Yesterday afternoon I fell down the stairs in our house. I was walking down the stairs and about half way down I slipped and the next thing I knew I was lying at the bottom of the stairs perpendicular to the stairway. I couldn’t get up. I was able to move my arms and legs. There was no numbness or tingling anywhere, but the right lower side of my back hurt badly.
My son had been at the top of the stairs when I fell. He is only 4 years old, but all of a sudden he became a little hero. He came down and sat by my side while calling his Dad. My husband was on his way home from work and Carlos told him what happened. After that I asked him to get me a bag of frozen vegetables out of the freezer. He came back with two bags of edamame beans and helped me to position them under my back. He brought a pillow from the living room to make me more comfortable. He got me a bottle of Ibuprofen and some water. Then he just sat and held my hand.
Orlando was home in 15 minutes. He tried to help me up but I was in too much pain. After about 45 minutes on the floor Orlando literally lifted me off the floor. It felt better to be standing but it seemed every which way I turned my lower right back would seize and ache. I knew that I would need to go the ER. I called work to let them know what was going on because I knew there was no way I could work. Is it wrong that it made me so angry to call out because I haven’t missed a day other than for vacations since April 2007? It’s not like we get attendance awared!
Then Orlando brought me to the ER. I had some reservations about going to the ER where I work, but it is only 5 minutes away. Orlando and Carlos dropped me off and went home. I hated the thought of Carlos sitting in the waiting room. There was no need. The place was crazy anyway.
I was taken into the ER in about 40 minutes. Once my vitals were assessed and some basic information taken I was brought to a small private exam room. The Physician’s Assistant saw me within minutes. He felt that the painful area was near the ribcage so he wanted to get a chest X-Ray. Everything was happening much more quickly than I anticipated and shortly after I was off to X-Ray.
I was brought back to the small exam room. When the PA came back he said, “Well you’ve really done it, you broke a rib.” I was shocked. After processing what he said I realized how lucky I was that nothing had happened to my back. Not unlike a broken toe, there is really nothing medically that can be done for a broken rib other than rest, ice, deep breathing to prevent pneumonia and pain medication. I am under strict orders not to run for at least a week and then only if I can breath comfortably can I begin running again slowly and short periods of time.
I am so grateful that I did not injure my back. This is quite painful enough but it will heal. For now I am just trying to stay strong and positive.