is how i would best describe this affliction that i’ve been recently diagnosed with — costochrondritis.
costo-, i’ve been told by doctors (one of them a good friend) pertains to the rib/rib cage, while -dritis stands for inflammation of the sternum. it may be caused by a number of things: stress, chest trauma, a viral infection or strenuous physical activity. in my case, any of these may have been the cause apart from chest trauma which i do not remember ever having.
am taking meds now, mostly diclofenac and some other anti-inflammatory caps and painkillers, to literally get this pain off my chest. i have to admit, though, that i had one of the greatest scares of my life. the pain kept me awake last night and had me screaming early this morning.
costochrondritis’ symptoms are very similar to those of a heart attack. i am only turning 26 next month but am not at all assured of a healthy lifestyle to immediately quell such possibilities. i am not, after all, a stranger to medical afflictions.
so this morning, while i was writhing in pain, i half-resorted to swearing off my nasty smoking habit (we’ll see about this…). right during the part when i was taking my next 500mg dose of mefenamic acid in the span of one hour. when THAT still failed, my husband rushed me to the ER where i was initially tested for any vital signs of cardiovascular sickness.
doctor’s questions were:
do you have a history of heart ailment? asthma or any respiratory ailment? – no
does it hurt anywhere else? – no
does it hurt when i press your chest? – hell yes!
have you done any strenuous physical activities lately? – umm, not really, last long march was from plaza miranda to trabajo market before election day. oh, but i did a rigorous house-cleaning last weekend.
what kind of work do you do? – umm, a ‘writer’
ah, so your life is quite stressful! – (speechless). i guess you could say that…
are you into any kind of medication? – no. i took 1000mg of mefenamic this morning though.
and it still hurts? (did i imagine the panic in his voice?) i’m recommending that you take an ECG test, is that ok? – do what you will just give me something ASAP for the pain!
so that was that. am still waiting for the ECG results now coz doc’s not completely striking out possible heart-related ailment. (the pain IS too close to the heart for comfort, after all). i did a little online research and i found out that some cases of costo take six months or so to heal while some recur for a lifetime. oh dear. i am still practically paralyzed now, the slightest movement hurts like hell. i am managing to type this post so long as i keep my back straight like an arrow. good thing my fingers have a mind of their own. my next dose doesn’t come in another two hours, darn! or as rj would now say, RUBBISH!