Last night, as I sat relaxing with my beloved, I was suddenly struck by a sharply acute pain in the lower part of my chest on the right hand side. The pain was still there an hour later, although by this stage somewhat intermittently and feeling rather like a sharp bruise. it was certainly a quite unfamiliar sensation and I couldn't put it down to indigestion but, I'd have been far more worried had it been on the left side of the chest.
Checked my pulse and, that was fine and, unusually for me when I'm in any marked degree of discomfort, or even without that prompt, there was no hint of pallor. So far, so good but my beloved was quite concerned (I had to admit to her that I was too) so, I contacted the out of hours doctor who recommended I should take some of my usual pain-killers (tramadol) and, if I felt any worse at all he would come out to visit me. That provided a welcome degree of re-assurance but, he did also suggest I made an appointment with my own G.P.
There followed a night of intermittently discomforted sleep; although I've learned to cope with my regular aches and pain, any change, to the old familiar dis-ease, plays havoc with my already erratic sleep pattern. I made an appointment with my G.P., although it was a locum I actually saw, for this afternoon. As the day went on, I found at times that the action of swallowing, and even moving in certain ways, renewed the pains intensity.
The first thing the doctor asked was whether I had any pain in my legs, I had to laugh as I explained that I'd not noticed any change to their regular discomfort. She felt around the calf muscle, checking for any hint of DVT and whether a clot had travelled to my lungs. She thoroughly examined me, checking blood pressure, listening to my heart and lungs and, quite expertly (albeit inadvertently) applying light pressure to the most tender area of the rib cage. When I tried to breathe deeply, as she listened to my lungs, the pain recurred with an excruciating sharpness. The diagnosis turned out to be something to do with the intercostal muscles and, I'd already begun to wonder whether my pondly exertions (at the weekend) had maybe put a strain on the muscle. I readily admit that lifting out the planters, from the pond's murky depths, wasn't one of the easiest gardening chores.
On the positive side, somewhat like the herniated disc last year, it makes a change to have a specific pain whose cause is definable, alongside those sundry aches and discomforts the flesh is so regularly heir to!