January 22, 2020: Good news, today is the first day I have been able to sit down without pain since December 23 of last year. For whatever reason it has taken the Angio-Seal in my leg this long to heal. But yesterday and today were the first days I have been almost 100% pain-free while standing, and so far I’ve been able to sit down for a little while, which is a very nice feeling. :)
All the times
That I’ve cried
All that’s wasted
It’s all inside
And I feel all this pain
Stuffed it down
It’s back again
And I lie
Here in bed
I can’t mend
~ From the song Outside, by Staind
Table of Contents
WARNING: Chest pain is a serious life or death matter. If you’re experiencing chest pain right now, don’t waste any time reading this article — get yourself to a hospital.Back to top
Initial signs and symptoms of my pericarditis
On Sunday, November 3, 2019, I had just finished lunch, looked at the clock, and saw that I could fit in about an hour of work before the Denver Broncos game started. Despite Denver’s 2-6 record, I was looking forward to see how Broncos’ quarterback Brandon Allen would do in his first career start following Joe Flacco’s neck injury.
A minute later I had severe chest pain. It wasn’t in the middle of my chest, but it was on the left side of the left chest/breast area. To the best of my memory, I went from feeling perfectly fine to having severe pain in a matter of moments.
June 2, 2016: I don’t think my chest is as hairy as Steve Carell’s, but I got three chest-waxings at the hospital last week, and it is really, really painful. (They put the heart monitor leads on, take them off, put them back on, etc.) Someone told me Mr. Carell did this for real for the movie. If so, wow, that’s dedication.
Notes from September 24, 2016:
Doctor: I’d like to collect a bone marrow sample ...
*Al runs out of the hospital in a hospital gown, screaming like a little girl*
(later, after they caught me)
Doctor: The next time you break out in a rash, hives, or blisters, I want you to have those biopsied.
Me: Is there going to be any part of our relationship that doesn’t involve a lot of pain on my part?
Me: The crazy one?
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
~ Mother Teresa
“To know love, be like the running brook, which deaf, yet sings its melody for others to hear. Feel the pain of too much tenderness. Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for yet another day of loving.”
~ Kung Fu
While laying in the hospital bed after my recent surgery, a young nurse came into my room and asked what my pain level was, on a range from zero to ten.
I replied that it wasn’t bad at all, maybe a one or two at most, and I didn’t need any pain medicine.
She said that was great. She said that a lot of people immediately say they’re at a nine or ten.
I replied that I’d never say anything that high, I always thought a nine or ten should be saved for something really bad, like if you were just stabbed or shot.
She said, “I know, right. Or maybe broken bones ... or a heart attack.” She paused and then said, “Lately I’ve been wondering if giving birth is a 9 or 10.”
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.