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Sir, please remove your knife from my lung.

SikarianSikarian Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Medical question ahoy!

I've had this problem for as long as I can remember, a long time, so I bank on if it were fatal, I probably would be dead :(

It's more of a nuisance than anything, because it rarely happens. I don't think its happened in the last couple months, then just happened now, and before that last couple months, probably a few months before that.

But basically it'll feel like my lung is being stabbed if I try to move. If I sit still, I'm fine, and I can breathe normally. However if I try to take a real deep breath, theres a pain in my lung (this time it's the right lung, at the top a little above my nipple, sometimes the left does it too). Random places. It usually passes after about 5-10 minutes, but if I try to stand up during the beginning of it, it hurts even more...if I try to straighten my back, it hurts.

But if I just sit still, breathe normal, I can continue like normal whatever im doin. Just can't move without it hurting some. After bout 5-10 minutes, it passes and I'm hunky dorey, no problem. As the pain subsides and more time passes, I can do more with it hurting less. I can take deeper breathes, I can stand, I can stretch better.

Any ideas? I'm 6' 2", 245lbs, don't smoke, don't hang around anyone who does, extremely rare on the alcohol, no drugs.

Also, "in b4 go 2 doctor". I havn't been to the doctor in many moons, and if I felt my life were in danger i might, but considering I've had this for years and years, I think it's more of a chronic thingy just to deal with. But... we'll see what general thread input is :)

Sikarian on

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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Sikarian wrote: »
    Also, "in b4 go 2 doctor". I havn't been to the doctor in many moons, and if I felt my life were in danger i might, but considering I've had this for years and years, I think it's more of a chronic thingy just to deal with. But... we'll see what general thread input is :)

    Let's see... random, unexplained, chronic chest pain? Go to the doctor. Seriously, it's the only way you'll get anything other than wild speculation.

    Daenris on
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    NinyuNinyu Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Ninyu on
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    DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Also, "in b4 go 2 doctor". I havn't been to the doctor in many moons, and if I felt my life were in danger i might, but considering I've had this for years and years, I think it's more of a chronic thingy just to deal with. But... we'll see what general thread input is

    My general input is: Go to a doctor. Seriously.

    Thinking "Well, it won't kill me, so it's not worth looking at", is bound to cause trouble sooner or later, especially if it's something that's causing cumulative damage or otherwise making permanent negative changes happen somewhere.

    Even if whatever it is can't be gotten rid of completely, they could very well be able to something to damp it down - if it's possibly pleurisy as the above poster says, take the article's advice and (again) get to a doctor ASAP to find out what underlying problem is causing it.

    Deathwing on
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    shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I was going to scold you (the OP) for asking your question here before even consulting with a doctor.

    Unless you're past middle age and in your "twilight years", chronic little pains that you don't know the cause of are usually warning signs. Maybe you're not dying, but there's all sorts of bad things that could be building up because you're not bothering to consult a doctor.

    Any inexplicable pain that lasts more than one week should be investigated.

    shutz on
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    casper_27dcasper_27d The Friendly Ghost EverywhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I had something that sounds similar a couple years ago, it turned out it was the intercostal muscles cramping (they are the muscles between your ribs). Unfortunetly there was nothing the doctor could due and he said it would pass with time.

    casper_27d on
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    SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    casper_27d wrote: »
    I had something that sounds similar a couple years ago, it turned out it was the intercostal muscles cramping (they are the muscles between your ribs). Unfortunetly there was nothing the doctor could due and he said it would pass with time.

    That said, the OP should still go to the doc to get their own discouraging news. :) Just in case it's something treatable. (Not griping at you, casper, just steering away from the "it might be nothing, don't need to go" idea, since the OP has that attitude already)

    Solandra on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I can sort of understand the "no doctor!" thing for a cold or the flu but those symptoms sound potentially fucking serious. A few years back I was getting stabbing pain in my stomach when I lay down and it turned out that I had a chronic stomach disease, so my advice is to go see a real doctor and at least identify the issue.

