Just before I went to bed last night I was gripped by extreme pain, pain that I had to cover up as I knew without doubt that Adam would be on the phone getting me an ambulance that I was totally sure I didn’t need. The pain in my chest that I haven’t now had for several weeks was back and it was as bad as ever, because I have had it several times before I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack, but I was having problems because of it in taking a deep breath, I wanted to cough for some reason but because I couldn’t fill my lungs I couldn’t. It didn’t last long maybe 2 or 3 minutes and started to clear just after the end of ‘Holby City’, I sat for a couple of more minutes, then headed to bed. Not long after I lay down it happened again, truly acute pain in the middle of my chest, first spreading up into my armpit and through to my back and my entire left lung cavity. I couldn’t really tell, anymore than I have been able to in the past, if it was actually the intercostal muscles, my lungs or something else, but I am sure it isn’t anything to do with my heart, which I know would have been Adams worry and I knew if I told him before I went to bed he would have been awake all night worrying, so I had said nothing. Over the years I have become very good at not reacting on the surface as I know how much he worries. I wouldn’t have believed how much pain I can take without a word, just a few years ago I would have been like anyone else, I would have put my hand to my chest and at the very least winced in distress. Now I don’t let anything show, Adam worrying and fussing would have change nothing about what was happening. I know he will read this and be angry I disguised what was wrong and simply took it in silence, but I hope he understand now and sees that I was right, there was nothing to worry about.
I am guessing that it is some sort of spasm as it is sudden, an incredibly sharp but crushing pain that tenses, holds and then sudden release, just as spasms do. Sometimes it covers both sides of my chest not just the left side and often it goes up into throat and shoulder bones, leaving behind the shadow of the pain for hours after. This morning when I was making breakfast it happened again, but this time the worst area was much higher, almost as though it was some type of heartburn, but only because of where it was, there was no burning or feeling of acid reflux at all. When it is high like that I can break it’s hold, all I have to do is swallow a mouth full of something, the swallowing action makes it let go. Right now the upper half of my body is totally in the shadow state, everything has a light pain or bruised feeling, but as long as I keep my breathing shallow and I am just sit here, I am fine, moving around aggravates the pain as any bruise would react. The pain is identical to the pain I get in my guts, identical in pain levels as the spasm on both side below my ribs the other week, the only difference is that this doesn’t last nearly as long. My guts can lock up for 20 to 30 minute, let go and return several times in a few hours, so far this hasn’t done that and the worst level of pain last no more than 2 or 3 minutes, taking longer to fade once it has let go. It hadn’t occurred to me until last night that they may be connected, well the two areas have very different functions. For now all I can do is monitor what is happening and wait to see what happens next, but I guess this is something more to tell the consultant, although she is a Gastroenterologist Consultant, with the similarities it may explain what is going on at least with the sharp spasms, if not the pressure and discomfort.
I suspect I am far from the only person who has learned to cover up what is happening to them, not to deceive, but to protect those we love. Adam knows that I don’t tell him everything, or about any of my falls unless I have to, but it isn’t that I don’t want him to know it is that I don’t want him to worry any more. I know how much he worries about everything and if I were to go into details of everything when they are happening, he would panic a lot. Since he started reading my blog he has learned much more than he ever knew before, the difference is though that by the time he has read it, it is over and I am clearly still alive and functioning, all without him stressing once.