It Looks Like I Did It This Time!

Three … Count ’em … Three!

On Thursday, I went to see my doctor, who immediately suggested that I get the right side of my ribs X-Rayed. Which I did, but the radiologist never got around to telling me the good … or bad … news. But he had conveyed the info to my doctor, who called me on Friday with the news. I broke three ribs.

Tuesday, the day of the fall, wasn’t so bad, as my body’s own deception system was in force. Wednesday and Thursday, however, were horrible. If a butterfly had collided with me, I would have screamed in pain. Everything seemed to result in spasms of pure torture. Worst were the nights: Spasms attacked me when I laid me down in bed, spasms attacked me if I moved so much as a millimeter, and spasms attacked me when I had to get up out of bed. If I had to go to the bathroom during the night, I awakened Martine with my screams upon shifting my legs to the left and getting up.

Yesterday, my doctor prescribed some acetaminophen with codeine to help me get through the night. It worked, and I actually slept a full eight hours last night—and that’s after napping an hour and a half on the couch while watching Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), a film that I love. And today was altogether better. The miscellaneous spasms seemed to have ceased altogether. Only when I have to lead with my torso do I have any serious pain. I have learned to get up using my knees to take the brunt of the weight (though that won’t work with our high bed) and to lead with my left when I do have to get up.

I have been led to believe that healing will take anywhere between six and eight weeks—but I already feel some slight changes for the better. I still can’t drive safely because I can’t steer crisply without getting my left hand over-involved.

So it looks like my retirement begins with a much-needed rest. I still have two work days the week after Christmas, but there won’t be much to do. I just have to take the bus, which isn’t too bad.

Although she is still planning to leave, Martine has put the departure date off until I get better. She has been incredibly helpful. So we still mean a great deal to each other: She is just on a different life journey. I am grateful to her for her help.


Pain for the Holidays

Looks Like I Did It Again

What is it with me and broken bones? I broke each of my shoulders once, the first time in Tierra Del Fuego, the second time right in front of my apartment. Now it appears I fractured my rib(s) when I tripped on an uneven sidewalk in Westwood on Tuesday. It doesn’t hurt at all, unless I cough, sneeze, hiccup, stand up, sit down, reach for something on or near the ground, reach for something high up, burp, yawn , fart … and so on ad infinitum.  When I do any of those things, there is a sharp stab of pain on my right side.

My guess is that it’ll take six or more weeks for the pain to subside. For this sort of thing, there is no treatment except to tolerate the pain as best as possible. I am wearing something called a “Rib Belt,” which is a stretchy velcro affair that I wrap tight around the affected area. It seems to help some. Also, I take occasional aspirins (acetominophen doesn’t do anything for me), hot compresses (after the first 48 hours), cold compresses, and Martine’s tender loving care, while it is still available to me.

Wish me luck! My Kwanzaa bids fair to be ruined for this year.