I’ve been forced to take a unplanned hiatus from exercise this week, thanks to an annoying and painful injury. I think I have a bruised rib. It’s the worst.
Ironically enough, I injured myself while exercising. (Perhaps that isn’t actually irony, but it is when you use the Alanis Morissette definition.) I was out for a run on Sunday afternoon when I tripped on the slightly raised edge of a concrete sidewalk square. I didn’t go down immediately – I took another 5 or 6 steps, arms swinging, trying to regain my balance. For a second I thought I might actually recover, but no sir. Gravity won out. It always does. I went crashing down on my left side. Oof.
I immediately felt sore and out-of-sorts, but I didn’t stay down for long. I sprung up, dusted some leaves and debris from my clothes, replaced the ear bud that had fallen from my ear, and kept running. I was stiff, but thought the best recourse would be to keep running. Plus, I was as far from home as I was gonna be on this run, and I was pissed at my own clumsiness and wanted this workout to be over.
A few blocks later I noticed a stinging near my elbow. I pulled up my sleeve and found what would turn out to be my only external injury: a small scrape, about the size of a large grape. Do I get points for rhyming?
I thought that was gonna be the worst of it. In the grand scheme of things, escaping such a tumble with just one small scrape is a minor Christmas miracle. (I’ve blogged about falling while running before – I’m certain it’s going to be the death of me). I finished up the run (3.6 miles in 39 minutes, plus some walking to warm up and cool down), jumped in the shower to wash myself and the wound, and continued about my day.
And everything was hunky dory. The end.
Until the next day, when I could hardly move my torso and it hurt to breathe. The pain was centralized to the side of my chest, about six inches below my armpit – which was a point of impact during the fall. There were no external signs of trauma – no redness, no blood, no bruising. But man oh man, did it hurt like a sonofabitch. It hurt to stand up and sit down. It hurt when I turned my neck in either direction – so no looking over either shoulder. And worst of all, it hurt when I took deep breaths.
I’m now on day 3 of chest pain, and it’s gotten a lot better. Naproxen has helped, as has ice. I’ve been trying to eat especially well, since I haven’t been exercising, but that’s been hard, and I haven’t been that successful.
I think I’ll try exercising tomorrow, probably on a recumbent bike, because that doesn’t require much movement in the upper body. I’m antsy to exercise, and that’s a good thing!
Keep it up, David.