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    Severe left rib cage pain
    sbncmo posted:
    I know this community deals with back pain as I have other discussions here, but I couldn't find a community to address the problem I am having. I'm hoping someone can help. Here goes:

    At the end of December, I developed a very bad cold with a cough that seemed to be ripping my insides out. After 10 days of no relief, I went to my doctor, Jan. 7th, & she prescribed a Z-pack & Tussin Pearls, then quarentined me for 5 days because I have weak lungs & she didn't want me exposed to any sickness, though I was not contagious myself. Within a week, the coughing had stopped, but I was still very achy around my ribs. Then I had a week without pain.

    On Jan. 22nd, I developed such severe pain from my chestbone around my left rib cage to my spine. In the past 10 days, the pain has become worse. I can't take a deep breath. I can't reach up or out for anything, I can't hold anything in my left hand. If I sit all the way back in a chair, I can't pull myself out of the chair.

    I don't know what to do. I asked my husband about taking me to the ER, but he said there isn't anything that can be done if it is a pulled muscle. Any suggestions?

    Keep up the fight!
    bj1208 responded:
    hi shelia - I would say make an appt with your doctor - and in the meantime if it does become unbearable then do go to the ER -

    however, I have had similar problems - last year - when I had walking pneumonia twice - I had coughing bouts that were so bad that i pulled the muscles around my rib cage - it hurt so bad - i went back and the doctor said I had bruised the inside of my ribs -

    but please make the appt and get checked out - there could be several things that could be causing this - and you want to make sure what it is -

    let us know what happens - take care - ^Joy^
    sbncmo replied to bj1208's response:
    Hi Joy,

    I posted a reply this morning, but for some reason, it didn't post, so here's my second attempt.

    I tried to see my doctor Friday morning, but she is out of the country on a mission tour, so her nurse had me see the nurse practioner. The nurse practioner wouldn't treat me, seeing how bad I was & sent me to the ER. I told the ER doctor that my family doctor had diagnosed me at the start of January with pulled rib muscles & bruises from a really, really bad cold the end of Dec/first of Jan, that she had treated me & that after a week I seemed to be okay, but a week after that, I was in severe pain again, that I can't even get out of bed by myself or out of a chair if I sit all the way back. I was in the ER for 8 hours. The first 4 hours, they were running all their tests, x-rays, lab, etc. The ER doctor was concerned because my oxygen levels kept dropping below 90% & said if we didn't get the muscles to relax, that my lower lung could collapse. So they gave me a morphine shot, hoping to stop the pain which would stop the muscle spasms & checked on me 45 minutes later & it hadn't helped at all, so they gave me another one. Another 45 minutes, no relief. So he gave me a drug cocktail - the strongest narcotic muscle relaxant, a booster to make the relaxant work better, and something to settle my stomach. Well, it relaxed me - too much. I kept starting to sleep & every time I did, my oxygen dropped below 80% because I wasn't breathing, so the nurse made me sit up. After 30 minutes, they released me with a warning not to sleep until the shot wore off. After I got home, I laid back in a recliner & still kept drifting off & I would either cough & wake up or my husband would call to me to wake me up. I finally went to bed at 2 a.m., but the shot hadn't worn off like I thought it had. For the next 2 hours, my husband had to shaking me awake because I stopped breathing. It finally wore off at 4 a.m. Sat morning.

    Then around 4 a.m. this morning (Sun), I tried to roll out of bed to take a pain pill & couldn't get up, so my husband helped me up. When I got back & sat on the bed, I was crying from the pain & asked him to take me back to the ER. I told the ER doctor everything I had told them Friday, that I had pulled muscles, that the 1st ER doc was concerned about the lower lung collapsing if we didn't get the muscles to relax. But they ran all the same tests again. Then the stupid ER doc pulled my husband aside & told him they couldn't find anything wrong, so it was all psychosomatic. I was so mad! I had told him that my family doctor had already diagnosed pulled rib muscles & bruises inside my ribs - of course nothing would show up on their tests! And they wouldn't give me any more shots - probably because of what happened Friday.

