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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Heavy Chest & Disconnection of Mind & Body

 poychan - Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:09 pm

Dear Doctor,
I was experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath, heavy chest and disconnection of mind & body once I got to the top of the Empire State Building last week. I am still experiencing those feelings but not as severe. It happened to me before when I went to the Mammoth Mountain, California, 4 years ago. I was blacking out at the base of the mountain and had to take in some oxygen. What happen to me this time? I'm waiting to see a doctor but I'm anxious to know what happen to me. I'm only 26 years old. I'm dying to find out.
Thank you so much in advance for your reply.
 dlugose - Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:49 am

The two episodes may not be closely related. The base altitude of Mammoth Mt. at the ski resort is 7,953 ft, which is high enough to give a coastal person symptoms of altitude sickness. The Empire State Bldg. is not nearly so high, though perhaps pollution also can affect respiratory symptoms on some days. It seems most likely that if dizziness or related symptoms are unusual for you the effect was mainly psychological. Everyone has psychological reactions more or less to heights or edges of dropoffs or both. You could post more if I am not dealing with the way you felt. You could perhaps manage how you feel by approaching such situations cautiously but not avoiding them, or you may reinforce the idea you can't handle heights. If you have periodic related symptoms, are there any reasons to suspect you may have anemia, heavy smoking, or some reason you may not carry oxygen well?

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