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Here’s a bit of irony*: Chest pain is a primary symptom of a heart attack. A panic attack can produce chest pain that mimics that of a heart attack. But other kinds of chest pain can produce the symptoms of a panic attack, as you freak out over what their cause could be.

The situation: I went to the gym twice this weekend, for the first time in perhaps six weeks; after a several week layoff during all that travel, and then several more weeks of just doing Bikram yoga, I decided it was time to go do a little round of lifting and cardio again. And it was pretty fabulous.

Of course, I’m sore as all hell today. And I think I’m having a periodic muscle spasm/twitch somewhere in the muscles on the left side of my chest. It comes and goes. Jabbing or pinching, not pressure. No other symptoms. So I’m positive I’m not having a cardiac event of any variety. And I certainly wasn’t having a panic attack, at least not until the stabbing pain inconveniently located Right Over My Heart began. But the thought of what it could be produces the leading edge of the kind of panic that results in racing pulse, shortness of breath, and other symptoms that I really don’t want to be having right now, thanks much.

Back to work, so I can stop thinking about this already.


* I recognize that this isn’t really irony. But what is it? A conundrum? A paradox? Colloquially, it’s a catch-22, perhaps, but what it is rhetorically?



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