Sunday, 24 May 2009

Interlude - Physician, Heal Thyself

It's 4am. Most of my posts are written in the present tense; a method of drawing in the reader. This time it's for real. I am lying here in bed, my laptop under the covers, waiting for dawn. I am unable to sleep, despite being exhausted. I am not even afforded the pleasure of being able to toss and turn, as every movement, every breath, is painful. I check my pulse - tachy? Probably not. I cast my mind back to yesterday afternoon, a warm, sunny end to a lovely day. I had been riding in the local park with Mrs RRD, our daughter LittleMuffin, and SonThree. I was thinking how much fitter I was, having recently started going to the gym twice a week. Suddenly, I felt my front wheel lock up, and I went flying over the handlebars, the right one jamming into my chest!

I lay on the ground, flopping around, like a fish that has been hooked, netted and flung onto the river bank. I can't breathe! Searing pain in my ribs, low down on my right. The family rushing over, I proceeded to do my own Primary Survey:

Airway - definitely ok, despite the fact that I can't talk
Breathing - bloody painful!! There's no surgical emphysema (air in the tissues of the chest wall, signifying a collapsed lung.) Wait a moment, how long does it take for that to develop? Oh well, come back to B in a minute.
Circulation - no dizziness, pulse up a bit, but that's to be expected, no blood on the floor. pelvis intact, but right hip hurts a lot. I can move it, so clearly it's not broken.
Disability - I can't check my own pupils for reaction to light, but my Glasgow Coma Scale is 15 out of 15, and I am moving all 4 limbs. Thank goodness I was wearing my helmet.
Exposure - No way am I exposing myself in my local park! That's not the sort of publicity I or BASICS needs. Still, I am wearing shorts and a T-shirt (oh Gawd! It's my Trauma Junkie shirt - how mortifying!), so most of me is available for inspection. LittleMuffin offers, but it is Mrs RRD who checks over all my various grazes, and pronounces me battered but intact.

Mrs RRD looked on anxiously as I slowly dusted myself off and try to get up. Ow, my ribs!! Together, the three of them hauled me up (not quite enough gym, after all), and we made our slow way home.

As the evening wore on, so the pain increased. A veritable cocktail of drugs before bedtime, and yet still I lie here, listening to the soft sussuration of Mrs RRD's breathing, and now to the sound of birdsong outside my window.


  1. get well soon, a trip to A&E may be a good idea its never wise to self diagnosis no matter how qualified you are.

  2. Dude, you have my sympathy. Rib injuries suck sweaty donkey butt; I broke a bunch of mine in a car accident a while ago and Mr NM came home from Raven school with some cracked ribs last month.

    Ace wraps help for the first few days (I think they're still called elastic bandages in the UK) and if you have to sneeze or cough, try to find a solid object to brace yourself against. I spent a lot of time leaning on walls when I broke looks strange, but it really does make a difference.

    *raises coffee mug* here's to fast healing!

  3. OOOOH Ouch! I don't envy you! I have never broken a rib but I had an operation and struggled breathing for weeks sucks! Trouble was the ward I was in at hospital was full of funny people and nurses that kept making me laugh, I was in agony but it was funny! Anyway, hope you feel better soon! Love reading your blogs :)

  4. Sir! I love your blog and am sorry to hear about your accident. Hang in there!

  5. You crack me up RDD. A great post!
    Get better soon.
    PS Maybe carry a 14g IV around with you in the future, just in case you need to decompress yourself. Ha Ha.

  6. Thank you all for you kind words - Mac, I'm scared of needles, so I'll just breathe nice and shallowly...

    The update this morning is that I managed to sleep fitfully, despite the pain, so I feel somewhat more human this morning. I got a call at midnight from Control, but it was an advice call, fortunately.

  7. Feel better Doc! Bike accidents are no fun.
    Good thing you had that helmet on, eh?