Benched

MRI.jpgI’ve been benched. For twelve weeks. First six, now twelve. “No hanging from anything,” were her exact words and by “anything” she meant the trapeze or other bars of any kind.

I’ve seen more doctors and trainers and acupuncturists and physical therapists and chiropractors than I care to count and the verdict is still frustratingly fuzzy. What was first thought to be a sprained fifth rib that might have caused a strained muscle became a torn pectoral minor on further examination. Now, they think it’s a stress fracture in the fifth rib and a dislocated first rib that has resulted in an arrangement of strained ligaments and muscles. I have sheets and sheets of films from my MRI, none of which I can read, but I do see the big white spot where that first rib is protruding like a mini alien out of the top joint on my sternum. It’s disconcerting to see in the mirror, more so to feel the bump, but, strangely, it doesn’t hurt. The places that do hurt are just outside the range of the MRI, which it seemed like they would be when I was at the hospital. There is no protocol for scanning the chest. The lab has instruction sheets for every place on the body where there are joints. I saw them. But there’s no chest slot, so they made it up as they went along. Apparently if you want the top of the chest, you can’t have the side too. Cake. No Eating.

Since the fifth rib isn’t in the picture, that leaves the stress fracture as pure conjecture, but it hurts like it’s cracked, so I’m going with it. I’d be more uncomfortable with an unsubstantiated diagnosis if I thought it would make any difference in the treatment plan but it won’t. There is one plan for cracked, broken or stressed ribs: don’t move it. This is the same plan as the one for torn chest muscles or ligaments. Not very inventive, if you ask me, but I see their point. To immobilize it, they’d have to put me in a body cast for six weeks to prevent me from lifting my left arm. The strain of living with me might break R, so I’m glad we’re not doing that. Keeping your ribs from moving is well near impossible. My rib cage shifts when I do anything. Arms, abs, shoulders, all of it. The only things I can move without danger are my legs. Riverdance, here I come.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany

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