that I'm suffering from Costochondritis.
Although patients will often mistake the pain of Tietze's Syndrome for a myocardial infarction (heart attack), the syndrome does not progress to cause harm to any organs. It is important to rule out a heart attack, as the symptoms can be similar. After assessment, doctors often reassure patients that their symptoms are not associated with a heart attack, although they may need to treat the pain, which in some cases can be severe enough to cause significant but temporary disability to the patient.It can also be triggered off by coughing or sneezing.
So there you are; I'm not dying, but still in a considerable amount of pain - and don't feel entirely stupid in thinking I was having a heart attack. Knowing my luck I've ended up with Costcutterochondritis, a much cheaper homebrand variant.