    Kalkino on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    How long has this pain been going on? It sounds like a possibly series of smaller pulmonary embolisms or possibly some measure of inflammation.

    Either way, uh dude - random spats of chronic chest pain is really not something to dick around with. I don't know how old you are - but this isn't something I'd recommend any of my patients to ignore.

    MegaMan001 on
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    mastmanmastman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    important organs reside in the chest.

    if they hurt, especially stabbings, that can't be good.

    mastman on
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'd bet dollars to donuts that you have Precordial Catch Syndrome. It is temporarily painful, but ultimately harmless.

    This doesn't mean you shouldn't see a doctor, though, just to be sure.

    CycloneRanger on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You said it happens once every 3 months?! Probably what my doctor called "stabbing chest pains," what CycloneRanger identified as "PCS."

    Seriously guys, something that happens for 30 seconds once every few months is not "chronic pain."

    tsmvengy on
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    ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Wow I had something very similar to this when I was in elementary school that persisted frequently up until about high school, and now it is extremely rare for me to get an 'episode' but it still happens every 6 months or so.

    Felt like a sharp pain whenever I inhaled deeply on my right midsection along my lower ribs, so I had to basically lay down and breathe very shallow until It passed. Went to a doctor once and I think he called it "slipping rib syndrome", although it does sound very similar to the linked description of PCS.

    I still think you should see a doctor, because as has been said your chest is where most of your vital organs live and chronic pain there should be taken very seriously.

    Scosglen on
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    JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I have the same type of pain at the same frequency you do and there's nothing wrong with me. Still get it checked out if you're worried, but like tsmvengy says, it's not a chronic pain.

    Janson on
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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    You said it happens once every 3 months?! Probably what my doctor called "stabbing chest pains," what CycloneRanger identified as "PCS."

    Seriously guys, something that happens for 30 seconds once every few months is not "chronic pain."

    Okay... repetitive pain. It's happened for a while, even if infrequently. It still requires a checkup to figure out what's wrong, even if it's not chronic.

    Daenris on
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    HlubockyHlubocky Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I get this every once in a while. For whatever reason, if I beat on my chest right where the pain is as I take a deep breath, the problem goes away. That probably doesn't sound too scientific, huh?

    Edit: I guess wikipedia might be confirming my solution (sort of):
    Although deep inhalation during a PCS attack will likely cause an increase in pain, many have found that forcing themselves to breathe as deeply as possible will result in a "popping" sensation which quickly and completely resolves the PCS episode.

    Hlubocky on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    This is almost definitely PCS and you shouldn't waste your doctor's time unless it hurts continuously for more than a few minutes.

    Azio on
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    UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I get something like that every now and again around my rib cage area. I always assumed it was just a muscle cramp.

    Underdog on
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    CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    This is almost definitely PCS and you shouldn't waste your doctor's time unless it hurts continuously for more than a few minutes.

    If your doctor thinks that coming in with chest pain is a "waste of their time", you need to find a new doctor. Preferably one who still remembers they're a doctor.

    Granted, yes - it's quite likely PCS. I was properly diagnosed with the same thing, but the key is I saw a doctor about it. It's good to know that it's nothing else serious, and since there's a possibility the "attacks" are brought on by stress, knowing that it's nothing serious actually helps. As an added bonus, I've noticed the frequency has dropped significantly as I've gotten older.

    But go schedule a quick, non-emergency checkup, get it looked at, and live comfortably knowing it's not serious.

    Cycophant on
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    FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    This used to happen to me once i a while when I was a teenager. If a full breath gave me that stabbing pain I would just take a few short breaths and then everything was fine. Hasn't happened to me in a very long time.

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    KenninatorKenninator Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Same thing happened to me a few times maybe 5 years back. Hasn't happened recently. Good to know I should at least see a doctor if it happens again. Better safe than sorry I guess.

