Pain and breathing

Had a new type of pain that I wanted to see if anyone else had encountered. It put me in the hospital for a few days with no diagnosed cause; on Saturday night, II could sit on the edge of the bed and not be able to swing my legs up because the pain was too great.

If I took anywhere close to a normal breath, I had a very sharp pain in the middle of the RUQ.
I could not take in a deep breath, yawn, laugh, burp, sneeze, take in a quick breath-all hurt badly if I did these. It seemed to ease and get worse at any time,

The docs looked at my lungs and gallbladder but could not find a cause. It now seems to have run its course and I am close to normal.

Any thoughts?

Hi Jeff,

first of all I’m sorry to hear about the pain you had and that you needed to stay in the hospital for a few days! I can imagine that a new pain can be quite scary. Thankfully your lungs and gallbladder are alright and you feel a lot better right now! Still… I understand that you want to know what happened and if more people have felt this.

I don’t know if it’s the same, but I had a similair pain/problem over a year ago. It was a very painful pain in the middle of my chest and I couldn’t breathe properly. At first it was only a little painful and annoying, shortness of breath etc. But the pain increased over time. It was a pressure pain, as if someone was pushing on my chest but at the same time it felt like knives were stabbing me from the inside (I don’t have another way to describe the experience). The worst pain was around 4 hours in total. I thought I had a heart attack or something! I was freaking out. I had never experienced anything like it. I couldn’t sit, lay down or anything…
Slowly it started to feel better, less pain, etc. 1 or 2 days later it was completely over and after that I never had it again! So I have no idea what it was.

So I absolutely don’t know if it’s the same, but I hope it was just a one time thing for you as well. Maybe it is a signal or a protest of your body because of everything that is going on? Or stress-related? I have no idea…

Anyway, good luck with everything and take care!

I had similar pain and I could not take in more than half a breath of air. Turned out my liver was swollen and pushing against my diaphram. I found out that it was caused, in my case, by cancer.

Luckily, it wasn’t liver cancer, it was non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and it had spread to my liver. I did about 5 months of chemo, and now it’s gone and I’m ok. The only thing the liver Specialist saw initially was what they thought was an abscess in my liver…that ended up being a tumor.

Does it hurt when you breath in, and lesson when you breathe out? If so…I bet there’s some inflammation for some reason…

Sofie, I think it is definitely a signal of something. Stress-not likely as I think I am handling things fairly well from that point of view.

Frank, the doc I saw in the hospital mentioned something impinging on the diaphragm, but he did not know for sure.

The only time it hurts is when I breath in, and even then, the pain varies throughout the day-sometimes I feel it at the end of taking a deep breath, other times, I feel it halfway in taking a normal breath. That is the aggravating part.

I see my regular liver doc in the morning, so I hope he has some answers although it is likely he does not. I’m glad you’re cancer-free.


Hey Jeff, I’m experiencing the same issues. 3 local hospital admissions since February. Drs perplex but I know as well as my gi doc (from Boston) that it’s cholangitis. Sometimes clears on its own. Other times as this most recent bout I became septic and only got better with antibiotics. This last time they agreed with me and gave me a dx of ascending cholangitis. My gi doc works in Boston which is a good hr away. Otherwise I’d go there to ER. I think I have the locals convinced by now to start treating me for cholangitis. Hope this helps. I’m nearing the end of my liver and was advised to seek a living donor. Frequent bouts of cholangitis is common I guess in late stages. Check your temp when this happens and if it starts to get above 101 head to ER

Fractured rib? My osteoporosis was so severe that one rib was broken spontaneously, extremely painful during breathing. And it’s a sharp pain. Just my two cents. Your doctors and you know much better than anyone here.

Jmelia 17, agreed on the cholangitis as the liver has more and more trouble. Had cholangitis in March and April. My doc has me well-trained about the 101 degrees!

DHZ, while my bone density has gone down some, it is not near the point of osteoporosis. Sorry your condition has you there.

My pain comes and goes, mostly goes. I can usually feel it when I take a deep breath, but occasionally it will sneak up and hit me at mid-breath. That is a nasty surprise.

But I am used to this roller coaster ride called psc. I think.

My osteoporosis is bad, mainly because I was too lazy to exercise. Now, I’m doing way better.

Can you accurately identify the location of the pain? Visceral pain is usually not a sharp pain and difficult to localize, like those gallbladder problems. But it could become a sharp pain once the inflammation reaches the outer layer of peritoneum. Your pain is sensitive to your breathing activity, which is a very specific symptom, must be something at the diaphragm side, or chest?. Interesting topic, but not that interesting to you. Hope you’re getting better. On the bright side, at least we’re here listening and keeping you in our prayers.

Thanks, DHZ. The pain seems to be dissipating nicely. I had to sneeze several times over the weekend, and had no real problems.

The pain was about an inch below the halfway point along the bottom of the right lowest rib.

Sorry for your pain. I’ve had continuous pain at that point, to varying levels of severity, for almost four years. Still don’t “know the cause.” Sometimes it will expand to my entire trunk/back and feels like someone has shoved a telephone pole through me. So far doctors have said I shouldn’t be feeling this pain, since my PSC is “slowly progressing” and my Chrohn’s is “under control.” Diagnosis: Chronic Pain (implied: Live with it!). I’ve never checked my temp when I have a “telephone pole” incident… maybe I should if/when it returns.

Ozark Scotty…Did you ever find out what was causing your pain?