October 20, 2009

Chest Pain

     I was going to write about my outfit today, but it was just jeans and a sweater.  Then I realized that the patch on my chest was out there for the whole world to see all day long, so this post is about that patch. . .

    You know that post about my chest pain I've meaning to write, well this is it.  It all started March 2008 when I woke up with some severe chest pain.  I knew it wasn't my heart or lungs, but it hurt so much I got it checked out at student health.  They gave me ibuprofen and told me to come back in 5 days.  Well, 5 days later was Spring Break and they were closed.  I went to an Emergency Care Facility nearby and was told that I had something else and given some steroids and pain killers.  Well, 10 days later as my steroids were running out and I had school and I couldn't handle school and vicodin at the same time.  (Trust me, Constitutional Law on Vicodin is a BAD idea.)  So I went back to the Emergency Care Facility and they did an EKG on me.  Well, one squiggly looked bad so they sent me to the Emergency Room essentially telling me that I might have a pulmonary embolism.  At the ER they did another EKG as well as a chest X-Ray and chest CT and told me there was nothing wrong with my heart or lungs and that the first EKG was messed up.  So I went home with a prescription of vicodin hoping that my pain would go away.  
    Well a week later I called my dad crying that I was in pain and couldn't handle it anymore.  It was BAD.  Somehow Dad got me in to see another doctor.  This doctor was very nice and understanding.  He has daughters and understood what its like to have your kids far away.  He gave me prescription for more pain pills, but this time a pill that would let me go to school and fight the pain at the same time.  He also sent me to a pulmonologist just in case.  Well, after a lot of sitting around and gaining 15 pounds, the chest pain finally went away.  I thought I was home free.  And then it came back.  My chest pain has recurred 3 times since the Spring of 2008.  I have no idea what causes it, I just know that its a HUGE pain in the butt.  This time around I have seen a rheumatologist.  (for those of you counting, that makes a total of 7 doctors that I've seen if we count the 2 teaching fellows when I went to see the pulmonologist.)  My rheumatologist has been very nice and above all else wants to limit the side effects of anything I take and not let anything get in the way of my studies.  He has prescribed a lidocaine patch that I wear on my chest.  
    Unfortunately, due to the placement of pain, the patch is highly visible.  Any neckline that isn't a t-shirt or a turtle neck will show the patch.  Well, rather than draw attention to it and tell people about it, I have decided to ignore it.  Yes, there is a white patch on my chest that sticks out of my tops, but poop happens and it makes my chest hurt less. 

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