    Anyway, I'm home & I'm trying to keep going on as if nothing was wrong until the pain becames unbearable again, trying to deal with the pain & not baby my left side, using ice/heat & muscle relaxers. Even so, it is difficult to take a deep breathe, but what can I do? And for some reason, this mornings' ER doc told me to stop taking the Rx pain med that Friday's ER doc prescribed. It doesn't make sense to me.

    I'm just so irritated with this mornings' ER doc. When you wake up, crying before you wake up, it is not psychosomatic - that pain is real!

    Anyway, just wanted to update you.

    Keep up the fight!
    bj1208 replied to sbncmo's response:
    hi shelia - gosh am so sorry this happened - dang i think i would tell my pcp and have him/her yell at the ER doc's - sometimes the ER doc's can be so rude and just downright WRONG -

    I had my mom in the ER about a year ago after she had a seizure - the damn ER doc said they did ct scan and found she had tumors!!! OMG I was devastated - well come to find out it was not tumors but she does have 2 very small aneurysms - so I wished I had gone back and slapped that doc - but then again they are only saying what the radiologist reads - so

    I just hope that you are getting better - and if u do go to ER have them call ur DOC or better yet have ur DOC call - this way they will know it's not in ur head!

    take care - let us know how u are doing - ^Joy^
    sbncmo replied to bj1208's response:
    Hi Joy,

    Some docs shouldn't be allowed to practice. I did a doctor rating search on the ER doc I saw Sun morning & found he was rated the worst in every category. I don't know why he is allowed to be practicing.

    I hadn't mentioned how angry my husband looked after he talked to the doctor. When he came back in the room, I asked what the doc said & that was when he told me the doc said it was psychosomatic. When I asked what else, he wouldn't tell me. Last night I asked him again what the doc said & he said he didn't want to tell me because it made him mad & it would upset me. I told him from what he just said that I could guess what the doc said - that I was faking the pain & was trying to get some drugs. My husband said I was right. When I asked what else was said, he wouldn't tell me. So something even worse must have been said to make my husband mad, because it takes a LOT to make him angry.

    I figure that stupid doc just looked at the treatment given Friday, saw I have bi-polar & decided I was a psychotic junkie. If he had really looked at my records, he would have seen a confirmed diagnosis of pulled muscles, he would have seen that I've been in the ER less than half a dozen times & received medication only once - last Friday, and he would have seen that I am allergic to narcotic/opiod pain drugs.

    Anyway, my husband said if either of us have to go to the ER again & see that doc is on call, we will walk out & go to the next closest hospital 30 miles away. The bad thing is, they will not tell you who is on call before you go in because they've had too many patients refuse to come in because a certain doctor is on call. It seems to me that the obvious thing to do is get rid of the bad doctor instead of risking people's lives.

    I also learned a little more about the med I was given on Friday. It wasn't a pain med, it was an NSAID & could only be taken for 5 days. So the 2nd doc telling me to stop taking it was no big deal, except it hadn't been 5 days yet.

    I understand how you feel about what happened to your mom. We had a similar experience with my husband. He'd had a cold for a couple of weeks & I came home early Friday evening & found him on the bed, unable to talk clearly, numb down his entire right side - TIA (I'd seen several with my gma & knew what it was). I got him to the hospital & the doc said he had bronchitis. When we saw our family doc on Mon, he was really sick, sweating, pale, hard to breathe. The doc said something was seriously wrong & it wasn't bronchitis. She scheduled a CT scan for the next morning because one of the hospital tests came back with a high positive for blood clots. He had the scan done the next morning & we were told our doc would call the next day with the results. We didn't even get 3 miles away & the our doc called us back & put him in the hospital - he had multiple pulmonary embolisms! He died twice during the night & was resucitated, thank God. But he lost 1/3 of his lungs. They died from no oxygen. Our doctor was furious that a blood test proved positive for blood clots & the ER doc ignored it.

