I have been rowing or sailing almost everyday for two weeks. One day I rowed eight miles on the Schuylkill River in 2 1/2 hours. Overall I am happy with my fitness. All of this in preparation of the trip I’ve been planning.
The reason I built this particular boat and have been preparing so hard is I am going to take my boat ‘Little Joy’ 2000 miles down the Mississippi River beginning in Minneapolis then all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
That is the reason I had a deadline of June first to finish the boat. I wanted it in the water then spend a month learning the boat and getting in shape. With the delay in building I pushed my start date to August 5th, less than two weeks away.
Back in late May while playing golf I doubled over in pain. It was excruciating but I finished the round anyway. I assumed it was a pulled muscle probably an oblique. I treated it as a pulled muscle and rested some and heat treatments. No problem. I continued building my boat and living my life, I felt better after a couple of weeks and played golf again. Big mistake. Ohhww!
So rest again. Better. Golf again. Owwhh!
Maybe I should go to the doctor. The doctor says its a pulled muscle. Here are some anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers. Just to be safe we will take some chest x rays. Two days later the Dr office calls and said x rays appear ok, there are no notes. I’m asked to come in for a follow up visit. Thinking everything’s fine and I just need time to heal I wait two weeks to go back.
In the meantime I manage to reinjure my side by lifting the boat on the trailer and now it hurts again.
The doctor comes in and asks a few questions and starts reading the x ray report.
“Well”, she says “You’ve got a broken rib.”
“What? Like it’s actually broken?”
I think to myself “well that that explains a lot”.
“You must have been hit or fell. A rib does not break easily.”
” I hurt it swinging a Golf club.” I tell her
” You must swing pretty hard.” she said.
I could tell she didn’t believe me.
Sigh. How the hell did we not realize it was broken ?
Her cure was rest and don’t lift anything for 4 to 6 weeks. There isn’t much else you can do for rib.
Shit! I’m leaving in eight days.
“No you are not.’ my wife tells me.
“I’ve lived with the pain for two months I’ll just suck it up and be careful.”
Of course, after the news sinks in and I accept the fact that it is more than a pulled muscle I agree with her.
She says “You still need to make the trip this year though.”
“Yeah but September it will be too late.” I protest.
After some more thoughtful consideration I agree with her again and settle for September first to be on the Mississippi. That gives me five weeks to get better.
The injury itself was diagnosed as ‘a minimal separation between rib 9 & 10’. That means the break is where the rib, in this case a short rib, and the cartilage that joins to the sternum broke where the two meet. It is generally caused by blunt force but can be caused by violent twisting! Ah ha! I never thought my golf swing was violent. Awkward, graceless, and shameful maybe but not violent. I may have to rethink my swing if I ever play golf again. Any way it happened it still hurts like hell.