Never one to talk about ailments, always one to count the blessing of good health, I have been reluctant to explain my recent inattentiveness to DemWit.
(Yes, I often mention my vision problem, because it’s something I live with and something which often requires explaining.)
Over the last few weeks I’ve dealt with a physical problem which my son assures me should not be considered “an old folks’ condition” – the pain of pleurisy. (One of his college buddies, he recalled, likened it to "being kicked by a horse.")
Before being diagnosed with pleurisy I always grouped it with terms like lumbago and bursitis and thought it was the result of a bad chest cold. I haven’t had a cold in 20 years. So, here’s what I've learned about this condition:
“Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, which is the moist, double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the rib cage. The condition can make breathing extremely painful. The double-layered pleura protects and lubricates the surface of the lungs as they inflate and deflate within the rib cage. Normally, a thin, fluid-filled gap - the pleural space - allows the two layers of the pleural membrane to slide gently past each other. But when these layers become inflamed, their roughened surfaces rub painfully together like two pieces of sandpaper.”
Or maybe something like two plates of the Earth’s crust rubbing together in the “Ring of Fire.”
"Pleurisy can be caused by viral infections, any number of serious diseases, drug reactions, chest injury or simply movement and causes stabbing pain in the rib casge area." (Source of quotes: WebMd.com)
In my case, the pain is exacerbated by sitting for any length of time in my fancy ergonomics computer chair.
I have a friend who lives with chronic pain every day of her life, yet maintains a cheerful and loving nature. I, on the other hand, cry over a stumped toe.
The doc says it could take six more weeks of anti-inflammatory drugs. For someone who hasn’t been “on medication,” this is a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, there’s also a bottle of pain pills, but I’ve tried to tough it out and have only reached for it twice. Narcotic is a scary word.
Other than the pain, I feel great! No kidding. Temperature: normal. Blood pressure: normal. Chest X-ray shows lungs clear.
Let me sign off for a while before you start yelling “TMI” (“too much information” for the acronym challenged). In short, pleurisy is something you don’t want.