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 Post subject: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Last year I had a horrific cough that caused serious ouch in my left ribcage. I thought possibly I might have cracked a rib from coughing, but several people saidthat was unlikely.

Currently, the exact same spot is hurting. Right on my side under my breast. I have a mild cough but very mild. Pressing the spot does not cause pain, but breathing deeply does, or coughing, sleeping on my side, especially that side.

I can't decide if I should have it looked at or if it's just something that will go away. It does seem like the pain is getting sharper even though the coughg is disappearing.

Thoughts? Anyone else dealt with this?

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:46 pm 
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You should call your doctor's office. Not to alarm you, but a pulmonary embolism can cause the kind of pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath.


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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:01 pm 
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It is possible to fracture a rib from coughing. It is unlikely depending on your age and other factors, but it came up repeatedly when I was researching my own rib pain a few months ago. I would see a doctor just in case. It will have to heal on its own but knowledge of the cause and the severity will help you prevent it from getting worse and taking longer to heal.

My rib pain was caused by strained intercostal muscles, which can also be caused by coughing (pole dancing for me!), but I did see a doctor to rule out a fracture (so I could get back on the pole!).


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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:51 pm 
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I've known relatively young people to crack a rib when they had a pretty extreme cough. I'd definitely see a doctor.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Thanks. I am going into town for something this afternoon so it'd be easy enough to just step into urgent care and have them look.

I went in a week or so ago and mentioned it and the doc said I didn't look sick and prescribed antibiotics. I was really ticked but at the time I was too sick and exhausted to argue.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:09 pm 
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I've had that same sort of thing happen from coughing, and I think it was probably a pulled muscle. It just felt like what you're describing, actually in the exact same spot. I've had it happen more than once, and each time it gradually got better over a few weeks. (Not being able to sleep on your side is the worst, though!)

That said, I didn't actually get it confirmed by a doctor, so it's definitely a good idea to get it checked out just in case!

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Today ended up being really crazy. I decided I'll call my actual doctor in the morning and see what she recommends. Gunk's pulled muscle theory sounds very plausible.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:22 pm 
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+1 on Intercostal muscle tears and they can hurt as much as a cracked rib for sure (had both several times). I frequently end up with serious residual rib pain after bouts of bronchitis: it is pretty funny to watch me cough when I am trying to press on the various parts of my ribs with elbows/hands/forearms...I kinda look like Joe Cocker singing in the 70's.


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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:29 pm 
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I had an injury nearly 2 months ago where I fell and hit the edge of a platform on my upper stomach. My injury happened below my ribs but every once in a while (like yesterday), I'll have a dull pain. I'm considering going to the doctor but I figure they'll look at me and say 'you are fine'.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:09 pm 
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I walked around with something like that for awhile before, and when I finally went to the dr, he found I had bronchitis. He needed an x-ray to find it, couldn't hear anything when he listened to my chest. I thought the same thing though, that it was a torn muscle or rib problem from coughing.


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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:25 pm 
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I used to have costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage in your ribbal area.

It hurt when I took a deep breath. It came and went on its own for a while. (A couple years?)

I didn't do anything about, though.

Talk with your doc.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:33 pm 
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I totally cracked a rib from coughing when I had bronchitis as a teenager! Seeing a doctor to make sure it's not something else is probably good, or to get prescribed antibiotics if you're still coughing, but if it is a cracked rib there's nothing that they can actually do for it. My doctor told me to wrap a pillow around my ribcage and cough real hard at least once a day, since often people with bronchitis who hurt their ribs start breathing more shallowly because of the pain, leading to pneumonia.


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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:10 am 
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What All Happened Yesterday, and Yes, It Becomes a Rant:

*Rib still hurting pretty badly. Called my doctor right after 8am to check about it. They said a nurse would call me back.

*Five hours later the nurse calls back, says it's probably just inflammation of the lungs, but Dr W ordered an X-ray just to double check. I had her send it to the hospital across the street from where I was going to be taking Lou Who to her pedi appt.

*Headed over to the Hospital for the Xray after Lou Who's appt. Got all checked in. Went to the imaging dept and the receptionist realised it was me getting the xray and not Lou Who. She expressed some doubt whether I could get the xray with Lou Who.

*About 20 min later the gal calls me and talks the whole way back to the room about not knowing what to do with Lou Who. Discussion takes place with another guy about hospital policy absolutely prohibiting anyone holding the baby while I get the xray.

*They have me sit down to try to find someone to come hold the baby. I explain I live 30 min away, my friends in that town would still be at work (or I just don't have their numbers), closest other friends are 20 min away. Guy tries to offer me a food card to go get food if I need to wait for someone to come. That really rankled me. I hate being bribed or placated with food that way. Long story why.

*Lady came back and I said I was just going home. I was in tears by this point. In pain, exhausted, extremely irritated. She kept trying to explain and I finally just said, "You don't need to explain." I cried most of the drive home. Which hurt.

*I decided as driving home to just drop Lou Who with my husband and go back, so I did. I was angry and fuming but by the time I got back I really just felt hollow and worn out. The lady at the desk informed me that there was actually an xray place 10 minutes away from our home. Thanks, lady.

*Got the xrays. Took maybe a couple minutes.

*My guess is I'll probably hear from Dr W around 450pm tomorrow.

*Ya know, I understand about risk and liability and stuff. We have all that stuff at church too (I work with the kids). But to have the receptionist not check immediately if she had question in her mind about the baby was just rude. Total waste of 20 or whatever minutes for me, and a waste of gas having to make an extra trip.

*I was totally wiped out after all this. And slightly bitter. And just wish it didn't hurt so much to cry. This morning the pain is no better.

*One of my friends informed me after all this was over that she had an xray and a nurse held her baby and talked to her toddler while it was done. We're both on OHP currently (sometimes I feel like they just pick on people who are on OHP, but that apparently isn't the case with this).

Here's the thing: 2 weeks ago I went into urgent care because I was having some chest pain while coughing (albeit more throughout my chest area rather than just this one spot). The doc that day was a total jerk and told me I "didn't look sick" and prescribed antibiotics. And talked about his grandkids. He did listen to my lungs but didn't even suggest an xray. So I'm going to be extra annoyed if this really IS something that's a big deal that maybe we could have started addressing, you know, two weeks ago.

So, anyway. Hoping I find out an answer soon.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:22 am 
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Conclusion of the matter: strained/pulled muscle.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:47 am 
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butterbobbin, glad you have nothing broken. your misadventure made me so mad the other day reading it, just fuming. feel better soon!

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:21 am 
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Thanks! She says it should be better in 2-3 weeks. I feel better just knowing that's all it is.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:32 pm 
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I'd give you a hug but I'm afraid it would hurt. I had to painfully yell at everyone in my house to stay off my of my ribs when this happened to me. I hope you feel better soon. May the Force of Ibuprofen be with you.

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 Post subject: Re: So, let's talk about ribs for a minute. Or maybe lungs.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Thanks :-) You know, what's weird to me is that last night I took the Tramadol she prescribed me, and I noticed no relief from the pain whatsoever, but today I've taken none and it feels almost normal. Almost.

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