Monday, August 6, 2012

I AM Invincible (aren't I?)

Limitations. I suppose we all have them, but I have never thought that I, personally,  did. I have never said outright that I think I am invincible, or immortal, but I guess I must, deep down, think I am,  because I’m pretty much surprised by my own reaction to events this morning, in particular, and lately, in general.

I was awakened early this morning, probably about 5ish, by a pain in my left middle side. It felt kind of like when you have a pulled muscle and can’t take in a deep breath. And I could not. I tried. I rolled over, hoping that by laying on my right side, it  would ease the muscle and allow me a few deep breaths and be able to go back to sleep. I couldn’t. It still hurt.
Restlessly, for an hour, I tried lying flat, propping myself up on pillows, lying on my back, my stomach, any way I could think of, trying to get rid of the pain and catch a little bit more sleep.  The pain got worse, and then I started coughing, and I almost wondered for a couple of minutes if I had pneumonia again. It could have almost been that kind of pain. Almost. But this was different. By 6, I was having a harder time breathing, and the pain wasn’t as sharp, but more like pressure, a vice-like pressure pushing from the front and back. All I could think of was being in the middle of the wooden flower press my dad made me years ago, like a flower from my summer garden I had wanted to preserve. Weird, how pressure is pain, but isn’t really.  I used my inhaler and it seemed to make it easier to breathe, but I still couldn’t go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried.
What to do. I’m not a “rush to the dr.” kind of person. In fact, truth be told, I'm a definite "foot-dragger." I thought about going to Urgent Care, but it seemed kind of odd to, not quite the right thing to do, and I was afraid I would sound like a hypochondriac. I was afraid they would think it was just indigestion, or something similar since it isn’t a really BAD pain. I guess I've gotten too used to ambulance "emergency" calls that aren't really emergencies at all.  I got up, got dressed, made my coffee, and sat, reading for awhile.
It seems to have gotten a little better, but there is still definitely SOMETHING there. I have no idea what it is. I know it must seem strange NOT to go to the hospital, but when I think of the long wait in the ER, the lack of PAIN, actual searing, down my arm or pinpointed to my chest PAIN, it seems not worthwhile.
I have a doctors appointment tomorrow morning anyway, for a rewrite of a prescription. It is one of those “waste of time but necessary” dr. visits, in order to get several prescriptions renewed. Now, I’m kind of glad I have it.  There is a huge pressure on my chest, still, not like an elephant, but more like, hmmm, a fat dog? is sitting on it. I can breathe deeply, but my chest still aches, when I do, and even when I don’t. I also have a headache now, which is probably from worrying while pretending not to.  It’s one of those murky murky areas I just don’t deal well with. If only it were more clear cut, I would know what to do. If only I weren’t “only” 49, and generally pretty healthy, and… immortal. It could not POSSIBLY be heart trouble, or worse, a heart attack because, well, I’m ONLY 49, I AM in good health, I’m only a little bit (ok 30-40 pounds) overweight, not grossly obese, I DO have a family history of heart trouble, but none at my age, it ISN”T outright sharp or searing pain, and… and… I have many things I want to do soon, including, I just found this morning, an 8k I want to run as a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors. Never mind the current issue I’m having, there’s also that damn foot thing I have yet to decide what to do about. Technically, I have surgery scheduled for September 27th, for that, but I haven’t REALLY made up my mind what to do. There are so many reasons NOT to have it done.  And now, there’s that 8k I want to train for, and run, in November. Could I run it first, and have surgery later? Next year, maybe? Do I really maybe not even NEED to have surgery for it at all?
Yeah, I don’t really feel like going out to begin training today. I really just want today over with, and want it to be 8:15 tomorrow morning so that I can be sitting in my doctor’s office, and say to her, oh so casually, “oh yeah, besides the prescription re-writes, there’s also this other issue… yesterday morning I woke up with pain in my chest, and it lasted all day, but I didn’t really know what to do about it, so I’m checking with you now…”  at which point, she will laugh with me, and maybe schedule me for an EKG or something in a few days, when it doesn’t inconvenience anyone, and no one will think I’m foolish for having it done then, because it is “just to rule things out,” and “yeah, my doctor MADE me come for it, even though we both know nothing’s REALLY wrong.”   Yes, 31 hours from now I can ditch the headache, the niggling worry, and one of the limitations I am surprised to find I have today, and go back to dealing with the other one, that silly stupid FOOT limitation. Somehow, today, that seems far and away more preferable. At least I know what THAT pain is.