Sunday, August 16, 2009

Costochondritis - Getting Diagnosed

There are many doctors who are unfamiliar with costochondritis. I was told the pain was in my head and to go on anti-depressents. I was furious...but didn't give up. You and I both know how real the pain is. If you experience the same reaction, I can't tell you what to do....but my friends, I would go to another doctor.

When most people get diagnosed, they have gone through a multitude of tests. It's often diagnosed by a process of elimination. Make sure you are cleared by a cardiologist! For me, after ruling out all auto-immune diseases, spine problems, and having bones scans, chest x-rays, Ultrasounds, MRI's, blood work and more...I found a pain management (pysiatrist) doctor who diagnosed me. I was so thankful...and the frantic search for healing =)

How did you get diagnosed?


  1. hi lucy- feeling a little blue/discouraged today... ive noticed that my sternum area is swollen now, and it wasnt before. i guess this means ive developed tietze syndrome. i went to see a second opionion rheumy who says costo/tietze the same, and we both know they are not. was researching tietze last night and came up with some upsetting news regarding its relationship to other things, among them lymphoma. i have a mild spine issue (degerative disc- thoracic) which i understand is not supposed to generate pain, although i have tremendous back pain in that area. been thinking that pain is related to the costo since it is directly opposite the chest pain and i am hearing lots of stories from others with costo validating this. i suppose it could simply be costo having some effet on the degenrative disc... dunno. anyway, this rheumy sending me for blood work/imaging to rule out certain autoimmune arthritis issues, like ankylosing spondolitis. just when i thought the testing was over! still on the diagnostic roaller coaster it seems. im thinking maybe i should go to univ penn hospital. its not too far from me by train.... btw, pain has definately improved- i think the noni, bromelain and arnica helping. back pain better, but easily aggravated by sitting in the wrong position. just got a new chaise (comfy by anyones standards) that hurts it. sitting straight up seems to be ok. lounging not ok....supposed to go back to work next month, obviously since i am not yet 100% im alittle scared, but i am hopeful the improvement will continue. looking forward to being around ppl and contributing good in the world. how are you doing today?? before i go, i want to share something with you that i read last night:

    child of mine,
    i know you find it difficult at times to remain patient. look at patience as if you were a farmer waiting for a field to grow. before he is able to harvest his reward, he must diligently wait for the right season. allow me to work out things for good in your life, and give me time to do it. cast your anxieties on me, and rest in my love. you will have your answers in due season, becasue paitence wil bring reward to your life.

    lucy, god is working things our for good in our lives, and we must give him time to do it. doesnt that feel right? it does to me.

  2. Hi anonymous,

    Thanks so much for sharing all of that with me! The God paragraph was beautiful! Awesome.

    I know where you are and it can be really scary. I'll be praying for you tonight. I remember the night I was researching and found ankylosing spondolitis and the other issues. And I know it's overwhelming. May I just encourage you right now and let you know I'll be praying for you tonight.

    Something good to remember is that in a lot of cases, not all, but many- when costo is present with a disease like this, it comes after the disease has presented itself. And AS is really really rare in women. I had to get tested for that as well.

    However, I know it's really peaceful to have all the test done, I'm glad you're doing them. Will you keep me posted?

    I'm sending a hug your way, hang in there, keep digging. You are doing great ruling all kinds of stuff out. Thank you again for sharing your heart with me.

    Hugs and Healing to you,

  3. lucy,

    i am going crazy being home doing nothing. realistically, i am not physically able, but while i wait for healing, it feels as though i am not contributing any good to the world. i admire your efforts- you have taken a challenge and turned it into an acheivement, and are helping others. how awesome! i beleive everything happens to us for a reason. i ask everyday for whatever i need to know to be revealed to me. i even thank god for the good i am being prepped for. in the meantime, i feel so useless. somehow i dont seem to think its okay to do nothing. maybe i just need to give myself permission to rest. lucy, in your experience, have you had these feelings?

  4. Hi there,

    That's a very generous complement, thank you! Very sweet of you.

    I believe that everything happens for a reason as well. And sometimes it's about us, and sometimes it's not.

    As per the feelings, oh mercy, yes! I totally understand what you're saying. I've so been there. And these days, I feel that way when it comes to my family- that because of my pain I'm never helping enough. It's a really cruddy feeling. And I totally believe that Satan uses this guilt in us to drag us down a dark hole. You tell him to go hack to Hades! And yes, you just give yourself permission to rest. I know it's really hard. Often I would wait for someone else to give me that permission- but you are right- that permission has to come from us. My hubby has helped me to realize, although not always successfully, that my job is to get well and get close to the Lord, so that when I'm well, I can shoot out of the gate and really contribute to my family and society. So maybe that's one way to think about it so that you can allow yourself to rest, and feel peaceful while you rest.

    Thanks for sharing, I'm always here to listen. Hugs to you,

  5. I believe that everything happens for a reason as well. And sometimes it's about us, and sometimes it's not.

    how true! thanks for the encouragement lucy. its nice to have you to talk to.

    its a 'good day' so far- cold almost 100% gone (thank god- not too much coughing) and low on the pain-o-meter. i hope you are having a good one too.

  6. I have had cost for awhile now and it is easy for me to get frustrated on bad days. I too wonder why we have to go through this or why it has to last so long? We just have to do what we can and try to stay positive.