It’s been 3 weeks since I cracked a rib while having fun snowboarding with my son. In the spirit of my last post “(Random) Healthy Thoughts from Bavaria”, here are the key pain milestones I’ve discovered over the past 3 weeks since cracking 1 rib and bruising a few. After cracking a rib:
Step 1 – Enduring The Initial Pain – This part just sucks and took a few days. Advil and other anti-inflammatory medications help, but you will definitely find out that your core (and ribs) are involved with just about 98% of what you do. For me, I was through this step in about 3 days.
Step 2 – Full Breath w/out Severe Pain: Another one of life’s little pleasures we take for granted until such an injury. Suddenly, a nice, deep, wonderful and fulfilling breath is a trip into hell. Everything you’ve ever learned (e.g. behaviors that are punished tend to be eliminated) leads to short, shallow and weak breaths. However, even when the pain is severe you really need to take a deep breath at least once an hour through this period, or you can develop Pneumonia. It took me about 7-8 days to be able to take a full breath without severe pain, and about 12 days to get to “0” pain with a full breath.
Step 3 – Laughter is Fun Again: In a sick twist to a rib injury, when you’re sad, down and just want to feel better, it just-so-happens that laughter really hurts I was able to laugh without pain at the 18 day (after injury) mark. Prior to that a good laugh would start off silly, jubilant and joyful, and end with a and on the ribs and a disturbing facial expression asking the higher power for mercy.
Step 5 – Sneezing w/out Pain: The worst experience after breaking a rib, at least for me, is the common sneeze. Each time I’ve sneezed it has felt like Georges St. Pierre is driving a “Superman Punch” right into my ribs. Ouch! I’m at the 22 days since the injury point, and still dread sneezing. It is better, and I’m hoping to achieve this goal within the next 6 days.
Ribs take about 4 weeks to heal.
Small steps add up!!!