Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Worst Is Not To Come

So I've superstitiously avoided posting anything about this, but I've had this terrible pain in the sides of my abdomen that's come and gone for about two months now. It started when we were in Italy, but then went away. Then it came again a few weeks after we got back and has come and gone since then at seemingly random intervals.

I went to see my doc and he ended up ordering up an ultrasound that looked at just about everything in every organ group in that general vicinity (I'll spare you the details) and found pretty much nothing. That should be reassuring, but when you're still hurting it's more or less not. So I made another appointment and have been googling all kinds of things. From IBS to colon cancer to Polycystic ovaries to whatever, just trying to find something that might resemble what I'm feeling.

The thing is, about the year that Wayne and I got married, my aunt (who was in her 40s) died of cancer. She left behind four school-aged children in this heartbreaking scenario that was reminiscent of that awful scene in Terms of Endearment where Debra Winger's character says goodbye to her kids. My aunt had been to her doctor for months before her cancer diagnosis, only to be told she was suffering from "allergies". By the time she got the cancer diagnosis, it was largely too late. So now that I'm a mom, whenever I've had any little weird pain or twitch, all that she went through comes back to haunt me. I'm not the hypochondriac type, and I'm generally very healthy, but there's always that worry of "what if this is worse than something minor". Couple that with my legendarily high pain tolerance (which, contrary to what people might think, is usually not a good thing, since you often don't know if something is wrong with you until it's REALLY WRONG) and it's been a recipe for a lot of stressful late-night conjecture lately.

So I've got this other doctor's appointment scheduled for next week, but as I was stretching two days ago, hubby noticed how incredibly tight my back was. I'm normally freakily flexible. With his advice, I took myself off to my chiropractor and discovered that I've injured a big muscle group in my back, and that causes all kinds of "referred pain" in the sides of the abdominal area. Phew!

The reason this started on our Italy trip might've had something to do with repeatedly hauling our 50-pound bike-carrying suitcases on and off of multiple trains. Ya think? So the good news is that nothing life-threatening is on my horizon that I know of. And the bad news is that I'm not able to play volleyball right now, and probably won't be running for a week or two either just to give everything time to heal up. I'll be back to see my chiropractor, who when he's treating me I swear could double as a medieval torture specialist. But I can't argue with the fact that all of his poking and prodding and cracking works. I feel a lot better today than I have in weeks.

We'll be hunkered down for an old-fashioned family at-home Christmas this week, so I wish everyone who is celebrating a holiday to have a good one. I'll definitely be remembering to say a prayer of gratitude for my good health and even for my pain and troubles because it reminds me not to take for granted the way my body does so much for me so easily most of the time.


Tri Mom said...

Merry Christmas! So glad you found out what was causing you so much pain! Enjoy this special time of the year! Here's to 2009!

Coachhrd said...

I think people are correct to be ultra-sensitive about unusual pains they recognize within their bodies. Ever since one of our neighbors regularly complained of headaches, but was told, "it's nothing", then a cancerous tumor was ultimately discovered; I've learned to ask lots of questions.

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Whew - glad to hear everything has worked out and you have an extra reason for treating yourself to a few more massages.