I need advice about whether or not this would be considered a very serious condition:
About six months ago, I had a dull pain in my chest for about 5 days. The pain was mostly in the left side, but sometimes it was the right side and sometimes it almost completely disappeared. I must stress the word almost because the pain never completely went away for those five days. This pain slowly got worse. On the third day it was extremely painful. Then it slowly disappeared. By the 6th day it was gone. I had no other noteworthy symptoms during that period of time. However, for the last six months I have occasionally felt that dull feeling for a period of 20 seconds to a few hours. I also noticed another kind of pain: a sharp pain that comes on very suddenly and is worse when I take a deep breath. This also can last for only a few seconds to hours. Usually only a few seconds though. It happens sometimes once a week, occasionally more than once a day, and sometimes I don't experience it for weeks. I have only ever noticed the pain when I am at work, or out doing errands, which I guess could mean it happens when I am relatively active.
I smoke, about a half a pack a day.
The first episode of chest pain happened shortly (about a month and a half or so..) after having a baby.
I didn't smoke during the pregnancy, so I had just started smoking again.
I take birth control pills.
I am very inactive in the winter (5-6 months out of the year)
Anyway, I would like it if someone could give me some advice as to whether this is very serious or not. I'm thinking that it may not be, since it is not constant and doesn't really happen very often. I am a student, so I don't have much extra money. I can't afford to go to a doctor unless it is an absolute emergency.
It doesn't sound cardiogenic. It is impossible to diagnose from the information provided. That being said, pneumonia often has such a presentation. I would suggest you have a chest film. If this is the case you need antibiotics. I urge you to find a clinic who will provide medical care at a reasonable cost. See a doctor.
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