What’s “Brewing” Under the Surface?


Started going through a lot of physical pain, just in spurts at first over a few weeks. A couple of weeks ago, I had to call Telehealth after waking up with sharp pains in my diaphragm area and tingling down my arm. I was having a hard time breathing but it was from the pain, not a difficulty of breathing. Telehealth was busy so reception took my information and called me back about a half hour later. In the meantime, I’m pacing around the house, trying to breath, taking some Advil for the pain, etc. Had the crazy thought that if someone walked in, they would think I was in labour! Honestly, I thought I was having a heart attack but it was strange that the pain was in my diaphragm (which I’m very familiar with as a former woodwind musician).


Told the Telehealth nurse my symptoms and she told me to go to the emergency room. Being stubborn, I told them I had FINALLY found the first comfortable position in 3 hours (it was now 5am) so when it was no longer comfortable, I would go. I woke up at 8:30am without any more pain but the area around my diaphragm was VERY tired and sore. I took it easy that day (Sunday – thankfully the kids were at their dad’s that weekend so I was able to rest), and called my doctor’s office on Monday. I already had my overdue annual physical appointment for that Thursday and we agreed that if I had that type of pain attack again, then to go to the hospital immediately, but otherwise, come in for the annual physical, and they would order some tests.


Initial diagnosis from my appointment was a bleeding ulcer. Fantastic. Do you know how stressful it is to know that your stress levels are so high you now have an ulcer?!! Catch-22 situation. A whole bunch of tests were run (may I just include here how much I LOVE being Canadian…free health care!) and I finally got the last ones back today. It’s not a bleeding ulcer (yay!). It’s 2 gallstones instead. Ugh.


At the end of the day, and despite living in Canada where medical things are FREE (thank you OHIP!), I have done the usual thing that mothers do…ignored my own needs to ensure I’m healthy. So please, if you haven’t had your annual physical in the past year/5 years/since your kids were born, please go. You never know what’s “brewing”. In my case, it’s 2 gallstones that may require surgery if we can’t manage it through medication and diet.


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