Attempted Runner.

My Doctor said it wasn’t a heart attack…so, thats good.

The first of the month started out with a real shocker. Around noon, on August first, I was sitting at my desk and all the sudden got a sharp stabbing pain in my chest. The left side. Near my heart. My immediate thought, Heart Attack.

My second thought, “Good thing I work in a hospital.” The shooting pain was enough to make me do the squint-your-eyes-in-pain thing. I sat there for a minute to see what else happens. I didn’t have the arm pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, none of the symptoms of a heart attack. I relaxed for a quick second and thought I was ok and it was just maybe a spasm or gas bubble or something. I didn’t go into the Emergency room.

About a half hour or so later, I still felt the pain but it was now a dull ache. I googled it. Because you know…Google knows everything and can diagnose yourself perfectly. I did find out that I have had scurvy, the bubonic plague and Vampires Disease, because of Google.  So I Google symptoms of a heart attack. Magically, my arm started hurting, I started developing a fever, my jaw was hurting, I couldn’t breathe, I felt a burning sensation. I took Tums and Advil.

Hypochondria at its best.

I finally determined that was just a good ‘ol fashion panic attack. I looked at the RunDisney Disneyland 10k course map because it would help relax me. I went home and still had the pain on the left side. I didn’t do my planned workout, but instead laid around and continued to Google my symptoms. It got worse. I woke up and the pain was gone or at least very minimal. The rest of the day I was ok, until on my way home I got the side ache again. I started to panic again, naturally. I still ended up doing yoga that night and my chest felt fine. I got into bed, felt my side (where the pain was) twitching. I now thought maybe it was just a crazy ass muscle spasm.  My 10k was that Saturday and I still participated.

You know you’re a “dumb runner” when you don’t go to the emergency room after a possible heart attack because you’re afraid they’ll tell you that you cannot run your scheduled race.  :::gives a big grin and two thumbs up::::

I told myself I would run it but would walk if I needed to. Drop out if I had to (unlikely).  During my run, I didn’t have any chest pain and was perfectly fine. About 2 hours later, while shopping I started to get the pain feeling. It did die down that night and most of Sunday. Monday it would come and go throughout the day, I ran 1 mile and was perfectly fine. Tuesday it moved from the side of my chest, to the center. I still ran 1 mile and again during that mile I was perfectly fine. However, later that night It became like a “heavy” pressure, sort of. I didn’t have any other symptoms what’s so ever. Tuesday, my arm/fingers kept tingling but that’s typical when I have to do a certain set of audits. After determining that it was possibly, a heart attack, a pulmonary embolism, tuberculosis or lung cancer…I finally decided to email my doctor Wednesday night (I eventually do the smart thing).

Dr. Awesome called me that morning and told me that based on all my symptoms I had and didn’t have it didn’t sound like it was anything to do with the heart. It sounded more like a pulled muscle. I Googled those symptoms and determined it was now Costochondritis. Later, everything then also sounded like I was having a week-long panic attack (those do happen…Google told me). I started telling myself that, “It’s just some stupid anxiety and your head is creating this unnecessary pain in your chest.” I said that repeatedly…all day. It did seem to help as the pain didn’t get as bad. Come Friday, the heaviness was still around but not nearly as bad anymore. This morning I woke up and was feeling ok. I did our long run today (6.5 miles) and was perfectly fine the entire time. During lunch, I started to get the chest heaviness again. It feels like my rib on the left and my chest are bruised when I press on them. So, I don’t really know what I did or what I got. If it’s not one problem, it’s another right?

Any doctors our there? The week leading up to my pain I did the following:

  • Thursday, NTC circuit training using 5 lbs weights (that’s heavy for this weakling) and the Bosu ball.
  • Friday, Yoga for an hour.
  • Saturday – the 5k that I ran HARD.
  • Sunday and Monday, rested.
  • Tuesday – ran 3 miles
  • Wednesday – ran 2 miles
  • Thursday at noon – Got the pain.

Afterwards, resting would make it hurt/aggravated. Exercise – Don’t feel a thing.

Symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain under the breastbone (2-3 seconds) then remained on the left side of my ribcage (two days or so).
  • Dull ache, but still very noticeable off and on for 5-6 hours at a time, daily.
  • Tingling arm – 2-3 hours total (again, not sure if this had to do anything with work since around the same time I do the audits, I feel it).
  • Chest feels heavy.
  • Feels like my ribs where I got the original pain, and the upper part of chest is bruised when I press on it.

It does not:

  • hurt when I cough, sneeze or take deep breaths.
  • I’m not coughing any more than usual and no mucous (my doc asked me that. Figured its important).
  • is not hard to breathe.

Any ideas? If it still hurts between now and Tuesday, I’ll contact my doctor again and ask if there are any tests/exams that I can do to figure it out what it is.

Bright side: At least the constant pain isn’t a heart attack, because after a 9 days no ones heart would be able to handle that.

Best news: my hip bursitis did not hurt one bit today!!!

Now, moving onto the more exciting part of this post.

The other night I mapped out our course for the today’s long run. I picked the streets at random and just did something to equal 6.5 miles. In the end, I came up with a dead body outline.

J and I took it slow today. Her hips were stiff and my chest issues, we went slow. We did an average of 14:30 minute miles. We walked more than most. We even stopped at the park for a minute or so.

After we got back to Fleet Feet, the Nuun station was put away (that’s how slow we were), so we walked the Farmers market for free samples then had lunch and shopped at Target . I ended up buying a little Igloo water jug (1/2 gallon) thing that we’ll be using on Long Run Saturdays because if we’re extending our long runs out by even longer runs and we run my usual of 12:30 minute miles….we’re no were close to returning the same time the 7-9 minute milers do. A few weeks prior when we got back from our 5.5 mile run, the Nuun was out but was almost empty. We’ll just bring our own, so HA! defeated that system. I even told J that I’d duct tape some Dixie cups on the side of our water jug and it’ll be just a smaller version of what the pro’s use at football games. I’ll be spending my Friday nights making ice cubes!

Here’s a few photos from todays run. Enjoy!

J can do high knees!

I can run backwards!

You might be wondering what that white square on my shirt is. Well…Genius me invented Direction Stickers. Rather than memorizing a bunch of lefts, rights, street names, landmarks or taking my phone out looking at the directions AND not to waste expensive labels. I up-cycled. I took one of the old medical record labels that we no longer use, wrote the directions down on it and stuck that bad boy right onto my shirt. When I needed to know where to go, all I did was look down and be like..Ahhh, turn left here! Sometimes I can be really smart, by making Directional stickers. Other times, I am not….by going to the ER/emailing my doctor sooner.




6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I strained my pectoral muscle and it felt like what you are describing, however the pain didn’t go away and come back, I did have a heart issue as well and it wasn’t a heart attack, but the pain did come and go and it ended up being a pretty big deal. Perhaps going to the doc,getting some more detailed heart tests would be a good thing just to be on the safe side of things! 🙂

Comment by runningtoherdreams

Well, that just adds to the list of issues I have.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Awe I’m sorry, I don’t think it’s anything serious, but with the symptoms knowing for certain is good. 🙂 My pec muscle took about 3 weeks to heal I think? Epsom salt baths did help though 🙂

Comment by runningtoherdreams

I’m glad it’s not a likely heart attack!

Comment by Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Believe me…..same here.

Comment by Attempted Runner

I still think you should go see Dr. Awesome.

Comment by Runningfromitall

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