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Minor Setback... but NOT a Failure...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

So some of you have probably noticed my status posts regarding "taking it easy"... thought I should explain what I'm dealing w/ right now...

Thursday evening before work, my father, hubby & I took my stepson & his GF out for dinner for her 21st birthday. I did a great job of ordering... I checked out the menu before going to the restaurant so that I could be prepared for ordering. I had a ham/turkey wrap (w/ a tomato basil tortilla) and the dressing on the side so I minimize how much I used. I stuck to iced tea (no sweetner) to drink... I even had them put extra lettuce & tomato on it to up my veggie intake. So I was proud of myself and off to work...

Then as I was driving across town to work, I started having chest pain... sharp knife sticking in my chest to my back type of pain. I was thinking that since I just ate, it was probably digestion related... or maybe more hoping. So when I got to work, I popped a couple of Tums from my locker, and went to work. This was 6:30pm...

We did our beginning of the shift routine (narc count, staffing, report from the previous charge nurse), and as we moved around the unit, especially while I was hunched over the desk taking report, the chest pain continued & even worsened a little. The dayshift charge nurse started asking what was wrong... after much inquiry, I finally told her what was going on. Of course being a nurse, she really tried to talk me into going down to our ER, but I was still trying to convince myself that it was just from eating. She proceeded to call our boss (yep, she actually did) to "tattle" on me for not going to get checked out. She too encouraged me to go but agreed that they couldn't make me go. By now it was 7:30pm...

Over the course of the next 2 hours, I managed to make it thru my duties, but I continued to hurt, and it increased even more w/ activity. As we all know, good news travels fast, esp when you live in a small rural area where everyone knows everybody... so I also fielded phone call after phone call from concerned co-workers who wanted to know how I was feeling and if I had decided to go to the ER yet. During this time, I did first have our pharmacy send me up a dose of Maalox, thinking the "coating" of the liquid medicine might work better then the Tums, and then later an Aspirin, just in case it was related to my heart. The final call came around 9:30pm, and was from my best friend from work, and a fellow night shift charge nurse. She was quite insistent, and asked if I would go to the ER if she would come in on her night off to work for me while I did... I finally agreed since the pain was not going away.

(Let me say here that I was not having "classic" tell-tale signs of something heart-related or I would've went immediately to the ER, but as my best friend / fellow charge reminded me, women don't always present w/ those normal symptoms!)

So... down to ER I go, and a full cardiac workup followed. The good thing is that all of that came back negative. However, the doctor then came in to examine me... he started pushing on my chest, checking each rib where it met up w/ my sternum... OMG!!! When he got to the 4th rib on my right side, it was like an automatic reflex... I came up off that cart w/ a scream and a few cuss words! (okay, maybe more than a few) And the sad thing is that he barely even pushed on me!

Diagnosis: costochondritis, or inflammation of the cartilage b/t my rib & sternum. According to the doc, the number one reason that women (it's a sexist issue... only us females get this... lucky men!) get admitted to cardiac units w/o actual cardiac issues. The pain mimics traditional cardiac chest pain... and can happen for any number of reasons: laugh, sneeze, cough, twist, lift, you name it.

Unfortunately, the normal treatment for this is high doses of anti-inflammatory meds... problem is, I'm already on them for arthritis. They can't safely up my meds anymore w/out running the risk of stomach issues for me. So that means I need to get a shot from my personal physician... anti-flammatory or steroid to reduce the inflammation.

That is how I ended up here... I went to my own doc on Friday, and while they did give me the shot, they also told me that I had to "take it easy" for a week, including desk work only. (my work doesn't allow "light duty" so that equates to a week off for me) They don't want me bending, lifting, twisting, etc. and told me that they really didn't even want me walking around alot (like if I would take a walk for exercise). So I've basically been benched...

I have done sooooo good lately... it is really killing me to not be able to workout... can't believe that I am actually saying that! I refuse to let this setback be the end of my progress... I will take my "break", and then I plan to ease myself back in (so as not to cause a relapse of the condition) so that I can get back to where I was before this started!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    2922 days ago
    First, congrats on taking care of yourself! It is hard to listen to the doctors and slow down when they tell me to. Second, don't worry by monitoring your food intake this time of slow down doesn't have to be so bad for your progress. :)
    2922 days ago
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