I'm an Enigma

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
So…it’s been a while. There’s been a lot happening and not happening in my life at the moment. To be honest, I felt like blogging about it when it all started but then figured I’d try and let things sort themselves out before putting fingers to keyboard. Things still aren’t “settled” so to speak, but here goes nothing since I don’t have any sense of when they will be. Now, where exactly to begin?

Following the last post, which was mid-September, I had some pretty serious and yet completely baffling (at least to medical personnel) health problems.  I started experiencing chest pains on the Wednesday and let it go until Sunday morning when I eventually decided to go to the emergency room. Yes, I KNOW. I shouldn’t wait for things like that.  Believe me, I’ve been reprimanded by a number of health workers already. Anyway, the pain had mostly abated by Sunday morning but I had started to get a pressure in my chest (both the pain and pressure were only on the left side) so off we went.  I got in to see a doctor in less than an hour (woot!) who ordered an ECG and chest x-rays. All clear. He couldn’t find anything wrong with my heart and lungs, and figured it was pleurisy.  Anti-inflammatories and take it easy.
Like a good patient, I tried to follow up with my family doctor but he was unavailable so I went to see one of the other doctors in his office to ensure that I was doing everything I was supposed to.  Long story short, he told me it wasn’t pleurisy and that it could be due to, among other things, my breasts being too big. Yeah, I wasn’t very happy. He ordered blood work as an afterthought.  The following week, I was able to see my doctor who agreed and thought it wasn’t pleurisy but was unclear what it was. He ordered a second round of blood work and also called the internal medicine specialist I had seen a few years ago regarding my blood pressure.  The specialist disagreed with doctors #2 and #3 and thought it was pleurisy.  Sigh.

My doctor had advised me to go back to the hospital if the chest pains returned (I was just getting the heaviness/pressure at this point).  Sure enough, they came back the following week so off I went to the ER. Six and a half hours later…. I got to see a doctor. And that was with me being a priority patient with chest pains.  Ah, I finally see what all the ER wait-time complainers talk about.  To be fair though I couldn’t really complain; by the time I got to the hospital, the pains had ceased again. Plus there were people who I felt were far sicker than I was waiting longer than I did – including the gentleman beside me who was throwing up blood on and off all day.  I digress slightly again.  Another ECG – all clear (no surprise). The doctor (#5) didn’t think it was pleurisy (argh!) and figured it was just one of those unexplained pains that people get which they can’t test for specifically and it should go away on its own.

The pain comes and goes every once in a while now and I occasionally get the pressure in the left side of my chest.  My doctor has ordered a fourth round of blood work (just one test) that I have to do next week. It’s still indicating an inflammation somewhere in my body and the numbers are gradually getting better but it’s still there and he wants to keep checking on it.  The good news is that I was cleared to fly to Ontario. The bad news – I didn’t take part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (half) that I had been (sort of) training for.  The ER doctor (#5) had said if I felt well enough to try it, she wasn’t going to tell me no. However, I thought it was better to skip it and instead cheer on the other members of our family who were racing.  
My mother, uncle Peter, and cousin Dan all finished the half marathon and received their shiny medals (I’m soooo jealous but very proud!).  And, in future news, we might be headed to (1) Jamaica, (2) Bermuda, or (3) Hawaii in 2016.  All offer great looking marathon weekends.  Mom was particularly taken with the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica although I’m partial to Bermuda (it would make a great birthday present!).  Hawaii would be nice but staying there would be wicked expensive.  And there are two, on different islands.  Oh well, here’s hoping I’ll have this weird chest problem sorted out soon and can get back to walking and maybe a little running.  I’m getting antsy just sitting on my behind and turning into a sloth.


Heather said...

Poor you!

I've had pleurisy -- it didn't give me any pressure. Just a super-sharp pain that would make me catch my breath and take shallow breaths. Sorry you had to miss your big race, but sounds like it was a wise decision.

Hope you're on the mend soon!

S.M. Elliott said...

Medical mysteries are never fun - I hope they clear this one up so you can have some peace of mind. I, too, think it was the smart choice not to run.

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