On Saturday I was carrying in some groceries, when I noticed a strange pain at the bottom of and/or slightly behind my ribcage on the right side. – immediately to the right of my sternum. I wondered if I had pulled some nameless muscle, although it did not feel like a muscle pull (having been an athlete I am very familiar with muscle pulls), but I thought it may have been some deep "core" muscle that gives a different sensation when pulled. But over the next 24 hrs as I tried to locate the offending muscle group it became clearer to me that it was not muscular because it seemed "tender" to the touch - a feeling half way between a runners "stitch" and a soreness due to inflammation. It kind of felt like maybe some gas trapped in an odd place.
On Sunday eve the pain was about the same, maybe a tiny bit greater, I was getting a wee bit concerned because I figured a stitch was out of the question, and I was seriously doubting a sore muscle pull. At some point my 5 yr old hit me right in the old solar plexus – not really, but he hit me right on the money spot below my ribs, it was a fairly typical 5 yr old playful punch- not much force. The pain was so sharp that I yelled so loud that it sent my son screaming for mommy, and it even surprised me. This is no muscle pull. About 3 hrs later I started experiencing a very sharp pain when trying to breath deeply. Also only on my right side but about 2 inches below my nipple (too high for any gastro-intestinal pain I am assuming) that was, once again similar to a side stitch - the kind that hurts to breath deeply, but about 2 -3x more intense and after a few hours it is still here.
The pain is way to intense to “fight through the pain”, if I try to complete a breath, the pain is so sharp that my body reacts reflexively and forces me to stop. I don’t mean a reflex like when your knee is tapped, I mean it is as if tried to keep your hand on a stove as it slowly got hot, at some point you will take your hand away no matter how much you try to will yourself not to – your body just takes over.
When I push straight into my stomach (liver? kidneys? gall bladder? Isles of Langerhans? gut? Whatever is located at the bottom of the rib cage) just below the rib, the pain starts about 1 inch to the right of my sternum and ends about 5 inches to the right of the sternum.. As I push it feels as if something is bloated, and if as I push into my body I angle my fingers up underneath the rib cage that seems to be the locus of the pain, maybe about an inch or 2 up from that lowest rib.
Also if I try to arch my back (not while inhaling) I feel both the sharp pain near my nipple and the “tender” achy bloated-y pain near the bottom of my ribs.
Could this be an old debate-team injury manifesting itself 30 years later? Or is this merely mean I have to talk to my wife about her “cooking”? Seriously though, I would like know if this is the beginning of appendicitis or pleurisy that me be a symptom of some underlying and serious condition, or if this is something I can ride out for a few days.
Thanks and Happy New Year
Update on the breathing pain. I awoke this morning and found that lying on my back or left side gave me pain breathing with shallower breaths, and it just hurt to be in those positions. When standing or sitting, only pain with deep breaths. At 3pm I took a deep breath without the stabbing pain. It is now 345 and still no more stabbing pains. But when I breath deeply I can feel a very mild pain where the sharp pain was, and I can feel a small to medium increase in the "tenderness" pain at the bottom of my ribs. It is wonderful to be able to breath, yawn, cough, sneeze without stabbing pain. BTW, any movement that is even slightly jarring Running dancing, twisting quickly) brings on a small to medium increase in the pain at the bottom of my rib cage.
Oh I was googling stuff last night and I realized in may be relevant that I have been having headaches quasi-regularly for about the last 3 weeks. I rarely get headaches and almost never take pain killers but I have taken pain killers 3 times in the last 3 or so weeks.
How tall are you (feet and inches)?: 6' 1
What is your weight in pounds?: 215
How old are you?: 50
How long has this been going on?: A few days
Check all symptoms you are currently experiencing:
Please list any medication allergies that you have : : None
When was your last menstrual cycle?: I'm a man, baby!
HOW QUICKLY DO YOU NEED THIS TO BE ANSWERED?: Within the next few days
Given that the sharp pains have subsided what should I do?
You need to proceed directly to the ER. You have two if not three potential life threats. The comments below are very good, but basically I am very concerned about the possibility of this being a blood clot in your lungs. It could be pain from your heart... it could be a collapsed lung.... it could be a lot of things. But, as long as the pain is as you describe all guessing is pointless. You could be in grave danger tonight. You need to go to the ER now. Now. Stop guessing about this pain and go get it looked at.