Monday, October 17, 2016

Sprained Intercostal Muscle

Okay - let me tell you the story of my injury.

A little over two weeks ago I was looking at a clean weekend and so my plan was to dedicate some serious hours to fall cleaning.  Saturday started out fine.  I moved some furniture around, emptied a few things out, then started the lovely task of shampooing the carpet.  I bought a new carpet cleaner (lighter and stronger) and I was definitely impressed with the results.  I had finished about two thirds of the carpet, opened all the doors and windows to let it dry, then headed outside to take a walk.

I must have had some residual soap on my shoes.  I turned out the door and started down the steps and BOOM down I went.  As I recall my left foot shot out first and my right foot was perched on the edge of the stair.  When I shifted my weight (all in the blink of an eye) to the right foot - zoom out it went.  I had a hold of the guardrail, but I still went down fairly hard.

As I fell, because of the grip on the handrail, I twisted to the left.  I am still not sure of the choreography of the fall since it happened so quickly.  I ended up about a third of the way down the stairs, sitting with my back to the wall.  I got right up and I knew that I had whacked myself pretty good - both due to the twisting and the impact on that stairs to my butt.

Nothing was broken, but it was all sore.  As Saturday progressed into Sunday it got stiffer, it tightened up and began to intermittently spasm. Monday and Tuesday were the worst.  As long as I was sitting down, as long as I was not moving, I was fine.  But any torso movement ran the risk of touching off a wicked muscle spasm in my left intercostal muscles, under the rib cage, at about the height of the kidneys.

I was moving very slow and very cautiously, but the slightest twist, often without warning and the spasm would very nearly send me to my knees.  I figured out how to lie down - I would place a stack of pillows against the wall, then kind of sit, leaning back against the pillows, then gradually slide down until I was laying flat on my back.  It was a pretty involved process, but it worked.

Getting out of bed was a whole other story.  Normally, I roll to the right and sit up.  Rolling triggered a muscle spasm. Sitting up triggered a muscle spasm.  Monday and Tuesday were horrible days.  I could get up by rolling over onto my right side, firmly grabbing the edge of the bed, and slowly pushing myself up. It was a painful event wracked by spasm after spasm until I would finally manage to get upright.

It was a fairly rough week.  Once I was up and moving I was okay and sitting in the Lazy Boy chair was fine.  A couple of nights I slept at least part of the night in the sitting position in the chair in the living room.  A little over two weeks have passed since the injury and I am doing well.  There is still some residual soreness, but thank heaven the spasms are gone. I can pretty cleanly get in and out of bed.

About the only thing I can't do is sleep on my side - and I am normally a side-sleeper.  I am getting tired of sleeping on my back. I do not sleep as well or as deeply as I do on my side. I snore - I am sure I'm raising the roof because sometimes I wake up and my entire mouth is dried out. I am up to the point where I can sleep a solid six hours or so, which is sufficient, but I am still looking forward to getting a good nights sleep,

So, in closing, let me just say - sprained intercostal muscles are no fun! Be prepared to sleep like a vampire - flat on your back with your arms crossed.

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