Monday, March 7, 2011

Brace yourself

for another bout of my whining.

For the last few days, I have been having chest pain. Not quite like a heart attack (although I can't say for sure since I have never had a heart attack) but more like a "bone" pain in my sternum/rib area. It is mostly a dull ache, unless I sneeze, cough, or breathe deep, in which case it is a painful stabbing sensation. I have quite a few online "friends" from the Rheumatoid Arthritis groups who have had similar symptoms, so I reached out to them and tentatively self-diagnosed costochondritis - inflammation in the cartilage between the ribs and sternum.

Today, I spoke to my rheumatologist on the phone and he confirmed my diagnosis. The usual course of treatment is high doses of steroid (I am already on a low dose and hate it) and rest (haha!) but he agreed that I could just leave it untreated for the time being as long as the pain is tolerable and the symptoms don't get worse. At this point, it is uncomfortable, but I really really don't want to increase my prednisone (steroid). The prednisone tends to make me hungry for sweets (not good for Lent), upsets my stomach, and makes me really moody (yes, more moody than normal). I will go see my doc in two weeks and we will re-evaluate the situation then. If I haven't improved then he will put me on a high dose of the prednisone for a few weeks. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

In the meantime, I will be avoiding all strenuous activity and just relax. Yeah, right.

No comments: