Three times I experienced pain that I thought may lead to my death.
  1. August/September 2005 (Pt 1)
    The pain started August 26. I was dancing in a show and by the end, my feet were so swollen I couldn't walk. The same thing happened the next day. The worst part? That night, after my show, we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina. As the week went on, it wasn't just my feet that were swollen; my whole body ached so much I couldn't move some days. I also had hives covering my waist.
  2. August/September 2005 (Pt 2)
    (Continued) Because Katrina was so much worse than we expected, we were stuck in a small town in northern Louisiana (for most of the time). I went to a doctor or two. They took blood work, but found nothing. Eventually, one of the doctors said it might be "post-strep syndrome." Apparently, this sometimes occurs days or weeks after you have strep throat (which I had 2 weeks prior). Eventually, the pain went away and I was back to normal, but man, was it scary at the time.
  3. July 2015
    One night this past summer I got this awful pain in my left calf. At first I thought, it was a Charley Horse. I had my brother go get me some bananas from the store. I ate them and waited. The pain didn't go away after 2 hours or so. I started to think it might be deep vein thrombosis. I was slightly afraid to go to sleep out of fear that I wouldn't wake up the next morning. Thankfully, I did wake up the next morning and the pain was gone.
  4. January 2016 (Pt 1)
    This happened New Years Day. I woke up with weird chest pain. It didn't feel like what I'd imagine a heart attack felt like that. It hurt a lot, but it hurt even more when I took a deep breath. My dad gave me a Pepcid in case if was heartburn, although I was certain it was not. I was also scared this pain was caused by the drinking I did the previous night, but I wasn't nauseated and I didn't feel hungover. So naturally, my next thought was that it was a pulmonary embolism.
  5. January 2017 (Pt 2)
    (Continued) Finally after about 5 hours, the pain mysteriously went away. A few days later, I told the nurses on the unit I volunteer on about it. Immediately, they both said, "That sounds like costochondritis." Apparently all this is is "inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone." The pain hasn't come back, so I'm no longer concerned.