Thursday, December 9, 2010

A very rough night

I had a very rough night last night. The rib pain is now my major problem. The shoulder hurts too but I can easily find positions where it hurts very little. As long as I avoid certain movements (especially raising my arm or putting my elbow forward) there is no issue. I can type just fine for example, with very little pain. My hip is no longer very painful either. Just a bit where the skin got an imprint from the roadway. But the rib pain is not getting any easier.

A road rash tattoo on my hip

Although you can take shallow breaths, which I am definitely doing, you can't totally avoid movement in your chest ever. Since every movement hurts that is not good. The background pain from my chest is always there and it is pretty bad, even with the pain killers. But that is not all. You can't very well go without coughing or sneezing and that REALLY hurts. It is totally surprising to me how often I cough (I was warned by the orthopedist that humans cough more often than they think) even though I have no colds or other respiratory issues such as allergies. I also suspect the shallow breathing makes it necessary for me to clear out airways more frequently.

I was shown how to cough with a pillow on the ribs to minimize the pain, but that only goes so far. And sneezing is far less predictable.

Despite the vicodin and a healthy dose of ibuprofen, I did not sleep well. I woke up at 4 AM and was quite sweaty. I had a hard time getting up and doing so only increased the pain further. I also got cold and felt even more miserable then. With my arm out of commission I cannot move my covers as easily and that surely had a lot to do with me getting too hot and sweaty.

I found out that one holds one's breath when getting up from the couch or bed. At least that is what I think is happening. You probably stabilize your chest so the long back muscles -the ones that get up you upright have a firm contact point. Or maybe I can just feel them contracting against a damaged rib cage? The latter sounds less convincing since they do not insert that far laterally on the rib. I have the distinct feeling I hold my breath to get up. It is something I never noticed before. One thing about getting hurt is that you suddenly realize all the unconscious movements you make to achieve something simple.

No more training for now. Deep breathing is no longer an option. Plus the shoulder makes riding dangerous and running next to impossible.

Another picture of my damaged helmet. You can see the missing chunk and a big scratch higher up.

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