Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's As If I've Been Punched

I don't have the flu anymore, but I have had a lingering cough. A week or so ago, in the midst of the coughing, I pulled something like a muscle. Or I broke something like a rib. Whatever happened, it hurts.

It hurts when my cat Tiger puts a paw on my sternum. It hurts when I clear my throat. It hurts if I cough even slightly. It hurts if I hiccup or get in and out of a car or pick up something heavier than a cup of coffee. And God help me, it hurts if I sneeze.

Like anybody who doesn't like going to doctors, I turned to the Internet for a diagnosis, and I found all sorts of people asking for help from cough injuries. Apparently it's common to hurt yourself while coughing, which makes me wonder if we're all just doing it wrong. Maybe there is correct posture and incorrect posture for it, and those of us in the wrong position break our bones or pull a tendon.

The consensus online is that you're screwed. Once you break a rib or pull a muscle or damage the connective tissue in that general area, all you can do is wait it out, and it could take weeks to heal. You have to hold a pillow when you feel a cough of sneeze coming on, and you have to take Advil for occasions when you, say, play a French horn.

I called an actual doctor and talked to the nurse about the whole thing, and she said exactly what I read on the Internet, including the fact the doctor couldn't help me, so there's no point in coming in for a visit. So, here I sit, clutching a pillow and popping Advil and enjoying that rare deep breath that doesn't come with pain.


kyle@sift said...

Once when my dad was ill my mom bought him a big blue whale stuffy he could hold while he coughed. It helped a great deal. Francesca still plays with that old blue whale. Feel better soon!

Lynn said...

I know how you feel, Robyn. I have to be in a 'proper' position to cough too, otherwise that can happen, or my back can go. Eek. Feel better soon x

Shan said...

Well, I hope it's easing up since it has been a few more days since you posted about the rib pain. You were dreadfully sick and the recovery is lingering too! Sorry Robyn!!
I'm trying not to get cocky so early in the game about not having the flu, because sure as I do...BAM. :) I don't get flu shots. I just don't trust those suckers for some reason. I hope we all make it through this porker of a winter in all the ways that it relates to piggish symptoms. If I don't get this Halloween candy out of my site line my waistline will go that way first!