I've been having a weird medical problem with shortness of breath, and it's taking a big bite out of my quality of life. It started a couple of weeks ago, immediately after donating blood. I came home from the blood bank and sorted laundry, and got so winded that I had to stop and gulp air as if I had been sprinting. It happens intermittently, with the only pattern I've noticed being that talking tends to trigger it, as does any kind of physical activity. And standing or sitting upright. The other day it landed me in the ER where I almost blacked out from hyperventilating. A number of blood tests, an EKG, and chest x-rays found absolutely nothing. The doctor tried to pawn it off as a panic attack despite the fact that I was joking around with the nurses in my better moments, so now I'm taking a regular dose of anxiety meds just to formally rule that out. I have an "echo" test pending (echocardiogram, I think?) My family doctor is taking me seriously and has promised a referral to a specialist based on what that turns up. But in the meantime I'm at a loss. I know all about Systema breathing, but when this kicks in I need so much air that burst breathing isn't enough. I don't panic, but I don't default to Sys breathing as I would in any other situation. It's just feral breathing, open mouth, in/ex, as hard and fast as I can. The more this happens, the worried I get about what this could mean medically so the fear/anxiety is building. And of course, as I inhale in gulps my lungs are starting to hurt from overuse too. So it's becoming a vicious cycle. I'm not asking for medical advice here, but I do believe that if I could respond with Systema breathing it would probably help a lot. Is there a technique I'm missing? Or a way to get past the fear factor to get more air effectively when this hits?