Health Status: Middle Aged Man Still Haunted by Mystery Chest Pains

I’m still having the mystery chest pains. I’m going to post a timeline for myself, so I have a dedicated space to remember how all this happened and so I can tell the next doctor I see the order of things. Let’s start the timeline.

January 24-30: Trip to Mexico via a two day stopover in Las Vegas. During the Mexico trip, I reduce my Adderall XR intake to nil, so that I can enjoy an afternoon nap. It’s heaven.

January 30 – February 8: Start back up on the Adderall. Slowly ease into taking Wellbutrin. Notice none of the side effects I had with Prozac. Feeling good, full of energy. Sometime during this week, notice a difficulty breathing, but nothing panicky. Assume it’s a stretched muscle from working out, chiropractic adjustment or coming back into dry air from a humid climate. I read up on Wellbutrin/Adderall drug combo. Find a warning about chest pains on MedlinePlus site (link). Eliminate the ADHD/ADD stimulants & SSRIs. Cold turkey. No adverse mental effects. I fall asleep at 8:30 one night and sleep all the way through to 6am. That hasn’t happened for years. Assume it’s Adderall withdrawal. Feel fine the next day, with the exception that the chest pains and tight breath haven’t gone away.

February 10: Decide to see a doctor. I call and get an appointment that day to our family clinic. Have blood drawn, EKG, chest x-ray and get prescribed Augmentin/amoxicillin 875mg (2x daily) for sinus infection. Doctor says x-rays are inconclusive about a possible pulmonary embolism. Doctor tells me that if there is any increase in chest pain to go immediately to the nearest ER. He also gives me a prescription for 800mg ibuprofen.

February 11: Function ok, but notice that the ibuprofen, which normally does a great job with pain for me, is doing nothing. After talking over lunch with Heather and telling her the pain is worse and I’m scared, we head immediately to the nearest ER. I’m given some children’s aspirin in orange bubble packs. It seems weird to give aspirin in the ER like this. I have a subthread in my brain about what’s really in the orange pills, but it tastes like childhood and maybe the stress of the unknown is getting to me. The rest of the next three days is chronicled here.

February 15-21: Seem to be have levelled off. The pain in the chest has subsided somewhat, although never gone. I get an abdominal sonogram on the 18th.

February 22: The pain is not responding to anything (except maybe, for a short time, the Omaprazole. I’m wondering about the best time of day to take that pill, as it says to take it at least one hour before food. I’m taking it at 11 am, around an hour before lunch. I call in to my doctor and go in to receive a nebulizer treatment (helps a little) and an NSAID called Indomethacin. It seems to help for an hour or two, but then the pain returns. Also prescribed Ventonlin to see if the pain is possibly asthma-related. I’ve never had an asthma attack that I’m aware of, but I do feel like I’m getting more of a breath when I inhale.

February 23: OMG! The New York Times story about Heather goes live on the web. Chaos and nervous monitoring of the servers. Pain still there. I see my psychiatrist to talk about what has happened and his opinion is that the psych meds did not cause this, as my outward behavior would be much different if I had experienced a reaction. He’s never seen Adderall and Buproprion interact and create pain like this. He also does not think that I’m having panic attacks or anxiety. He asks about stress. I laugh and remind him of our home business. I mention that since I’ve been cold turkey with Adderall, maybe we need to look at trying something else for the ADD that might be a better fit and easier to prescribe and less of a stimulant. I leave with a starter pack of Strattera and he tells me to take the pill once a day at dinner. It’s a lot different than how Heather took Strattera back in 2004. I Pass out at 9:30 pm.

February 24: I awaken sharply at 12:45am and do not get back to sleep until 3:45 or 4 ish. I awake with a start at 7 to Heather and Marlo by the bed, Marlo having been awake since 6am, which we view as a miracle. Heather never got back to sleep after awakening at 1:30 and she out of bed at 3 am to get ready for her travel day.

Currently thinking the pain is:

  • stress
  • muscular-skeletal (pulled something)
  • asthma
  • stomach something
  • Mystery Diagnosis bound

I know this is likely tedious, boring and dumb. I should probably just get some Valium and see what happens.