IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rib Popping

If you've followed along on my blog, you might remember me mentioning I had a little crash on my bike at the Great Illini race. Well, it was a minor crash and I was able to finish the 112 miles, but I felt a pain in my side when I finished. It felt much like a cramp you would get after running a while...almost like a side stitch. I thought it was weird, since I hadn't done any running, then I thought it might've been something from the fall, but then thought nothing of it.

The next few days passed by and I was in pain. I couldn't laugh, cough, sneeze or breathe deeply and I just thought it would go away in a few days. I went back over in my mind the details of the crash - I fell to my left and most of the impact was on my left elbow. I then hit my shoulder and helmet and then my hip. My ribs never really hit the ground, yet that's where I felt this pain any time I tried to move, stretch or twist. Then I went to swim and got in a warm up of about 600 yards. The next set started with 50 yards of butterfly. OW, OW, OW, OW, OW! Oh my gosh, that 50 yards was excruciating and as I ended that 50 yards, I decided I would not be swimming any more butterfly today. But as it turns out, I would not be swimming at ALL the rest of the day...nor the few days after. I started out the next 50 yards with some freestyle and screamed in pain. Whatever I had done had really agitated the situation and I could not pull with my left arm. I got about 10 yards out and doggie-paddled back in. My lane mates asked if everything was OK, but they knew it wasn't. I waited a couple of 50s and tried to jump back in. No, no, no....same thing, out about 10 yards, doggie paddle back in. I was upset and in pain. I got out of the pool and walked carefully and gingerly to the locker room.

It hurt to move. It hurt to lift my arm over my head to wash my hair. It was impossible to twist. If I put pressure on the place where it was painful, it seemed to go away, but as soon as I took my hand off, it hurt. It was difficult to get in the car. I couldn't turn the steering wheel with my left arm. I got home, carefully and slowly got out of the car and came over to the computer. I couldn't use the mouse (I use my left hand). I did a little research and decided it was a strained intercostal muscle. I figured it would go away soon. I popped some Advil, put some Icy Hot on it and tried to sit still for the rest of the day.

I couldn't lay down on my side. I could only lay on my back. And then, when I tried to get up, I would wince with pain. I felt so helpless and wondered how I did this to myself. More importantly, I wondered how I could get it to go away. My conversations sounded weird because if I tried to move in the middle of a sentence, you could hear an inflection in my voice. I missed several workouts that week and finally, one day, I tried getting out of bed and screamed in pain. I couldn't take it any more. It wasn't getting better. I had this clicking sound on my left side and I still couldn't breathe deeply, sneeze, cough, yell, or even laugh. (I had to stop watching my Seinfeld re-runs!).

On the advice of the all-knowing BC, I called a couple chiropractors. Within a day, I had an appointment with a sports chiropractor. I explained to him my problem as well as the crash which I think caused the problem. Very quickly, he identified the source of the problem. I laid face down on the table, held my breath and he "popped" my rib back into place. No, this did not hurt. Then we slapped some ice on there and he said I should be almost 100% within 2 days. And I was. Awesome. I never really knew what a chiropractor did or what an "adjustment" was. But now I know. It's nice to be able to breathe, cough, sneeze and laugh again. Pain free!

1 comment:

Griz said...

scary, get some R&R