On Tuesday night my ribs were basically like, “Go eff yourself.”
I laid in bed in pure pain.
Every. Single. Breath. Hurt.
My ribs. Hurt.
I was alone.
I was in agony.
And I didn’t really know what to do.
I took a hydrocodone, but I might as well have taken a Skittle.
I thought about going to the ER, but figured racking up a huge bill so I get some good drugs probably wasn’t worth it.
But that hurt. So I stopped.
And I just laid there. In pain. Crying on the inside.
I tried ranking my pain in my head.
I thought about how being dead would be better than the pain I was in.
I figured that had to put me at like an 8 or a 9.
I tried to move so that my body weight was in a different position. But that didn’t help.
An hour went by. Then another hour. I kept crying on the inside.
I realized how easy it is to get to a point where you just want to give up. Give in. Quit.
I thought about being dead some more.
Another hour passed. I closed my eyes for a few minutes and just ached with every breath and every movement.
The night crept by slowly.
And then, finally, after a series of short naps, it was time to wake up.
I got ready for work. The hot shower seemed to ease things. I thought maybe the day wouldn’t be so bad.
Then I got in the car. I made it about 20 minutes before I was crying in agony.
I willed myself to drive the rest of the way to work. Another 60 minutes. I needed to get my work laptop so I could get some stuff done at home.
I got there. Stopped at my desk to call a doctor I hadn’t seen about this yet, walked over to my bosses’ office with tears in my eyes to tell him I was leaving for the day and then I got back in my car.
I drove to see Dr. Pangan.
I said, “You have to help me.”
He examined my ribs, and when he touched the bones, I felt the wind come out of me. I cried. So much.
He thinks it could be rib fracture. He says costochondritis should be gone by now. He wrote a prescription for some new meds, ordered a chest X-ray and some blood work to check my inflammation levels. And he referred me to a pain specialist.
The pain specialist.
That is the man I want to meet.
That is the light at the end of the tunnel.
That is who will help me breathe again.
About a month ago, I was all, “AHHH I HAVE THIS HORRIBLE PAIN IN MY STOMACH AREA AND IF YOU TOUCH IT, IT FEELS LIKE I’M GOING TO DIE! AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NO APPARENT CAUSE!.”
So, I drove myself to the emergency room. And the doctor touched my stomach area and it felt like a semi had plowed into my ribs and he ordered a chest X-Ray, and a CT-Scan and some blood work.
And none of those turned back crap. Then they gave me morphine, told me I probably had an ulcer from excessive use of ibuprofen and called in a GI doctor.
And I was all, “So an ulcer would hurt like that?” And I swear to you, the doctor looked at me and in the most stern voice you can think of said, “Yes. An ulcer can kill you.”
And I was like, Dannnng. All right.
And then the GI Doctor was all, “You’re in a lot of pain. I think you have an ulcer too. I’m going to recommend we admit you and then stick a camera down your throat in the morning and see what the dealio is.” Or something like that. Morphine has a way of making your memories foggy.
So I was like, “Cool beans. Whatever yo.”
And then a primary care doctor came in to examine me, and I was all, “No. That doesn’t hurt at all.” to everything she did because, like I said, they had already given me morphine.
So I spent the night in the hospital. And then the next morning they stuck a camera down my throat and they found an ulcer in my intestines. They even showed a picture of it to my mom and my boyfriend, so I’m pretty sure it was real.
Then, they gave me ulcer medicines, banned me from eating every good food ever for a month and sent me on my merry way.
Fast forward one month.
I actually did feel like I was on the path to recovery. I was taking the ulcer meds and avoiding every good food ever. La di da da. And I thought things were going pretty well when I walked into my follow-up visit with my GI doctor.
Except while I was there, he pushed on part of my stomach and it felt like a semi-truck had hit a train that then rammed into me. And I was like, “Woah dude. That hurt.” And he was like, “Huh.” And then he said, basically, that based on what he saw, I should be pretty much healed by now. And I was like, “Hmm. Well I was feeling pretty good before I got here, so maybe this will all go away when I leave.”
Except of course it didn’t. At all.
And after four days of going, “Hopefully tomorrow I either wake up feeling better or die.” I finally decided to make an appointment with my primary care doctor.
And while I was there she determined that I had a rib injury which she didn’t notice in the ER because when she examined me I was already on morphine. And, now, here’s where it gets confusing, because I didn’t really have anything happen to me to cause a rib injury. My doctor said I have costochondritis, which is only scary when you Google it too much. (I’m pretty sure I probably have cancer).
So now, I’m wearing pain patches and I am not wearing any bras with under wire, because apparently those exasperate the situation. And just a heads up, when I tell you I’m not the right “treatment path” it’s my polite way of saying I’m no longer wearing bras with under wire. Because manners.
In other health-related news, I am also taking a new long-term medication for my headaches, which is what led to the long-term excessive Advil use in the first place. It’s called Topamax.
I also saw a neurologist yesterday for the first time and we had a nice little hour-long chat. In short, there’s an Android app for keeping a headache diary, I have to have an MRI done of my head in case there’s an aneurysm in there trying to kill me and the headaches are probably basically abnormal migraines caused by the fact that the regular migraines I used to get morphed into these headaches.
And I have to say I prefer these headaches because they do not come with any blind spots. I seriously HATED those.
Tune in next time for, “Why medical bills be crazy!”