Wednesday October 06th 2021, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Lupus

It’s just costochondritis, I told myself. Michelle’s driving to her sister’s in a few hours and I cannot have her wake up in the morning to us being at the hospital over nothing. Inflammation of the lining of the heart sounds terrible but it almost never actually is. All it is is a familiar nuisance.

It’s just a little bit of food poisoning, I thought out loud, wanting to get out of bed and toss that leftover that only I had touched, but I wasn’t going anywhere right then and I knew it.

Awhile later: “Would you google ‘women heart attack symptoms’?”

Turns out I’m not the only one who doesn’t hear well in the dark in the bed at night half asleep, especially when someone’s not talking very loud.

I rolled over on my side and my ribs roared. A silent, Oh, so you *can* do real pain here, not just hints. I rolled back. See? Costochondritis. Had it a million times, you’re just out of practice because it’s been awhile. No real chest pains until you mess with the position of the ribs. Okay, so we can stop worrying about that one.

That sense of–tightness? I think I’d picture it more as my insides being pleated and the stitches pulled tight–I don’t think it had ever been quite like that though. I don’t remember being fitted for a corset. And you don’t get nausea with it–must be the Crohn’s joining in on the autoimmune party. I knew I’d done too much sun time. Right?

Richard asked if he should take me to the hospital and I said I don’t know. Okay, so he did catch on to the gist of it! Just knowing that helped a lot, and very slowly, gradually, a good three hours after it had started during my walking time before it all hit hard at once, it receded enough that I finally fell asleep.

And woke up feeling fine. I threw out that leftover. I forgot about it. Life was normal, just like I wanted it to be. To stay being. Because I said so.

It was 3:30 pm before I finally told myself to stop being stupid and messaged my cardiologist and the response was surprisingly quick and it was obvious and it was quite to the point: “If you have those symptoms again please go to the emergency room.”

The nurse managed not to add, You idiot!

It’s all the costochondritis fake-outs over the last thirty years that are going to trip me up in the end. But, like anticipating earthquakes, the big one is forever not today.

So far so good.

By way of explanation: after having been told from age 13 to age 31 that any of what turned out to be lupus symptoms were, essentially, all in my head, leaving me with a profound sense that I will not be believed by a doctor who doesn’t know me if I complain so I don’t, I now have official permission from one of their own to complain. “Because my cardiologist said so” is what will get me to show up at the ER next time.

I promise to go.

And now excuse me, I’m going to go do my fast-walk thing early so that it hopefully won’t be the middle of the freaking night should anything go wonky.

But maybe not quite as fast. I confess to being slightly spooked.

7 Comments so far
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You promised. We have it in writing. And I so hope your walk was uneventful and you get/got a good night’s sleep.

Comment by DebbieR 10.06.21 @ 10:40 pm

Oh, Alison, yikes! Please take care of yourself.

Comment by ccr in MA 10.07.21 @ 5:14 am

Bubble wrap won’t fix this. Please look after yourself.

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 10.07.21 @ 6:53 am

and many women do not get classical symptoms of heart attacks. And not everyone who gets the experience of having an MI has (pick one or more: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, extremely high fat diet, deadly family history)

Your other option is to call the help line: and they are going to tell you to come in.

dull, crushing pain. squeezing and going into your left shoulder? Call the ambulance.

We all want to be reading this blog for years to come…

Comment by Holly 10.07.21 @ 7:55 am

Seriously, dude.

Just think how your grandkids will never know if you go in unnecessarily, but will never know you as adults if you don’t go in when it was necessary?

Comment by twinsetellen 10.07.21 @ 8:25 am

I expect to see an update on what the doctor said, AFTER you were seen. When I have chest pains, I just hang out and wait for them to go away and go to sleep. PS. I have a DNR order on file with my daughter and with the hospital. I check in with my daughter daily and if she does not hear from me, she will come over and see if I am laying on the floor.

Comment by Sharon Stanger 10.07.21 @ 10:53 am

I know your heart is in the right place. That much is obvious. But it needs to keep working as well. It’s better to wear the annoying monitor and make sure that there’s no problem. And with something intermittent, two weeks sounds like a good time period.
Unfortunately, costochondritis sounds like a disease that results from spending far too much time in a big box store buying huge quantities of stuff you don’t really need!
Be well.

Comment by LauraN 10.09.21 @ 7:45 pm

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