I’ve been having all kinds of weird health issues lately.
About two months ago, I got whammied by severe fatigue, headaches, back pain and a weird, persistent watery sensation in the back of my throat — with a bit of fever thrown in.
About a month ago, I began experiencing severe discomfort in my lower abdomen, making it difficult for me to sit or otherwise bend at the waist without cussing.
And last night, I suddenly felt severe pain and pressure in the center of my chest as I was working in my home office. After five minutes or so of this, I struggled down the stairs and told my wife we needed to seek medical attention.
What the fucking hell is going on? My primary physician, a dogged medical Sherlock, has been determined to find out.
For the fatigue, headaches and back pain, she ordered a battery of blood and urine tests. For the abdomen pain, she ordered more blood and urine testing along with a CAT scan.
The chest pain required a visit to my local hospital’s emergency room, and I’ll be following up with my doc soon.
I am the worst kind of hypochondriacal pessimist, so I convinced myself that I was basically fucked.
Turns out that’s (apparently, at least based on what my doc has so far gleaned) not the case.
Testing for the fatigue, headaches and back pain turned up nothing. This was just before a vacation to Florida, and you can probably guess what happened: A bit of surf ‘n’ sun revitalized me, like Kal-El topping off his super-batteries with the rays of his adopted planet’s yellow sun.
The abdominal pain? My doc was looking for some pretty nasty stuff, but came up empty again. The discomfort, meanwhile, seems to be subsiding.
As for the chest pain last night, I was sure I was having a heart attack. Even so, I stupidly first went to my medical clinic, where an annoyed doctor ordered me to the hospital’s ER.
The docs there ruled out cardiac arrest, but I am glad I sought help because you never know (you do not want to mess around with chest pain). I’ll bet the Panda Express I was eating just before my episode has some relevance here.
So what am I to conclude from all of this? I can only make semi-educated guesses.
First, I may be suffering from the delayed after-effects of a death in the family (my brother recently got hit by a car and killed). I took a yoga-teacher friend seriously, even though I’m not very hippy-dippy, when she told me:
The yogi in me suspects your mystery malady might have something to do with losing Frank. That shit takes a toll on our bodies … In my tradition, we call grief-based illness a type of somatic release. Body, mind and soul just pretty much purge themselves. It feels like shit but is actually good for us in the long term.
I have another theory: My not-very-young-anymore body may be sending me hints that I need to take better care of myself or suffer the consequences.
I’m not in terrible shape. I can take 15-to-20-mile bike rides with relative ease and I keep improving, but I have a bit too much of a spare tire and I could certainly eat and drink better.
I will make it so. Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.
I still have to jump through a few more medical hoops in coming days, including a “stress test” to ferret out hidden heart problems, and possibly a visit to a urologist, but I am more optimistic about my health.
I’ve certainly felt energetic (those abdominal and chest symptoms aside), and I’ve been that way since Florida. It’s a good feeling.
Punch it, Chewie.
P.S. About this post’s header image: My pal Steve Borsch has a fun habit of putting me into funny Photoshop-ed settings. Thanks, bud.