No Self-Diagnosis by Mark Michniak

In a previous blog or two, I had reported that I had started a regular physical fitness routine that involved a cardio-physical workout. I began this workout in December 2018 and was pretty religious about doing this every week, 2-3 times a week. I was feeling both physically stronger and cardiovascular-wise better.  With my history of lower back strains and pain, it was nice to find something that did not further hurt me and actually made my body stronger.

Last month, we went on a cruise and while I was on the cruise I went to the gym on-board and did my workout. For some reason my body did not respond well as I woke-up the next day with my stomach and groin muscles in pain! Looking back, I am not sure what I did differently from workouts in the past, but I knew I had to rest my body for a few days and not workout again for awhile. So that is what I did for two weeks and even though it took awhile, sure enough, I started feeling better.

On Monday August 5, I started a new job. Part of my new work involves me sitting at a desk all-day, something I was not use to doing as for years now I have driven around in my car all day on sales calls. Call it the stress of working a new job, call it anxiety, call it whatever you want to, but the day after I started, I developed a very sharp pain in my stomach. It was not an interior pain, like in the stomach organ itself, but on an abdominal muscle. I thought like any pain, it would go away and like with the stomach and groin pains I experienced on the cruise, I continued to not workout. I even did some reading online about muscle strains and tears and started ice and heating the muscle as well as taking Ibuprofen.

It had been ten days and the pain did not go away, so this morning, I went to the Immediate Care nearby and had it looked at. I explained my whole story with the cruise workout and recent job change. One thing I was relieved to hear was that it was NOT a hernia! I have had friends and family who have had one and none of them said it was pleasant. After a physical examination of the area and answering a bunch of questions, it was confirmed that I had strained upper muscle in my abdominal muscles. It is is very possible that the stress of the job shocked my body and my body was not use to me sitting in one place all day, so my stomach muscle bore the brunt end of all of this. Everything I was doing were the right things including not working-out, ice/heat, and Ibuprofen. I was told I should keep doing those things and if I don’t feel better to call my primary physician in a week.

After doing my research online earlier this week about what I thought I had, I can’t tell you what a relief it was to hear that my diagnosis was a strained muscle! Pain in that area of the body can come from several things including a muscle tear, hernia, and I even read that stomach cancer is possible. One of the worse things I could’ve done was misdiagnose my ailment and end up doing more damage to myself or have endured pain longer than I had to. Doctors spend up to 12+ years studying the complex being that is the human body. They do not get the title “Doctor” without having learned a few things. Why I would ever take it upon myself to self-diagnose something that has been persistent defies logic.

So now I know what I have and do not have to assume or guess at anything. I have a plan to tackle and eliminate my pain. I very much look forward to  going back to my normal life which includes my workout routine and my new job!

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