No Extra Credit??? (9-09-2013)

It does not matter the place, time, or injury–urgent care is never an enjoyable experience. I did however learn that “chest pain” bumps you to the top of the first come-first serve waiting list though (yay painful perks).

And with that lead-in, here’s my story (short version at the end, so scroll down if you like). I’d been experiencing chest pain with movement and breathing (yes, so basically all the time) since Thursday. Come Saturday evening I was convinced to venture to urgent care and get some professional advice. Being all too familiar with the ins and outs of these last resort facilities I packed my kindle, a book, a snacky and a water. When I got there, I bypassed the waiting out front and skipped right to the waiting in the room. With my BP 150/90 I loved listening to the PA tell me it all looked normal. U

UM, if standard BP for a healthy, active 24 year old is 150, we need to have a chat.

Anyway, I first dutifully listed my symptoms: constant chest pain 3/10, deep breathing difficulties with pain 6/10, rotating pain 6/10, walking pain 4/10, and then waited for him to begin the line of questioning. He actually only had a couple, which I found to be completely unrelated, but regardless, he listened to my struggled breathing and sat back down with an inquisitive look- “I don’t see anything wrong here.” uhhhhh (I stayed silent)……….“I mean your symptoms don’t really all add up”…………..I’m sorry, they don’t “add up” to me either…in that I have no idea what they mean, I just know it ain’t normal. I calmly say “well, I have pain in my chest. It’s worse when I take deep breaths. I’m not sure what it is, but I know it’s not nothing”. Doctor: “We can do an xray real quick to rule out some of the more imminent issues” this sounds like you have no idea what you’re doing so why not throw in a test. me: “okay”.

Twenty minutes later I returned to the room and awaited the results. Condescending PA came back and announced that everything was indeed all clear from my xray but after consulting someone he thinks it could be musculoskeletal.

“Have you been in any accidents? Changed anything in your exericising?

me: “No. I’ve actually taken it easy the last week”

Condescending PA: “Are you sure?” 

oh wait, you caught me. I lied. I just got into a car crash and it totally slipped my mind.Oops. Actual response: “Yeah I’m sure”.

Condescending PA: “Well, I believe you have had a tear or strain in your intercostal muscle which is causing the chest pain. It should go away. Feel free to exercise. It could be a couple other things and just in an early stage, but just keep monitoring the symptoms”

Well I’m probably NOT going to exercise since walking and sitting hurt at the moment. Oh wait that was my ACTUAL response.

Anyway, long story short, I did my own research and consulted some friends and found out it is likely a intercostal muscle strain. Those lovely muscles are attached to the diaphragm unfortunately and hence when I take a deep breath and stretch that strained muscle, I get that lovely chest pain. I’m on an exercise hiatus right now, but hoping to be back in the swing of things by the end of this week if I take it easy. One more doctor visit tomorrow and then hopefully all clear!

Advice for this week comes straight from my Aunt Katy who informed me, quite correctly, that there is “no extra credit for suffering.” So on that note, I’ll stick with my R&R for this week. 🙂


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