I’ve never been in an ambulance. Strange, I know, but somehow I’ve gotten lucky enough to have never needed a ride in the flashing metal box… until Friday.
So as you may remember, last weekend I spent my time carving up the Blue Hills ski area, reminding myself how to snowboard and having an amazing time. But, I also learned how much crashing can hurt, and how long it can knock the wind out of you for. At once point I tried to stop short to avoid hitting a little skier, not more than 10, and ended up superman-ing myself chest-first into the snow. Knocked the wind out of me for a good few seconds, but I got right back up and carved that mountain like a thanksgiving turkey. And it was good.
Except… not so much. By Tuesday, my right ribs were starting to ache; a dull throbbing punctuated by a sharp stabbing pain. The pain was nothing bad though, and definitely not enough to keep me from climbing Tuesday or Thursday. Not enough to keep me from having some fun on Thursday either (see previous story). But Friday comes along, and it hurts. A lot. Mostly from climbing the night before, I think to myself. But either way, I head into work, prep my day, and started moving some boxes of shelves around. The first box hurts a bit, but as I’m rotating to put it down… *POP*
As soon as I hear the pop from my rib, my mind snaps back to when I broke my elbow back in Manchester. My vision starts to dull, and I start to sweat. “I’m going to pass out in about five minutes” I think to myself, trying to calm down and not think about the rib that I may have just broken. I quickly unbutton my shirt (yes, I have an undershirt on), and decide that it would be a good exercise in intelligent decision making skills to walk downstairs and tell someone that I’m hurt.
I get to the shipping area, right below where I was working, and quickly tell one of the guys what happened, saying “And…. I think I’m going to pass out soon.” He gets this “deer in the headlights” look, and takes me to his supervisor, who has me sit down while he calls emergency services for our company. They apparently tell him to call 911, because the next thing I know there’s a cop and firefighters asking me if I’m ok, while one of the company medics is asking me how I hurt myself. I answer everything that I can, as I slowly start to feel better. I actually never passed out, though I came close, so I’m fairly cognizant and aware, though every breath hurts more than I care to remember. I get loaded onto the ambulance in fairly short order, and am taken over to the Cambridge Medical Center.
On the way to the ER I overhear the EMT’s talking about how their trying to call the hospital… to no avail. “Ohh well, guess we’re surprising them, huh?” one says to the other. Great. Definitely the way I was hoping to spend my Friday; surprising ER nurses. But we do make it in, and after a longer-than-I’d-expect wait I get my room, the EMT has me sign that I was taken there, and I’m waiting around for an X-Ray. I get my ribs prodded and the rays taken, and wait around some more. Finally the ER doctor (and her supervisor) come in to tell me the news, “Well, nothings broken, and you don’t have any major hemorrhaging that we can detect from the X-Rays. But to be honest… It doesn’t matter. We couldn’t do anything for a broken rib besides medicate the pain, so… yeah.” Turns out its most likely a “Deep Tissue Bruise” that will take 1-3 weeks to heal; and all that time I get to be nicely hopped up on painkillers. Not my goal for the week, but definitely not as bad as a broken bone, right?