Sep 27, 2011

Living with cracked ribs : Life after the Great Fall

Spare me the embarrassment of retelling the story of how I cracked my ribs!! Today is the week anniversary of the accident! So tonight it's all about the week after the fall!

The Great Fall, in itself, wasn't that glorious. A nervous beginner cyclist. Two bikes and an auto coming on the wrong side. Too narrow a road. Nerves taking over. Cyclist down. Passerby stops to help. "I'm still learning" cyclists grins (sheepishly). Ignoring throbbing knees. Ignoring hurting sides. 10 minutes later, failed cyclist turns badminton player. Loses a mixed double. Partner blames her. She blames hurting sides and throbbing knees. Next day, pain too much to bear. Doc appointment. X-ray. **Kaching** Multiple rib fracture.

I fell asleep while waiting for the doctor with my X-ray results. It was 11 in the morning and I hardly slept for five hours. The night before, there was a funeral and we stayed up the whole night while waiting for the body to be sent back home. The nurse must have called me several times. She woke me up with a hand on my shoulder.  After knowing about my fractured ribs, I must say, I needed a place to 'lick my wounds' and headed to a friend's place where I stayed for lunch and dinner. I fell asleep on the way back too.

What's it like to have cracked ribs?

1. The P word. It's been a week. I still take painkillers and muscle relaxants every single day.

2. I can't lift my left arm much. Today I did my laundry with only one hand!! Sigh! there goes my futile attempt at ambidexterity. Yet again!

3. I always live in the fear of getting knocked, pulled and pushed around or tickled in the ribs. Yes! The guys I hang out with do that to me all the time. Thankfully! My "Nak na" squeal would stop them in their tracks. One still chose to playfully punch my stomach! Hmmm ... Men!

4. I still can't sleep on my left side. I am a fetal curler. And I toss around in my sleep. This past week, I wake up in my sleep a lot. All because every time I turn to my left, I wake up from the pain. Extra cushioning doesn't do much help.

5. I'm the object of ridicule. People are laughing at my expense. This particular group (they call themselves 'Delhi Mizo Male Voice'... I call them 'Chimawm Gang') said that with all my kickboxing exercise, I still manage to crack my ribs. They also slyly added "Nakruh na chung hian kawm a lo nuam tawk chauh anih hi". Another friend told me to lose weight. He's totally barking the wrong tree here. He, himself, is underweight yet he broke his ribs (Mind you... it's 'broke' not 'cracked') while playing football last month. Certain tweets and picture-tweets add feathers to my already prominent crown of ridicule. A friend tweeted that he'd chain  me to a tree near my hostel after my refusal to take a weekend off.

6. A few people have been good to me though! Nu Mamawii offered me a bed to sleep on the day my results came out, gave me two good hot meals and asked me to stay over (which I didn't. Dang! I should have!). The damlo kan date with the girls didn't materialize but we settled for a hearty drink of Banta and Nimbu Paani the next night. A slab of chocolate, I will never forget, made it to my mini fridge too. Four, and I count, four gentlemen have the decency to text me asking me how am I doing. One absolute gentleman offered to carry my handbag for me. And the boyfriend is definitely not one of them. Shame, shame. And I write this because I know he will read this!! It's only a subtle hint though!

7. I can't exercise at all! I sit everyday feeling like a couch potato!

8. I can't sing. LITERALLY. It hurts when I sing. And I take this time to apologize for the horrible group singing this Sunday. It was all my fault. My breath ran out, I couldn't hold a tune for long and I couldn't sustain.  It was all my fault. The others in the group are excellent singers. I am responsible for every sharps and flats in the song! :(

9. I take bath only with warm/hot water. In Delhi heat. Doc's orders. :(

10. The hardest thing during my week long journey to recovery is riding an auto or a bus. Auto is the worst. Especially in Delhi roads. My toes curl every time I see another speed breaker or a dent on the road. "Bhaiyya, aaram se!!" and "Ouch" all in the same breath!! After a nasty ride with the rude Autowallah  this evening, I told myself that I will not budge from the campus for this whole week!

Corset's my new fashion trend! I'm kidding! I don't go around in that bandage anymore! P.S:  The  constipated smile was to mask the pain... The pic was taken on the day I was diagnosed!

It's only been a week. The doctor said it'll take a couple of weeks before I can stop the painkiller and the muscle relaxant and a few more weeks for the healing to complete. In the meantime, Doc told me to quit prancing around, running, dancing, skipping and pretty much all the other actions that define me. "And absolutely no cycling" were his final words!

So in the meantime, I cheat! 


I can't be me without prancing and singing! 
But I promise to be subtle about it!


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. I shouldn't say this, but from time to time I laughed. I'm sorry, I know you're in pain!
You shouldn't kickbox for AT LEAST 3-4 months. Tell you a secret: I go to Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, once a year for... Muay Thai. There you are. My ribs have been cracked a few times by those who train their shins (tibias) against trees from the age of 8-10. Look after yourself, please. Oh... I almost forgot: I'm also a MD and know what I'm talking about. Keep writing. You're great! And pls... do not cycle! Listen to this old man. Hahaha... Regards, E

Mizohican said...

lolz, I was on vacation for almost a month, so I missed a lot of your "drama". lolz. Spent a good time going through all your posts I missed. Its good to see that you're back on your feet again :)