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.


9 Responses to Sidelined

  1. Lisa Long says:

    HOLY HELL….have done this…and it HURTS like no other. And there is no way to get away from the pain. I took two older friends to dinner and let them out cause it was icy so they wouldn’t fall and then face planted it. Recumbent bike should be okay…or walking in a pool? Good luck..

    >________________________________ > From: “Keep It Up, David!” >To: >Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:38 PM >Subject: [New post] Sidelined > > > > >David posted: “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 i” >

  2. sarahdudek80 says:

    Feel better soon. Been there, its annoying but you’ll be on your runs again soon.

  3. Dana says:

    David sorry to hear about your accident. I hope that you are feeling better. Just want to say due to your blog I am working on my weight and though I have not lost much I am starting to love the exercise. Thanks so very much for being such a huge inspiration!

    • David says:

      Oh Dana – comments like yours really make my day. I’m so honored and flattered to be an inspiration. Hopefully you’re doing well – KEEP IT UP!

  4. Catherine says:

    Believe it or not (and if you knew how clumsy I am, you’d beliee it) I run in the park across the street from where I live and typically trip and fall IN THE SAME SPOT. On time I fell I scared the beegeesus out of this older couple that was walking. I thought I was going to have to call a medic for them. I usually just laugh and get right back up. So far no real damage.

  5. Nurse Karen says:

    I would stay away from crowds, because you’re probably not taking as deep a breath as usual, which could make you more susceptible to pneumonia, flu, etc. Take some EmergenCe & Zicam prophylactically to combat any bugs trying to gain a foothold. Find the most tender spots on your neck and press on them quite firmly for 7-10 seconds at a time. If you can, get a neck & head massage {only neck & head–I wouldn’t monkey with your torso for now. Takes ~6 to 8 weeks to heal from a broken rib}…Oddly enough, touching the neck & head tender spots will help ease the pain. My old standby for deep aches: Epsom salts soaks in the tub, since you’ve done 3 days of icing. Skip the torso or vigorous exercises for a while, as if you broke a rib or two, you could cause it to move to puncture a lung or spleen: just be cautious. Any troubles breathing or increase in chest pain, go to an Emergency room. The recumbent bike idea sounds good. Sending healing thoughts your way… xoxo~

  6. Nurse Karen says:

    Maybe eat home made chicken-veggie soup, fills you up and soothes with the warmth…

    • David says:

      Thanks, Karen, for all the great tips in this comment and the other one – appreciate all the suggestions! Hope this finds you well and in the middle of a great holiday season! xo

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