Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Walk the Camino With Broken Ribs?

Remember I told you about breaking my ribs?

Two weeks ago today, I went camping with my friends and family. 
We had a great time and a lot of fun catching crawdads in the river! 
On the way up to the bank on the last day, I slipped and fell, 
hitting my ribcage on a pyramid shaped rock, 
knocking the breathe out of me.
I sat there in the cold shallow water for a few minutes, 
struggling to breathe, 
while people gathered around to help me up.  
Once up, I immediately went back to camp and covered the area with ice. 
I felt I had probably just bruised my ribs 
and they would be sore for a day or two.

When I got home, I called my doctor.
She asked me a million questions, 
had me palpate my ribs myself, 
then told me I'd cracked them.

Should I come in for an x-ray?
X-rays often have problems revealing fresh rib fractures, 
especially if the bone is merely cracked.
And besides, even if they are broken, there is nothing we can do.
Pain medicine and time...
Can you wrap them?
No, we no longer do that. 
It makes it too difficult to expand the ribcage 
and people tend to get pneumonia 
from not breathing deeply (because of the pain.)
Pain medicine and time...

But what if they're BROKEN!?
There's absolutely nothing we would do. 
You aren't spitting up blood, 
so you didn't pierce your lungs.
It's just going to take time...

Breathing deeply will help set them. 
And it sounds like you've separated the ribs from the chest wall.
Pain medicine and time...

But they feel SQUISHED where I hit!
Yup... they're cracked there.
They'll heal.
Pain medicine and time...
 Well, it's been two weeks.
They hurt as much today as they did two weeks ago.
When I'm standing straight up, they don't bother me,
but the minute I sit or lay down,
I yelp.

Ibuprofin decreases the pain,
but that stuff will kill your liver!
Besides, when I take pain meds, 
I don't feel the pain as sharply
and tend to do too much.
Then I feel worse the next day.

This sucks.

Getting out of bed in the morning is an interesting adventure!
Someone described it as 
"you SLITHER off the bed as best you can," 
and that is so true.
It takes a good 3 to 4 minutes
to work my body to the edge of the bed,
log roll my body,
then gingerly work my straight legs to the floor
so I can stand up without bending.
Getting into bed
is the same type of adventure.
Once I'm down flat, I'm ok.
But the extreme sharp pain
caused by rolling or moving
keeps me in a tense, flat position all night long,
and leaves me with a hell of a backache in the morning.
I honestly dread bedtime.
Too bad I'm not a horse.
They can sleep standing up.
Let me tell you something:
The only good cracked ribs 
are the ones my son Rob makes with barbecue sauce!
I'm done whining for the day...
But if you have it in you,
please send me some prayers or healing energy.
I need these ribs to HEAL!
I have a Camino to walk in the spring!

Oh, one last thing.
The Bible says Eve was created from a rib 
that God took out of Adam.
Now I know why
some men act like they're angry!
Probably still hurts like heck!
And the only advice is
"pain medicine and time."

Poor guys!

* * *
Note:  If you are interested in walking the Camino Santiago, 
but are not quite ready to go it alone, 
consider joining Annie
on one of our small, affordable Camino walks. 
For more information see our website 
at this link: AnnieWalkers Camino


  1. It will get better! They broke one when they took the kidney...and there are some still aches more than a year later...but nothing I can't tolerate...unfortunately...yup time!!! :-)

  2. Wow! A year later? ::whining again::: Oh nooooooooooooooooooooo! Well, it helps to hear from someone who has been there. Thanks! :)

  3. Will add you to my prayers Annie! We're off to see 'The Way' tomorrow - will report back on my blog! Can't wait!

    Hope those ribs are better in no time! xx


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