A Streak Has Ended or How I Cracked My Rib

I made it 31 years, 5 months, 11 days without fracturing anything, but that streak ended last week when I cracked a rib. What’s even sadder is how I cracked it: coughing. Apparently, if you cough hard enough long enough, you can weaken your ribs to the point where they’ll eventually crack (in this case rib number 5). I got sick with a bad sinus infection a couple days after Christmas and it hung on for the entire month of January, eventually transitioning to bronchitis. I felt pretty ok otherwise but was still coughing a lot. The week before my rib cracked my back started hurting, but I figured I was sleeping on it wrong, particularly since since the first day I woke up with my back hurting I also somehow stuck both hands under my back and they both fell asleep. It got progressively worse with each passing day, though. My mom at one point suggested that it was maybe related to all the coughing I was doing, but I thought that sounded kind of crazy. Crazy or not, that’s apparently what happened: I seem to have coughed enough to weaken a rib. Finally I was in my office at work, had a sudden cough, felt something pop in my back and chest and was instantly in a lot of pain. I tried finding some Tylenol but there wasn’t any in the office, so I walked to the grocery store across the parking lot and got some. I took 1,000 mg and still directed the 6pm news (flawlessly, I might add). Immediately afterwards my dad got me to an urgent care, where after a couple x-rays I got the bad news. I still find it kind of crazy that could happen, but the doctor said his wife actually cracked 2 ribs at once for the same reason. There’s not much they could really do other than give me pain killers and muscle relaxers, and antibiotics to knock out the bronchitis so I won’t keep coughing. Wrapping it would just restrict my breathing and make me cough more. I’m actually not in much pain unless I move the wrong way, breathe too deep, try to clear my throat, or cough. Coughing is about the worst. Fortunately I’m not coughing much anymore, so hopefully I’ll finally be over this illness and healed back up soon. The rib didn’t break all the way through, so it should only take about 3 weeks to heal up. That can’t come soon enough.

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