Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Like I have said before, “life is full of surprises.”

I have really been feeling good lately and have taken on additional responsibilities here at Francis Heights. I have accepted the nomination to be treasurer of the Resident Council. A little more responsibility than what I was told so we are going to have to set some limits. I am sure that it will all smooth out.

Changing subjects completely – I have this wonderful electric mattress pad on my bed. I like to say that I got it for me but we all know better – I leave it on a lot of the time for Ember. The control is on the opposite side of the bed that I sleep on. On Sunday night after I went to bed I wanted to turn it on and instead of getting up and walking around the bed (full size) I just kind of rolled over and reached for the control. When I did this I heard or felt a pop and I said, “ouch” out loud. Not thinking anymore about it I fell asleep and slept really good all night long. Monday morning I was meeting a friend for coffee and as I was moving around and getting ready I started feeling this pain over or behind my mastectomy site. It hurt to breathe, it hurt to walk, and it hurt to use my right arm.

As the day went on the pain got worse. I became worried that I might have pulled something in my mastectomy. I tried to call my doctor but the office had just closed so I asked that nurse call me back. After talking with the nurse and her reassurance that it might be a cracked rib, she said that I should go to the ER – did I have someone to take me. So, I called Rebecca and she took me to St Joseph Hospital, which is about five miles from where I live. Rebecca lives a lot farther than that.

After waiting two and a half hours it was my turn. When I got in there they wanted to hook me up to IV’s. I asked why – because of your chest pains. I said that my chest pains are not the usual. The nurse finally decided that we needed to talk. He agreed with me. When the doctor came in I had to tell the story again – I think this makes five times in all. Once I again I also had to take deep breathes while he listened my lungs. He acknowledged that it was going to really hurt but he needed to do it. He ordered a chest x-ray and it was normal. I guess my question is, "If they thought I had the typical chest pains, why did I sit in the waiting room so long?" 

After further examination he said that it was not my mastectomy and I did not injure it. However, he was sure that I had a torn the cartilage when I reached and that was the pop sound. Bad news, of course, is that it has to heal on its own and therefore I will be in pain for an extended period of time. Discharge instructions – rest, ice packs, and Percocet for pain. I said I really have a busy week so he repeated the instructions. Okay! Okay! 
Rebecca did not get back home until midnight. Dear Lord, what would I do without her? I really don't want to find out the answer to that question.

Treating a Torn Chest Cartilage 

Point 1
Resting and not giving strain to the affected part is the most important thing to do. It will serve 2 purposes. There is a better chance that the cartilage will heal and it will also reduce the pain, as a result of moving the specific part. 

Point 2
Anti inflammatory medications like non-steroidal anti inflammatory injection or pills might be prescribed. It will reduce the chest muscle pain and swelling.

Point 3
If a rib belt is available, using a rib belt will give support to the torn muscle cartilage. This will limit the movement of your ribs. This will result in lesser pain during coughing sneezing, moving and breathing, which exacerbates the pain. Using a belt will reduce chest pain when breathing in.

Applying heat compression, and an ice pack too, can help heal the torn cartilage in the chest. But either of them should not be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time. Breathing exercises need to be carefully done, if at all they can be done, and in consultation with the doctor.

Ultimately, while dealing with a soft tissue injury like torn cartilage in chest or otherwise, being particular about following the doctor's instructions would be the best thing to do. Take Care!

I have to laugh – not hard because it hurts – but this is just an everyday event that could have happened to any one of us. I guess when you have had two major surgeries in two years you just begin to believe that it is never going to stop. Not so. This had nothing to do with my surgeries or my mastectomy.


What’s better than answers to our why questions? 
Trusting a good God who has His reasons.”
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