What A Pain!

Francesca Silva

x-ray.JPGA couple of weeks ago, I went to visit one of my many cousins just across the border. Her 18-year-old son was there – for some unfathomable reason, I’ve always been a favourite of his (maybe it’s an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” sort of thing). When he saw me, he picked me up in a bear hug and swung me around – did I mention that he’s 6’2” and plays rugby?

I heard a slight “pop” around my rib area and winced as he put me down gently, saying “Oh gosh – are you okay? Sorry – sometimes I don’t realize my own strength.”

No kidding. I felt like I’d been hit by that proverbial truck! However, although my ribs hurt for a while, the pain eventually subsided to a manageable level so I thought no more about it.

My side continued to ache over the next few days, especially when I lay down in bed at night. I couldn’t find a comfortable position and kept wincing every time I turned – so much for getting a good night’s sleep! But, being me, I just ignored the pain and decided it would go away on its own at some point.

Then about a week ago, I hauled out my relatively heavy vacuum cleaner and had my usual battle with it as I cleaned the house (it always wins so I don’t know why I even bother fighting). But as I was cleaning, the pain returned – with a vengeance!

Since then, I’ve barely been able to lift my arm above my head (which is a great – but rather drastic – excuse not to do any housework) and the pain has been constant. Although I haven’t been short of breath, it hurts when I inhale and exhale.

Go and get it checked” my husband suggested. “No, I’d rather whine incessantly,” I replied. Now, my husband is a very understanding and sympathetic man but even he has his limits. “Okay, okay, I’ll make an appointment with my doctor,” I promised. And off I went.

The first thing my doctor asked me was how I was breathing. Once he established that I wasn’t having too much trouble breathing, he gave me a brief physical exam over the area and told me I’d probably cracked a rib “but we won’t know for sure unless you have an x-ray.” Oh joy. He then went on to say that even if I had an x-ray and found I’d cracked a rib, there wasn’t much I could do except wait for it to heal. But he wanted me to have the x-ray anyway to make sure that the cracked rib wasn’t causing undue pressure on my lung.

Well, the upshot of this is that – yes, I’ve cracked a rib – or rather, my cousin’s son cracked it for me. (He’s been very contrite and even sent me flowers and an apologetic note, so I suppose I’ll forgive him.) But it’s not too bad and I’m learning to live with it. The housework has fallen on my husband, though, so I think he’s more annoyed with my cousin’s son than I am!

What I am more bothered about, however, is that I can’t do my yoga. I haven’t been taking any classes this summer but have managed to establish my “yoga at home” routine. Well, that’s gone down the drain now! I only hope my rib will heal sufficiently by September so that I’ll be able to start up my yoga classes again.

In the meantime, I need comfort food to get my through this – so where did I hide that chip bag?!

[tags]rib, cracked born, pain, lungs, yoga at home, yoga routine, x-ray, healing, yoga for injuries[/tags]

2 Responses to “What A Pain!”

  1. Paula says:

    Hi Francesca, a number of years ago I herniated two discs in my lower spine while travelling far away from home and anyone I knew – although in agony, I realized I could still practice yoga – within the confines of my pain. In fact, I taught an impromptu class for some fellow travellers I had met along the way. Using images and words to describe the motions I couldn’t do – the group loved it – for many it was their first class and they found it profoundly peaceful…yoga is everywhere, no matter our pain or discomfort. They can actually be incredible teachers of learning to explore exactly where you’re at. Take the time to be at peace with yourself (especially while your husband does the housework!) and try a very gentle, restorative, and meditative practice at home. Namaste.

  2. francesca says:

    Hi Paula,

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words and for your great suggestions. You’re right ~ yoga is everywhere and taking the time to calm myself and find peace is essential to help me work through the pain.

    I’ve been trying some breathing techniques and am going to try some restorative and meditative yoga at home. I’ll keep you posted on how things are going.


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