    Kenninator on
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    Sprocket FlossSprocket Floss Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I went to the doctor a while back with the exact symptoms you described. Can't remember what he said but it wasn't a big deal. I don't really get it any more

    Sprocket Floss on
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    DakalDakal Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I've had this condition most of my life as well. I asked my dad about it when I was a kid and he explained that he had it too, and that it was because of our family's genetic disposition to have oddly spaced rib cages. So, sometimes for no reason, although often shortly after running, I will get a sharp pain in my left chest area (not IN my heart) and if I take slow deep breaths I can get rid of it.

    In my case the pain is caused by my ribs pinching the outer layer of my lungs. Perhaps this is what is happening to you.

    Dakal on
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    Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    i get these too, but extremely infrequently.

    it's nice to know what they are - i had it happen to me last friday and my buddy was like, "dude, that's where your heart is." all serious, thinking i was going to die or something.

    i didn't.

    or did i?

    Xenocide Geek on
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    phoxphyrephoxphyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Wow, I get something similar to this too! It happened a lot when I was in my teens, and has lessened since then.

    I saw a doctor, and got the ol' "muscle cramp" diagnosis. It's a scary area to get pain in, so (like others here) go see a doctor. It's worth doing, really.

    If you can't afford it immediately, put it on the 'todo' list.

    phoxphyre on
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    nizlopinizlopi Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I GET THAT!!!!

    And you want to know what it is? Its only indigestion. My mum and sister get it to, and thats seriously all it is. Believe me, Ive had it checked out myself, and its not that uncommon.

    Its nice when I see other people have it to though, because when it happens it really freaking hurts, I have to work myself up to take a deep breath.

    nizlopi on
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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    GO TO A DOCTOR.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Hmm, I used to get something similar all the time. Usually on the right side in the back. Probably related to the fact that I had pneumonia as a child and my right lung collapsed. It happens pretty rarely anymore.

    Tofystedeth on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Cycophant wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    This is almost definitely PCS and you shouldn't waste your doctor's time unless it hurts continuously for more than a few minutes.

    If your doctor thinks that coming in with chest pain is a "waste of their time", you need to find a new doctor. Preferably one who still remembers they're a doctor.

    Granted, yes - it's quite likely PCS. I was properly diagnosed with the same thing, but the key is I saw a doctor about it. It's good to know that it's nothing else serious, and since there's a possibility the "attacks" are brought on by stress, knowing that it's nothing serious actually helps. As an added bonus, I've noticed the frequency has dropped significantly as I've gotten older.

    But go schedule a quick, non-emergency checkup, get it looked at, and live comfortably knowing it's not serious.
    You don't understand. This isn't "coming in with chest pain". This is coming in totally fine, and complaining that every once in a while, your chest hurts for about five minutes and then it goes away. Which is something that happens very frequently in adolescents, and is completely harmless.

    Azio on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited January 2008
    I'd bet dollars to donuts that you have Precordial Catch Syndrome. It is temporarily painful, but ultimately harmless.

    Ooh. That fits exactly what I have. It's kinda worried me since the pain is around the heart, and I'm also funnel-chested, so a nerve being pinched is pretty likely.

    Echo on
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    WalrusWalrus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Huh, PCS eh? I have this sometimes (very infrequently) usually when I'm just sitting around. Been wondering what it was, it's pretty annoying.

    Walrus on
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    wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Really great to know what this is, thanks for the PCS link. This has happened to me once every few months throughout my entire life, and it always seems to happen in a social setting like a dinner or a picnic where you have to act like everything's "normal". Can be very embaressing ..

    wallabeeX on
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    nizlopinizlopi Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    That PCS link has totally changed my mind, because that is 100% what I have had my whole life. I have to really work up the courage to make it 'pop' and most of the time I just sit gasping for a few moments. If you dont make it pop, sometimes I sit for longer than I have to gasping because I darent check if its gone :s

    I am a total wuss.

    nizlopi on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Had something similar to what the OP describes a few years ago. Started as a minor tightness in the chest, just a little uncomfortable. Five hours later I was in the emergency room. One of the most painful experiences ever. Like spears in the chest. Fucking horrible.

