Feb 18, 2009

another piece of the puzzle?

A few weeks ago, I was driving to class when I started noticing a pain in my right rib just under my breast. Over the next few days the pain got more and more miserable. It hurt to breath, it hurt to sniffle, it hurt to sit, it hurt to lie down.

I started popping extra strength Ibuprofen, and decided to visit my massage therapist to see if it was being caused by muscle pain. He evaluated my pain and pressed lightly on my sternum. HOLY FRIG it hurt!

For the life of me, I could not remember hurting myself. I mean, if you hurt so badly you can hardly sit or stand, wouldn't you have some idea what you did? Sleepwalking? Too much arm waving with the Wii?

His best guess is that I was suffering from a condition called "costochronditis."

It's been about a month now and I am starting to feel better, but interestingly, I was just "googling" it, and it looks like it has some relationship to autoimmune diseases. Perhaps the whole autoimmune theory isn't as crazy as I thought.


  1. I'm glad the pain has finally subsided.

  2. Unfortunately, costochondritis is "one of those" diagnoses that people get when doctors don't know what's really wrong. It doesn't mean what you're feeling isn't real, I just wonder how helpful it is.

    I'm glad you're feeling better though.

  3. Crumbs! I really don't want one of "those" diagnoses. I don't want to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or any other 'diseases of exclusion'. I just want a concrete answer of what's wrong and a treatment!!

  4. Pain can make life so miserable. Hope it goes away soon.

  5. Thanks for all of your comments and good wishes. I have to say, since arriving at my sunny ocean front holiday, I've had much less pain.

    I'm attributing it to a combination of swimming and mixed drinks with rum on the beach ;-)

    Seriously, I do think that being up and active has really helped. It is way easier to go for a walk in 75 degree weather than in -8 degree snowbanks!

  6. When are you seeing your Pshychiatrist again? Meds such as Cymbalta can be very effective for chronic pain conditions as well as depression.

    I really hope these symptoms are not related to Auto-immune problems. While manageable, to an extent, they have really serious and debilitating long term complications (often worse than those related to the side effects caused by the meds given for psychiatric conditions) and are not to be taken lightly.

    Have you had the results of your follow up blood tests yet?

    Until now I have been unable to comment on your blog as the 'Select Profile' option has not allowed me to select a profile.... a bit frustrating, because I really enjoy your blog!

    All the best,


  7. I'm not sure why you weren't able to comment on the blog - I looked at my settings and they seemed like they should work. In any case, I'm glad that you were able to leave a message.

    I'm scheduled now to see a range of doctors in the next few weeks - my psychiatrist, a mood disorders specialist, an internist and a rheumatologist - all mid-March. I think what I really need right now is House.

    The pain I had in my ribs seems to have been a one-off. It was painful, but it seems to have subsided. Hopefully it was caused by some sort of injury (sleeping maybe?) and will not be a chronic thing.

    In the meantime, I am having such a nice time on vacation that I've decided to stay a while longer. I think the sun is agreeing with me!