I hope you are enjoying the new menu layouts.
It seems that 2014 will be the year that all my health issues catch up to me…
First, a small update on my herniated disc that happened last February: I’m still not 100% as I still have some minor nerve pinching in my lower back, right side, and upper buttocks. However, it’s not so much of a pain but rather a minor discomfort. Overall, my back behaves better than the past 5 years prior to my herniated disc. It seems that I was truly due for it to happen sooner or later. Now, I’m much better off and have better work techniques.
Last weekend, after watching a movie, I got up and sat down in my office chair to check my emails on the PC when I got hit with severe acute pain in my right breast, radiating under my armpit, and to under my shoulder blade. Breathing became painful like hell too. I almost thought I was having a heart attack but there was no numbness anywhere. I took pain killers and it settled down after about 90 mins. Let’s just say that I had a bad night. The following day, pain was minor and I actually worked on Wabi~Sabi without issues. Then, after dinner, the pain came back almost as strong as the previous evening. My fiancée tried to give me massages but it only made the pain worse with some swelling. I strongly suspected a real bad case of pinched nerves (they usually don’t respond well to being touched, unlike muscles). The exact source of the pain also moved around a little bit; sometimes worse in my shoulder blade, other times in my armpit/breast region. The next day, right before going to bed, it returned again.
Surely, you must be thinking “why the heck did you not go to the doctor?” Truth be told, I hate hospitals, docs, and our health system. It may be “free” but you are treated worse than a animal at the vet; staffs are rude, no compassion at all (I can understand some emotional detachment but not to the point of being robots), the triage system is a complete joke, doctors don’t take the time to “hear the story” although you strongly feel like it’s important for a good diagnosis, 95% of the time they simply send you back home with pain killers, and finally not forgetting the excruciating wait times that range from 3~6 hours that make you feel like you’re wasting your time. You guys know me, I loathe incompetence, and that word best describes our health system.
So I did some internet research. It helped for my herniated disc with specifics so clear that I could diagnose and treat myself properly. However, this one is a doozy. I never thought that so many things could possibly be causing this exact kind of pain in that specific region. It ranges from cancers to slipping ribs. The one that comes back the most is gallbladder. Which I strongly doubt I have since I do not have gastric symptoms or nausea. Besides, it feels like nerves, or something muscular. However, my range of motion is only slightly impaired, and the pain seem to be directly linked to rib movement or applied pressure. Anyhow, I was able to find a few posts by people with the exact same symptoms, but the internet being what it is not a single one of those threads amounted to something. People say loads of crap, mess things up, and/or hijack.
Geez, look at me wind this up into a book! Anyways, I went to see a “self-appointed therapist” (if you know what i mean). Sometimes those persons are not so bad since most are not prone to over-thinking a problem, that is if you can filter through the charlatans. He “diagnosed” it as an intercostal strain, which I originally mistranslated as a torn ligament. That kind of shit usually happens to tennis players or golfers. However, I can see how it could have happened to me as recently I had been stretching myself in all sorts of ways in a darn caged car (yes, it is bad, you have no fucking room anywhere).
I took the opportunity while there to talk about my bad hand which worsens slowly as time goes by. Of course, at first he thought it was carpal tunnel, but I knew it wasn’t because my mother had it (got surgery) and it was not the same symptoms as me. I didn’t say nothing but he ruled it out on his own, so that gave me confidence in his abilities. Then went after an area I never thought would be related: my forearm. As soon as he nailed the right spot, bam!, it hurt like hell. Then he said “You sir, have tendinosis.” It is different from tendinitis (tennis elblow) because no inflammation is present and that it is a chronic condition built up over time by tiny injuries the body does not heal. That sounds about right. I’ve been carrying this since 2001. He says that it’s probably the main source of problems for my bad hand. However, my own research might point to me having wrist tendinosis as well. He recommended that I use a brace when working. I bought one and will be trying it out soon.
Right now, I am taking rest from the project and work due to my rib problem. Which, as you guessed, pisses me off because I was diligently working on my “rear radiator setup 2.0” (which will be all new BTW), and that it sets me back in both time and money. In Québec, summer, although it has not officially begun, is already half over (if you know what I mean!!!) I just wish I could get a break from all these issues.
All of this makes me remember the very last words that my grandfather (on my mother’s side) said to me, but I’ll get to that soon. Obviously, his health had been diminishing rapidly in that year. I was supposed to play cards with him that afternoon (like we did each Sunday in years past when I was not trucking) but I chose to perform repairs on my father’s car instead. It is one of my very few regrets in life as he died soon after. I try to put a happy spin on that last moment though by modifying a quote from the 1991 movie Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man: “You know, my grampa told me before he left this shitty world, that (insert something here)”. Anyhow, he said to me: “As long as you have your health, you have everything you need.” Truer words had not been spoken, grampa, may you rest in peace…