    Anyway, the ER doc called it (if I remember right) costilcongitis. Kind of like what casper_27d mentioned. Something about the bits that connect the ribs getting inflamed and swelling up. He gave me some NSAIDs and a shit-ton of Vicodin, both of which helped considerably. I've had a few (albeit minor) surgeries in my life, but NOTHING compared to this. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. If I had one anyway.

    firewaterword on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Sikarian wrote: »
    Also, "in b4 go 2 doctor". I havn't been to the doctor in many moons, and if I felt my life were in danger i might, but considering I've had this for years and years, I think it's more of a chronic thingy just to deal with. But... we'll see what general thread input is :)

    I just want to say that you shouldn't ignore your doctor completely if you don't feel your life is in danger. You should have a scheduled check up because shit can go wrong that you won't even know about until it's too late. Get yourself to a doctor for a check up at least. Mention anything that's been giving you any sort of problems, anything weird with your body because shit for all you know you could be in life threatening danger.

    DekuStick on
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    TamTam Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Yep, happens to me quite a lot, especially if I'm in a hunched/crouched position for too long.

    Tam on
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    SikarianSikarian Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Thanks for all the posts everyone. Never realized so many people had this. I'll get to a doctor when I can (btw, I'm 22), but unfortunately money is tight, and my insurance is shite. Same as everyone else, this mostly comes when I'm sitting down in a chair just doin nothin.

    Thanks for the help :)

    Sikarian on
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    CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Cycophant wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    This is almost definitely PCS and you shouldn't waste your doctor's time unless it hurts continuously for more than a few minutes.

    If your doctor thinks that coming in with chest pain is a "waste of their time", you need to find a new doctor. Preferably one who still remembers they're a doctor.

    Granted, yes - it's quite likely PCS. I was properly diagnosed with the same thing, but the key is I saw a doctor about it. It's good to know that it's nothing else serious, and since there's a possibility the "attacks" are brought on by stress, knowing that it's nothing serious actually helps. As an added bonus, I've noticed the frequency has dropped significantly as I've gotten older.

    But go schedule a quick, non-emergency checkup, get it looked at, and live comfortably knowing it's not serious.
    You don't understand. This isn't "coming in with chest pain". This is coming in totally fine, and complaining that every once in a while, your chest hurts for about five minutes and then it goes away. Which is something that happens very frequently in adolescents, and is completely harmless.

    I understand perfectly well. I'm willing to grant that if this is in the US, if you don't have some way of the doctor's visit being paid for you, going in for something that is probably PCS and therefore benign is something you can go without. (Edit: which as it turns out, may be the OP's option, since he/she has little extra money and minimal insurance)

    But you know what doctors hate much more than people who come in and turn out to be fine? People who self-diagnose themselves over the internet. Yes, sure - all his signs and symptoms point towards PCS. But if he's able to, why not schedule a quick appointment with a doctor for 5 minutes, and get his or her opinion? I stand by my previous statement; if your doctor is offended by patients who come in and turn out to be fine, you need to find an actual doctor who cares, not someone who's just in it for the money. Especially in a country like the US where you're actually paying them for their time.

    Cycophant on
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    sngngsweet3sngngsweet3 Registered User new member
    Did you ever go to the doctor and find out what it was? I have had something similar to this since I was a child. I did go to the doctor and the did a ton of tests over several months. In the end they told me that it was some sort of rare genetic condition that I can not remember the name of and that it is not life threatening. I have been trying to find the name of it recently and can't seem to find anything about it online. If you happen to have the same thing I would love to be reminded of the name.

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