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Heart Attack... nope, virus

I was minding my own business at work. Almost time for lunch and we were having a pot luck that day... so a lot of good food to be had. Then suddenly Chest Pain. Sort of started with some short jabs in the left then got stronger. My chest got tight. My breathing constricted. The pain radiated to the center and through my back.

Now, let's be honest here, I am not new to chest pains because I have had adverse reactions to triptans that causes erratic heart rates, breathing issues and yes, at times, chest pains either mild, moderate or even on occasion pretty severe intensity.  And I also have fibromyalgia, so with that comes with Costochondritis which is a form of chest pain due to inflamation in the joints of the sternum. And it can be severely painful as it was with me at initial onset when I was working as a baker in university as a summer job... as I continued to do a job that aggravated it it got more and more severe. Took about six months to recover and a lot of anti-inflamatories. I have had it since then, usually when doing some sort of activity with my arms, but never that severely. 

So I am familiar with chest pains, to the point that I generally do nothing when i get them. Sort of 'wait and see' approach. I usually lie down and hold off, hoping they will go away. But this time I had not taken my triptan and it was not the sort of pain associated with Costochondritis. With my recent quitting smoking I thought I might be having an adverse reaction to the patch... conceivable. I found a help line called Health Link which is 811 here, to ask if that was in fact possible and took off the patch just in case. And the nurse who answered listened to my symptoms and told me to call 911. Well that sort of disturbed me. I know, generally, the chest pains I feel are never a good thing to ignore, but usually... well, I do. And still around. So it was worrisome she had that immediate response.

So my boss drove me to the ER. Where I was from 1PM to 8:30PM. And by the way it took me an hour to get in. If it Had been a heart attack... I'd be dead. Just saying. But they were thorough, I'll give them that. The ER in town never has been when I had adverse reactions to triptans, when the pain was quite severe. At this ER they did an EKG, chest X ray and two blood tests. To rule out heart attack and blood clot and chest issues. And what they determined is that it is viral inflammation, due to the location and pressure testing we are looking at Pericarditis, which is a viral infection of the tissue around the heart. Which explains not only the nature of the pain, but some of the funky heart rhythms I had going on initially, which were fine later, but keep going funky every so often. Also had some severe, intense abrupt vertigo at the ER.

However, I am still suspicious about the timing. Pericarditis can be caused by a few things it seems. Including just idiopathic. And man it is painful. I didn't sleep last night. It was excessively painful in the morning because of the fact it is way more painful lying down. I was not able to go into work. Because I am not able to treat it. The only position the body feels decent is leaning forward, which is hardly ideal. Right now in fact, it feels like someone is bloody stabbing me. Hurts to breath. Reminds me a lot of when I smashed my ribs when I took a tumble in the bathroom once. I still wonder if it is due to the smoking patch though. I am thinking of going cold turkey as a result. Which will be difficult, but maybe I will recover faster from this inflammation issue.

I hate how random health issues like this seem to afflict those of us with chronic illnesses. If it is not one thing... it is another.
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The crowded me out of the brain. Making no room for anything else. Distraction was impossible. You feel almost frantic with the pain but must be still.

What do you do? To get through it when you have no distraction?

I ask me this as I am really in the depths of a 9 level frantic level of pain right now. Hoping maybe some writing will be a distraction, but it isn't. As I said, the pain crowds the brain. I have to focus real hard to write and my head isn't clear. Too much pain to focus well. Things become quite difficult to do. 

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But we are Immersed in the pain, we what do we do?
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Relaxation breathing: I can't meditate when in high levels of pain. It just makes me think about how much pain I am in. Just not a good idea. But I do do relaxation breathing. I close my eyes. I focus on my breathing. I even…