Pain. Papers. Poop.

Something is wrong. Since late fall I’ve been experiencing chest pains that come and go. Sometimes they stay for a few days. Sometimes they are movement activated. Sometimes there are just flashes of pain. I had these a bit when Marc and I were first married. After getting an EKG, the doctor established back then that it was muscle related. She gave me some muscle relaxants. I took one that night and spent the night hallucinating and wanting to kill myself. (I stopped taking them after that.) I should’ve written down the name of that drug to ensure I never take it again!

Fast forward eleven or twelve years. Chest pains are back off and on. Unfortunately, they’ve been “on” for two full days now. I can’t tell why. And at first I wasn’t so sure it was muscular. You see, the pain is right in the middle at the back of my left breast. (I’m more of “boob” girl, generally. But since this is a “medical” post, we’ll use the more technical term.) This concerns me. Twelve years ago, I was worried it was my heart. These days, I’m more concerned about some kind of tumour. I go see the doctor on Thursday to get it looked at, and will hopefully find some answers.

In the meantime, I cannot breath in full breaths without there being a sharp pain in my chest. It hurts to cough and it hurts to laugh. It seems to be most uncomfortable at night where I can only sleep comfortably on my right side. It really hurts to turn over, and laying on my back or left side are not an option. The pain today has extended out to my left shoulder. While this is annoying (especially since my left shoulder is my GOOD shoulder — the right one has been separated for almost 20 years now), it is kind of good because it makes me think it probably is a muscular thing.

But back to the laughing. It really hurts to laugh.

And so, of course, when Marc was beginning to proof-read my theology paper tonight, he had to start doing things like change part of my table of contents to “Reconciliation as POOP”. And then he started typing out everything I was saying: “Reconciliation as no…. it hurts to laugh… stop… I mean it.” (Actually, this sounds more cruel than funny, now that I’m typing it.) Anyway, Marc thought this was hilarious. He was doing his “wheezy heart attack” laugh which is almost impossible for him to stop. I thought it was funny too.  Except that it hurt so much to laugh. And to not be able to stop laughing. I was crying by the end of it. And told Marc he may need to leave the room if he didn’t stop laughing. I walked away. He stopped laughing. And his punishment is a 17-page paper on “Reconciliation as Relationship” not POOP.

Here’s to some helpful answers on Thursday and a good night’s rest brought to you in part by Advil.

Posted in Funny Bits, Marriage, Memories, School | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Pain. Papers. Poop.

  1. Jobina says:

    Yikes! Not sure if it’s the same but when Mark was in his last year of his degree he experienced chest pains too. He went to the doctor and was declared medically just fine and so he talked it over with the person who was counselling him (do you have to do that as part of your degree too?) It ended up being anxiety related and with therapy it went away.
    I’d get it checked out though to see if it’s muscular or if you damaged a rib or something. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  2. Angie says:

    I would say that because it hurts when you laugh/cough/deep breath it probably is either muscle or bone/joint related. I would definitely see your doctor. If they can’t really tell you anything I would suggest seeing a chiropractor as they have a lot of knowledge and tools to assess if it’s a rib that has popped out (very painful. though I don’t know if I have heard of one popping out in the front…more common in the back). Since it is behind your breast, I don’t know if there is much that a massage therapist could do, as that is beyond our scope of practice. As for the pain going into your shoulder, that could be trigger point referral pain.

    On the same idea as Jobina, stress/anxiety/depression can present as chest pain. My mom ended up in the ER last year with chest pain that they ended up diagnosing as tension in her pectoral muscles, but I am pretty sure it was an anxiety attack, as she has dealt with that in the past.

  3. Thanks you two.

    Jobina, yes I’ve wondered if it might be stress related. This semester had a good jumpstart in the stress department!

    Angie – I was hoping you’d comment! I go to a chiropractor regularly and he’s been trying to help with the pain. I think I will get him to pull out the xray he took of me in the fall. Also, there’s a girl on campus who’s been giving me massages. It’s March break so she’s not here this week. I was having bad pain in the middle of my back left ribs last week and she said it seems like there were pinched nerves in there. Chest pain is shooting around to there a bit too. Such fun! I am a ball of tension — you’d be amazed! 🙂

  4. Linea says:

    It is not uncommon to have inflammation of the joints between your ribs and the cartilage that joins them to the sternum. It is called costrochondritis . (sp?) It takes time to heal up but pain killers and anti-inflammatories are likely what is needed. It’s very unlikely to be heart related at all, especially since it hurts more when you laugh or cough. That is exactly when those joints are moving.

    Ribs do not pop out of place – unless you have broken a rib. Again, not likely.

    • Stacia says:

      I have costichondritis and it does flare up every once in a whole and hurts to laugh or cough I was worried about it too being chest pain and all but the doctor tole me it was this inflammation thing. Only bad news was that it is never really gone, just flares up every know and again and can be quite painful. I was thinking you might have the same thing and Linea apparently thinks so too. Glad you got an appt though. Probably better to ask a doctor than a pastor!

  5. Rayna says:

    I was going to say the same things as both Jobina and Angie – my first thought was anxiety, then when you were describing the pain you laughed or cough it sounded like what I have had when I have popped a rib – though that may not be the technical term. 🙂 Having a rib out of place has happened a few times to me. My chiro was always able to put it back for me, though the ones that are out in the front sometimes took one or two adjustments close together to make it stay. I was told that sometimes if your muscles are extremely tight (and yours might be from all the homework and papers) it can cause the rib to be pulled out of place.

  6. No ideas on whats going on, just go see a doc soon. I hold you and Marc in the highest regard for your candor and journey and know you have a great future as a reconciler of relationships.


  7. Margreet V. says:

    Dixie, I think it may be anxiety related, you have been very busy ( try not to be be perfect ) Marc’s graduation and what the future holds etc. can stress you out too . Try to relax and mention your busy life to the doctor. Stress can cause physical problems too, been there and done that.
    praying for you, try to take it easy, love you Dixie
    mam V.

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