    Well, I've ranted a bit - sorry. I agree with your suggestion - I'll have my doc call ahead, if it's when she is available. And if we get the same ingoramous, we'll walk out. That's about all we can do.

    For now, I'm keeping an ice bag on my pulled muscles, moving it around so it's not in one place too long. Hopefully It will mend soon. It's a very painful thing. One good thing, if you can call it good, is that when the pulled muscles hurt at their worst, it takes my mind off the pain in my back. But the back pain is definitely still there.

    Well, talk again soon.

    Keep up the fight!
    bj1208 replied to sbncmo's response:
    Hi Shelia - damn - sorry this happened to ur husband - hope you sued the hospital - but.....

    I've gotten to where if my mom or father-n-law is in the hospital and they do tests I ask to see the results - i've gotten a couple of NO's from some ER doc's and I just tell them that they can either let me see the results or our family attorney - that gets them and I see the results!

    It's bad that we have to be that way but when it's our life or family's life at stake we don't want to just go on their word alone - it's bad that ER's have horrible doc's there and they should be let go and their license to practice should be suspended until they can actually know what they are practicing - after all, they take an oath!!!

    take care - ^Joy^
    sbncmo replied to bj1208's response:
    Hi Joy

    I absolutely agree with you. They shouldn't be allowed to practice.

    By law, we are allowed access to all of our medical records. I was ignorant of that fact when my husband had his PE's. Since I learned that, I have requested copies of my records at times. My family doc & a couple of my past docs have no problem giving me copies. I ought to call the hospital & request a copy of everything that quack wrote in my record Sunday. If he wrote in there what he told my husband, that will affect how future doctors treat me & that wouldn't be fair. Maybe I will!

    Well, thanks for all your support - on this & my back issues. It's great to have someone who understands & cares.

    Keep up the fight!
    HCHausmann responded:
    Oh Sheila, I noticed your post was old, over two years ago now and I am in the same exact boat you were in and am curious how long it took your bruised ribs and muscles to heal. The dates are uncannily similar to mine. I acquired a bad cold, diagnosed with severe bronchitis, first on Zpak, and Tussis also, then Azithromycin, and finally an inhaler. My cough has eased up alot and my sinuses are finally clearing up, but late at night, I battle with coughing once more and the pain is sometimes so severe I double over in pain. I agree pain is real, and it feels like someone has socked me in the ribs a dozen times. Please let me know what finally helped you. I am on my 5th week of cold symptoms, residual coughing and on Day 8 of deep pain in my left rib area. God bless you and I am sorry you were treated the way you were in ER.
    bj1208 replied to HCHausmann's response:
    Hi HCHausmann - welcome to the support group -

    this was the first and only post we had seen from Sheila - so not sure how she was/is doing since then.

    I can tell you that I recently went thru the same bout with bronchitis - I was on my 3rd bout with antibiotics, and inhaler and also these little bead meds (looks like vitamin E) and then I did something that helped out - don't think this is nuts because i remember my grandma telling me stories of what they did when she was a little girl.

    Onions - cut onions in half place in a bowl and put around the house - onions have been proven to absorb the bacteria in a room etc. says this is not true but I believe it was written by a doctor but go figure it's a doc that says it doesn't work as they want you to keep going to them!

    It does work - my grandma said her brother had pneumonia real bad so great grandma saute up onions, had him lay in tub and put these on his chest - it draws out all the bad bacteria - and he healed real fast.

    the best thing to help you at night - is to rub vicks on the bottom of your feet (put socks on) and prop your back up with an extra pillow so you are not laying flat on the bed as this will irritate the mucus.

    Oh in case you're wondering since I have been putting onions out no one in our household has gotten sick - and we live in the Mid-West where the temps have been crazy - warm/cold etc. s this does help!!
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~

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