Friday, November 2, 2018

Chest Pains, Moths and Lost Mail

Suddenly we've had lots of activity around here.

Most excitingly, I was at work on Tuesday afternoon when I began having sharp chest pains. They felt very internal, slightly to the left of my breastbone and radiating both to my front and my back. They weren't super-intense and didn't have the elephant-sitting-on-your-chest feeling that heart attacks supposedly have, so I didn't do anything immediately. But when I went home I told Dave, and we called the NHS ask-a-nurse line. The nurse ran me through a list of questions and told me I should consult with a doctor within six hours, then contacted my doctor's office and got a doctor on the phone (!). He told me it sounded like "musculo-skeletal" injury and told me to come and see him in the morning.

So, on Wednesday morning, he examined me and said everything seemed fine. (The pain had largely disappeared by then, but it was uncomfortable enough that I couldn't lie on my side in bed the previous night.) He sent me for an ECG and blood work, which I did yesterday morning at the Royal Free Hospital. The ECG still has to be read by a cardiologist but the technician said it looked normal to her.

Good grief! Maybe hoisting all those boxes of discarded DVDs didn't do me any favors?

On top of this, an exterminator is coming on the 10th to give our flat a "moth treatment" because, even though we've seen no evidence of moths in the rugs, the landlord insists on it before she replaces the dining room carpet. It's actually going to be two treatments, two weeks apart, and we have to be out of the flat for five hours or so each time. I hate the idea of poison in the house so I am not amused. I'd rather live with moths -- but we really do need a new carpet.

Finally, we've just learned there's going to be roof work on our building, which will necessitate erecting a scaffold all around the house for a week. That starts on Monday. Hopefully it won't affect us much since we're on the bottom floor, but at minimum it seems like it might make things a bit darker.

Oh, and I'll be back at the dentist on Tuesday to determine why my back molar is still giving me pain, despite a root canal and a crown.

Never a dull moment!

Yesterday we got an envelope in the mail addressed to someone we've never heard of. It was obviously a letter of some sort but it had no return address. I was stymied about what to do, so I opened it, and it turned out to be a birthday card for a 16-year-old nephew with a check inside. I tracked down the sender on Facebook and sent a message letting him know we have it instead of the nephew (who I suppose lived here at some point in the past). I offered to return it or forward it, depending on what he wants. We'll see if he responds. Why don't people put return addresses on their mail?

(Photo: Chiswick House, a couple of weekends ago.)


  1. Historically, it was never the habit in England to put return addresses on letters. During the days of Empire our postal service was another bastion of reliability and certainty so return addresses were unnecessary. As for your chest pains, it's nice to know that "Shadows and Light" has not come to a sudden and unexpected halt and that you live to blog - a few more times at least.

  2. That sounds like a lot of stress to me. It's always good to have pain checked out - better safe than sorry.

    I hope life settles down after these things are taken care of! Good luck with that tooth.

  3. Best get chest pains checked out, you can do no more. I would think maybe with the colder weather you have pulled some muscles. I had a painful shoulder blade a few days ago, who knows why, but its gone now. We're so fagile aren't we? lol
    Not fun having the pest men in, we had that years ago after a ceiling fell down and left us with bugs. Just stay out for a long time in case it affects Olga, can't have that..

  4. I'm glad you're ok...but I hope in the future you won't put off seeing a doctor all day while having chest pains! Better safe than sorry!

    Sorry about the ongoing dental drama. I know all about that! I have a crown that has never been exactly right, but I'm still paying off the last dental bills and hope to do so before I incur another load!

    Take care!

  5. I had chest pain years ago - the dull kind that you're supposed to worry about. Everything turned out to be normal and a few years later I figured out that I had acid reflux (!!). The doctor initially suspected that, but the medication he gave me to try didn't work so we had ruled it out. The human body is so complicated!!

  6. You certainly have had one thing after another! Never a dull moment, I’m glad the chest pains are subsiding, that’s very scary, people really are taking a risk and show little concern by not having a return address on mail!

  7. As I read about your moth extermination, a golden moth flew through my window and under my bed. I was distressed and tried in vain to shoo it back toward the window. And then I remembered that growing up in Jamaica, among so much nature as Ms. Moon likes to say, we coexisted with moths with absolutely no distress. Can I do that still? The shimmery gold creature, so shimmery I thought at first it was a butterfly, has now disappeared to somewhere in my house. I'm going to let it be.

    As for the tooth pain where you have a crown, it could be that the crown is too high, and is banging against it opposite tooth, causing referred pain in that whole surrounding area. A grinding down of the crown surface would relieve everything. I hope the solution is that simple.

    Secondly- if anyone in this world would NOT have a heart attack, it would be you but you never know so you did the right thing. Good for Dave for insisting you call!
    I think that Rosemarie is correct about your tooth.
    And how wonderful to find the sender of that letter! You are a good man.
    Now. Have a happy day and eat some cake and don't lift any more boxes of DVD's.
    You are loved.

  9. My goodness, you've certainly had an eventful week. Chest pain is nothing to fool around with so I'm glad you had it checked out. I hope the tooth situation is a simple fix. My friend David is going through the same thing. They just can't seem to get the crown fitting properly.
    It sounds like this might be your birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Eat some cake!

  10. Little nagging discomforts can be a big concern sometime.

  11. I'm glad you went to the doc to get those chest pains checked out. Not something you want to guess about or dismiss. Hope the dentist figures out why you're having pain in a tooth that has a crown and root canal. Hope it's nothing serious and maybe just needs a bit of adjusting. I'm not a big fan of poisons, but when we had yellowjackets build a nest in between the exterior and interior wall of our house, and then CHEW through the ceiling in the guest bedroom we had the poison brigade come and declare war. We won!

  12. Jeez, chest pains like that? I mean, I'm glad it wasn't a heart attack, but what the hell? Hope it doesn't reoccur. All the rest of it, the little crap that life throws at us - constantly - that disrupt our routine, assault our senses and takes us off the path. You done "good" by that young man -- I hope your facebook contact gets back to you. And --- I don't know why people don't include a return address. It's such a simple thing to do, right? Perhaps the gent had exterminators knocking at his door and was in a rush?

  13. We learned the hard way that an ECG done with you in the prone position on the gurney does not reveal much information, especially a depressed ST segment. They really need to put you on a tread mill and stress your heart during the test. That reading will tell you way more and possibly save your life.

  14. Chest pains, tooth pains, poison in the house, scaffolding surrounding all. Old age is hell, Steve!

  15. re your tooth. I had the same thing happen...pain in a tooth, root canal, then pain and then the tooth next to it cracked. turned out to be that one all along and they did a root canal on a healthy tooth. something about pain transference so you might have the dentist poke around on the adjacent teeth. re the chest pain. a stress test would be a good idea. if nothing else it will reassure you that you have a strong healthy heart. I've been having a reoccurrence of the uneven heartbeat episodes for about three weeks, an episode a day lasting anywhere from a couple of hours to half the day but seems to have subsided now. it's been a week. I started taking 1/4 of an aspirin a day and no I didn't go to the doctor but I did read up and the subsidence occurred after I started. also not engulfing myself in the horrid political scene here.

  16. Certainly eventful, but you did all the right things. It can only get better from now on.

  17. It sounds like you are under siege! I hope things settle down for you soon.

  18. Happy Birthday. I hope things settle down quickly. In the meantime, enjoy your day!

  19. Oh dear! I do not like the sound of that chest thing. Hope it's nothing to worry about. -Kate