Chest Pains

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Last year I started having some difficulty breathing deeply. I felt a
tightness across my back and I blew it off. I had been moving the
furniture around by myself while mopping the house so I just
assumed I’d overdone it and tried to take it easy for a couple of
days. But it didn’t get better. In fact, it got worse. The dull and
achy pain in my back started moving up to my shoulder and down
my left arm and then down into my chest. Breathing got more
difficult. I decided to go to the doctor the next day. My body
objected.

About 4 in the morning, I woke up from shooting pains in my
back and chest and inability to breathe at all. I thought I was in
cardiac arrest. I took an aspirin. Then I dialed my husband’s
cousins who came over immediately and took me straight to the
hospital. They did an EKG and said my heart was fine. Then we
reviewed all the foods I’d had in the last two or three days. A
little spicy but nothing like I usually eat. They asked about stress.
Oh boy. There’s something I can avoid. Not.

So when the doctor prescribed me Zantac and a couple of other
anti-gas items, he also said that I was not allowed to eat anything
fried or spicy or pickled and NO TOMATO SAUCE! Augh.
His next words made me crack up laughing. He said that I should
not get angry or stressed and to relax as much as possible. “Dude.
I have FIVE kids and THREE are teenagers.”

I followed his directions as much as possible. I ate the boring
boiled foods and didn’t spice too much and laid off the peppers
and the tomato sauce that I love and pickled eggplants and chiles.
And things got better. I made it through exams week and a real
trying friendship and a year without my husband. And I soon fell
back into old habits. My husband started traveling again, the
spicy foods started being made more frequently and my boys
decided to beat the hell out of one another nightly from about 3
a.m. until 6:30a.m. for 23 days straight.

And now all the same symptoms are back only on the right side
of my body vice the left. Starting tomorrow I’ll be back on my
boring boiled diet and I sent one of the boys out for Zantac a
couple of hours ago. At least I recognize the signs and I’m not
letting it get to the point I did last year before I did anything
about it. And if it gets ANY worse or doesn’t subside in the
next 24 hours, I will go back to the hospital. But I know what’ll
happen. I’ll be in there and pass gas and embarrass the hell out
of myself and then pay for treatment that I could have done at
home by farting on the couch while watching “America’s Got
Talent!”

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