Making space for my flank pain

pier over the beach, with the ocean in the distance

I’ve had some weird, inexplicable pain in my right side for over a week. Pain tends to come and go with me, and I often find myself with strained muscles, pulled sinews, general soreness, etc. It typically goes away after a few days, so I rarely pay it much mind.

That just comes with the territory when you do your own stunts.

But for over a week, I’ve had some pretty intense soreness in my right lower ribs. I haven’t been able to breathe easily, and laughing, coughing, yawning all send a sharp jab of pain through me. It’s been hard to sleep, and it’s been hard to sleep in. I go to bed later and I wake up early, which doesn’t do much for my frame of mind – and body.

Still, I hadn’t been spending a lot of time thinking about it, researching it, or otherwise paying more attention to it, than the intermittent OUCH! that comes after a sigh, an inhalation, a laugh, or a cough. Until the past few days — after the 7-day mark — when the persistent pain just got to be too much.

I called my doctor’s office and made an appointment. And I did some research. I isolated the experience — what hurts and where… when does it hurt… what did I do differently, lately… what makes it worse or better — and I wrote up some notes. I used a version of the Listening to your Body Worksheet over at AuptimaPress, and I added notes about my symptoms and my concerns.

I really hate going to the doctor. I never feel like I do a good job of communicating what’s going on with me, and by the time I actually see the doctor, I’m often overwhelmed by the sensory experience and not thinking very lucidly. But writing everything down (well, the important pieces, anyway) actually helped me.

The main thing is, I just need to make room in my life for this experience, this pain, this thing that needs to be fixed. Ignoring it wasn’t helping me. Paying attention (hopefully) will help.

The adventure continues.

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4 thoughts on “Making space for my flank pain

  1. Sorry to hear about your recent pain. I hope you feel better soon. I know what you mean about not being able to communicate with the doctor. I hate going to the doctor’s, from the long wait in the waiting rooms to not being able to express myself well enough when I see my doctor. It sucks. Also I normally have to always fit in an appointment in my already busy schedule so when I go I am normally exhausted. It sucks and I definitely feel your pain in that as well. However going to the doctors can be helpful, and I hope they can help you. Best wishes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. VisualVox

      Thanks for your wishes! I did see the doctor today, and nothing’s broken, which is great. Now I need to hear back about the bloodwork. I made up a little “cheat sheet” that I used to explain to them, and they really liked it. Especially the pictures. I suspect (as they do) it’s just musculoskeletal. But my worst fears about my bone loss causing fractures didn’t come true, which is a huge relief.

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  2. Yeah. I tend to ignore pain too. And even what I feel is an unreliable gauge. My body almost killed me in June (a very slowly developing sigmoidal volvolus apparently over a couple of years) and I felt nothing I recognized as pain. I had a fever for a week with no obvious cause (fever of unknown origin) and general and worsening malaise. Primary care doctor told me it was probably viral and wait and see. Finally went to a free-standing ER over the weekend because it wouldn’t go away. The ER doctor did a CT scan of my abdomen and saw it. And immediately sent me to the hospital, where everyone kept assuming I had abdominal pain. I never do a good job communicating with doctors either, at least for myself. I’ve learned to be very good for others. I hope everything works out well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Pain is a tricky thing for sure – I generally don’t feel it the same as others, so I get concerned about conditions that may or may not be serious. I really have no idea. I could be dying — literally — and I wouldn’t realize. So, I get a little hyper-attentive. Which, of course, puts the doctors off a bit.

      Glad to hear you got help for that … thing.

      My own pain actually turned out to be muscular. And in the process, I got an x-ray of the scoliosis people told me I had. So, in all, it was fine. I guess… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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