This week got off to a great start. I got quite a bit of writing done & had things set up to go into a big scene I was really looking forward to tackling. Alas, we all know what happens to even the best made plans. I didn’t write many more words for the last half of the week, but I did learn one new one: costochondritis.
As it turns out, costochondritis is the inflammation of the cartilage connecting your sternum and ribs. It can leave you feeling sore around your sternum and uncomfortable taking deep breaths. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might assume you’re having anything from a mild panic attack to a heart attack.
Unlike a panic or heart attack, however, your body is doing everything it’s supposed to. Your pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation are normal. It just feels like they shouldn’t be.
Your doctor may or may not be able to pinpoint exactly what causes your costochondritis, but it is likely related to injury, exercise or activity such as lifting, or severe coughing. It usually goes away on its own over time, but it can take several weeks to do so. Sleeping in a more upright position, like in a recliner, is recommended, as well as avoiding activities like lifting that engage muscles around your chest, along with whatever medication your doctor might prescribe.
Basically, it’s really obnoxious, and makes finding a comfortable position in which you can both relax comfortably and balance your laptop challenging. It also makes you incredibly more aware of how many movements actually engage the muscles around your chest (too many).