Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Caution: Old Person-Type Ailment Discussion Ahead

Have you ever had a physical ailment sneak up on you? I just realized this past week that my chest really hurts. It’s like a tight, burning feeling right behind my breastplate. It’s a mixture of constricting pressure and a burning sensation. It feels a bit like a large boa constrictor is crushing my sternum. I started thinking about it and I can’t remember when it started. Years? Months? Weeks? I don’t know. Like the frog in the boiling water, it’s finally at the “Ow” point. I guess I figured it would go away eventually. That's my school of thought on most ailments.

I’ve been taking antacids for it for awhile now….maybe since Christmas? But then I realized that I feel the burning consistently, antacid or no. It’s there when I wake up in the morning; it’s there when I go to sleep at night. So I’m thinking that it’s not heartburn. But just in case it is, I went to Wal-Mart this morning and spent $15 on antacid products. Tums, Maalox, Rolaids (Rolaids taste okay, Maalox is unpleasant, Tums make me want to vomit.) I’ve been dousing myself with it all day, but to no avail.

So, as my slightly-hypochondriac self is apt to do, I ventured over to WebMd (which is a great site upon which to kill a few hours) and started researching. Here are my guesses, by degree of freaking-out:

1) Heartburn. Maybe I’m just not using enough antacid. Maybe I need the gallon jugs of it and I’ll just drink it in a glass with my dinner.

2) Some sort of reflux thing. I don’t have an acidic taste in my mouth, though.

3) Peptic ulcer. I don’t think so because I don’t have the nausea that is supposed to accompany it.

4) Stress. Highly possible, but then why do I have it first thing in the morning?

5) Variant Heart Angina. Would be yuck, but could be possible. It occurs in women mostly, and when you are at rest. The symptoms exactly describe what I feel.

6) Coronary Artery Disease. We won’t even go there.

7) Multiple Sclerosis. Yikes.

I guess I’ll just go to the doctor. Feel free to voice your opinions.


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