Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm a Mixed Bag of Owies....

In need of a bag of your own? You can get one here

.....or, more accurately, I should say I'm a mixed up old bag with all sorts of owies.....

I saw Dr. Young Guy today and rattled off a zillion complaints: my knee hurts (old news), my feet hurt (old news), my hip hurts (old news), my weirdo blotchy rash is back (old news), I'm tired as heck (extraordinarily old news), I can't SEE because my cataracts are getting worse (not quite so old news), and the newest wah-wah-wah: the left side of my chest wall hurts.

It's so strange. Whenever I cough, take a deep breath, move my arm a certain way, lay on my left side, or wear my underwire bra, my ribs right along my bra line hurt like crazy. After a thorough exam, here's what Dr. Young Guy said:

"I don't know what this is."

Well, gee doc. That's helps a lot. I responded. Here's how cranky I was: I appeared at my appointment without treats. Gasp! It's true. I told Dr. YG that nobody, but nobody -- even my dog -- gets treats when I'm feeling this owie. He told me that he'd do his best to earn his goodies. And then he said,

"Well, if it helps, I know what it ISN'T."

Yes, actually that would help.

He went on to explain why after listening to my lungs and doing an exam, he felt that this pain wasn't cardiac or lung related, those being the most serious potential causes. Which left a few other possibilities: a strained muscle, costochondritis (an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and sternum, or a mild inflammation of the lining between the chest wall and the lungs (pleurisy); none of which were treated with anything but continuing my prednisone, more non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), patience, and time.


I was instructed to contact him immediately if the pain became worse, if I developed a rash along the painful area, if I developed a cough, or if I became short of breath. And, being the perfect patient that I am...snicker....I promised I would.

We also talked about some upcoming fixes to this old bag. My cataract surgery is coming up, after which my podiatrist will schedule my foot surgery for bunion and hammer-toe.

Hey. After all that, I'll be a new woman! New eyeballs! New tootsies! Hmmm. Wonder else what I can have replaced this fall?


Anonymous said...

Julia, has your doctor considered that you may have fibromyalgia? The symptoms you describe could be fibro-especially the one you described when wearing your underwire bra. My doctor first thought I had a heart problem when I started having fibro symptoms, but when I later saw my rheumy, she diagnosed fibro. Your doctor can do the tender points exam (11 of the 18 points are required for a fibro diagnosis). With the many overlapping RA and Sjogren's symptoms you already have, it's hard to tell whether your symptoms are from fibro, SJS,RA or something else. Personally, I can tell the difference as only Tramadol can control the pain of fibro.


Anonymous said...

Oh Julia :( Hope things get to feeling and working better soon. Not that it will help you, but I have had that weird pain which I self diagnosed as pleurisy too. Not being a nurse, I called it pain in my chest and won an overnight stay in the hospital and all kinds of hear tests even though I told them it wasn't my heart.
Does it help to know that my vision is stinky right now, too, and when I clicked on your e-mail I originally thought it said mixed bag of Oreos. Hmmm. Maybe you should try Oreos?

Amy Junod said...

This is the cause of my chest pain too. My pain started to shoot down my arm so I went to see her to rule out some cardio event.
My doc found the largest inflamed connected area and had me feel the swelling.
Since that finding, with each flare the swelling moves to a different rib- like it's "spreading".
I have a few that are extra sore that makes it difficult to wear a bra. I've found that the Genie bras provide the most comfort while performing it's, er, task. The material feels like an ace bandage and it works sort of the same. It's like a comfort wrap. Highly recommend the bras just for that alone. (They do "perk" up the girls a bit too!)
It never occurred to me how involved all of the connective tissue gets until this symptom popped up.
Hope this passes quickly.
Prayed for your friend who had surgery. Hope there was a great outcome.

Charla said...

A few weeks ago, just before seeing mr rheumy, I had horrible pain along my left shoulder blade that then continued along my ribs to the front of my chest. I also was having mid to low back pain--something that normally doesn't happen. My rheumy thought the pain might be related to the thoracotomy I had 8 years ago! The next week the same pain was on the right shoulder blade into my upper back. I've decided to just live with these new symptoms because there isn't much else that can be done right done. I'm on hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate. The problem is I cannot take NSAIDs or prednisone. So all I have is tramadol three times a day.

Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Too much pain, Julia! One little comfort that I love is a Genie bra - after I tried them I have never gone back to the conventional ones!

Gill said...

Was this pain anywhere near where you store your, eeerrr, mobile phone while in, eeerrrr, church services. Did you mention to Dr YG the habit of storing items in bras that bras were not designed to hold? While conmplating the cause of the pain, have you considered going into the design world - a bra wih a purpose built phone holder for starts. ;)