Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spontaneous dislocated rib and a trip to the ER

'bout a week ago, I felt a rib in my back 'pop out'. I went to the chiropracture thinking that perhaps I had simply sublaxed it, but nope... indeedy - it was dislocated. I was laying in bed watching tv when it went out.

I've had that happen once before (but on the other side). That time, I had severe shoulder pain that radiated down my arm for several hours... I thought I had pinched a nerve then. And had been taking it SUPER easy at work (i.e., doing something that meant I didn't have to move my arms nor head)... when 'kapow' - I thought I had thrown my back out. That time, it was four ribs that popped out.  Chiropractor helped me then, as well. Only at the time, he didn't believe me when I told him that they had popped out on their own (or he would have sent me to the ER). After about 36 more hours of utter pain and misery, I did finally go to the ER back then... and come to find out that while it's a rare symptom - that people with Pulmonary Embolisms can have their ribs spontaneously dislocate.

This time - there were no other pains... no issues with breathing. Just the over-all fatigue and leg pain that I've been dealing with for a really long time... so, like last time..... I went to the chiropractor, let him adjust me and put the rib back where it belongs and went home.

Monday noon rolls around... and I started to have shoulder pain that radiated down my arm. And pressure on my chest. And pain on deep breaths. I tried to convince myself since the pain was mild... persistent, but mild. That I didn't need to go to the ER. That lasted about an hour. When the pain wasn't going away... I finally went into the ER.

Let me tell you what - complain of shoulder pain radiating down your arm? And they press the red button at the front desk and I had two nurses meet me before they even got through taking my name. EKG came out normal. Normally this would be followed with a ct scan to rule out pulmonary embolism... but over the last several years I've aquired an allergy on the contrast agent they use for the ct scans. So, they did a vq scan instead - which came back normal as well. Chest xrays were also used as the spot in my back where the rib had popped out had gone from being sore to feelling pain free, to being QUITE sharply painful and while I didn't feel it go out again - dislocated ribs are notorious for wanting to pop out again... so they took x-rays to confirm that the ribs were where they belonged (which of course they were).

I'm home, working from the recliner with my feet up, sweats on, and the laptop on my lap... trying to take it easy. With only two days left before a long weekend... I'm thinking that this is just the ticket.

Sadly, today I woke up with a headache on top of the other symptoms... but at least I'm not running around and dealing with stuff that I don't want to deal with. I'm supposed to go back to the ER if things get worse... but the shoulder/arm pain and chest pressure seems to be pretty consistent. Hopefully it will all pass and I'll feel better quickly.

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