Monday, January 2, 2012


Do you ever self-diagnose your problems? I do, often.

For one thing, there's a wealth of information out there with which to educate myself about any particular ailment, or whatever else may be bothering me.

For another thing, doctors' visits are expensive, especially when you (like I do) have to meet a fairly high deductible out of pocket before your insurance will start to pitch in and help any at all.

So I self-diagnose.

Right now, I'm suffering from costochondritis...I think. It could be simply a pulled or strained muscle. Either way, I have a good deal of pain at my right ribcage that intensifies with every deep breath I take. It wakes me up at night. Last night only once, but the night before it was three times.

Interestingly enough, costochondritis often presents itself in many of the same ways as a heart attack, and should therefore be taken quite seriously. So I hit the internet and "solved" my problem.

This condition, its cause unknown and its treatment merely pain management, often affects women more often than men, and generally causes discomfort in the left side more often than the right. Leave it to me to be the exception. But it's the diagnosis that fits the best, if you take and the sites with more than a grain of salt (and I do).

So, I take my NSAIDS and rest while waiting for this inflammation of the tissue connecting the ribcage to the sternum to subside.

Call it foolish if you will. Call it being a cheapskate. It doesn't matter to me either way. I'm not dying, just hurting. And I'm a heckuva lot better off financially for not going in to get who-knows-how-many tests done, only to find out what I think I already know (ruling out everything else first is how costochondritis is most often ultimately diagnosed).

There may be a touch of the hypochondriac in my nature, as I am often suspicious that I may have such-and-such an ailment at times. Like obsessive compulsive disorder, antisocial personality tendencies, and a "funny neck" (this is not the proper medical term, but there really isn't a word to describe a neck that can't ever quite fully relax in any position).

But it is what it is, and so am I. Lord help me!

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