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I have had a problem since I was around the age of 6 years old. I remember sitting in the back seat of my mother's car when I suddenly had very sharp pain in my left side of my chest (just left of or in the left side of my heart). It hurt to take a normal breath or to expel my breath normally. I sat in the back seat crying and breathing very rapid shallow breaths. After a while I took a deep breath, it hurt really bad and i felt a single "POP" sensation in my chest, the pop was painful but the pain went away and I was able to breathe normal again. My mother INSISTED that it was growing pains and would not have it checked out. I've had this many times in my life since. I had it checked out at the emergecy room once when I was 20-something. They did an EKG and a blood gasses test (while I was having the pain), both tests showed nothing was wrong with me. I'm now going on 39 years old and still have the "attacks" 3-6 times a year. I am currently having one that I cannot "pop", I can't seem to draw enough air into my lungs nor can I expell enough to end the pain.

Just a side note here, yes, I do smoke (a pack a week) but I do not feel that it plays in to this since I was having this issue at the age of 6.

I am an American citizen living in Canada, I have no medical coverage at this time, so getting this looked into at this time is just not an option. I would however like to find out what this is. If anyone else out there has an issue like this??

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Can I ask you if you have any other pains in your joints, such as hands, wrists, ankles, shoulders, knees etc? And smoking IS a bad thing when it is something to do with your lungs! You know that though don't you?!!!! ;-) But anway, Do you ever feel like your chest is warm or swollen in certain areas? Aslo do you ever see what you think might be a rib sticking out?
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I never experienced joint pains as a child or young adult. I have noticed lately though that my knees do bother me some, but I'm pretty sure that is due to the extra weight I've gained over the last 4 or 5 years. I have some issues with some bouts of re-occurring tendonitis in my left elbow, my right elbow was injured last fall when I fell down a flight of stairs and still gives me grief. As for swelling or heat in or around my chest, no I've never experienced anything like that. And I've never seen anything that looked like a rib sticking out. I am happy to report though that after 15 hours of not being able to breathe properly, I was finally able to get a deep enough breath to make it "pop". The pain at the time of popping it was intense, but followed by immediate relief. I spent the rest of that night taking big, deep breaths with no pain. And will continue to do so until the next time it happens.
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Hi: The reason why I asked the questions if I think you have a either a type of arthritis OR Scoliatis of the spine! I know the spine sounds funny, but If your spine is out a bit, your ribs - which come from your spine will be unbalanced and will do the popping sound like you mentioned! It definitely sounds like a joint in your rib has a problem - such as arthritis or a bone deformity! So I would like you to get a chest Xray! The kind of unfortunate thing is that you have already popped the rib back in!! Wouldn't you know it heh? :-D You could also be succeptable to disclocation of joints! There are SO many reasons for joints and bones "popping" my youngest son has a syndrom called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as do I and my eldest son. We all POP ALL the time! I have dislocated over 100 times!!!!! o.O So I know the feeling, that you go through. But my sister has AS - Ancolyting Spondilytis (sp) and she has rib problems - both of these syndromes are in the Arthritis/Rheumatology range. So ask your doctor to go see a Reumatologist too OK? Good luck and health, and if I can help you further just ask OK? And also let me know what your doctor says!
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