On Tuesday night my ribs were basically like, “Go eff yourself.”
I laid in bed in pure pain.
Every. Single. Breath. Hurt.
My ribs. Hurt.
I was alone.
I was in agony.
And I didn’t really know what to do.
I took a hydrocodone, but I might as well have taken a Skittle.
I thought about going to the ER, but figured racking up a huge bill so I get some good drugs probably wasn’t worth it.
But that hurt. So I stopped.
And I just laid there. In pain. Crying on the inside.
I tried ranking my pain in my head.
I thought about how being dead would be better than the pain I was in.
I figured that had to put me at like an 8 or a 9.
I tried to move so that my body weight was in a different position. But that didn’t help.
An hour went by. Then another hour. I kept crying on the inside.
I realized how easy it is to get to a point where you just want to give up. Give in. Quit.
I thought about being dead some more.
Another hour passed. I closed my eyes for a few minutes and just ached with every breath and every movement.
The night crept by slowly.
And then, finally, after a series of short naps, it was time to wake up.
I got ready for work. The hot shower seemed to ease things. I thought maybe the day wouldn’t be so bad.
Then I got in the car. I made it about 20 minutes before I was crying in agony.
I willed myself to drive the rest of the way to work. Another 60 minutes. I needed to get my work laptop so I could get some stuff done at home.
I got there. Stopped at my desk to call a doctor I hadn’t seen about this yet, walked over to my bosses’ office with tears in my eyes to tell him I was leaving for the day and then I got back in my car.
I drove to see Dr. Pangan.
I said, “You have to help me.”
He examined my ribs, and when he touched the bones, I felt the wind come out of me. I cried. So much.
He thinks it could be rib fracture. He says costochondritis should be gone by now. He wrote a prescription for some new meds, ordered a chest X-ray and some blood work to check my inflammation levels. And he referred me to a pain specialist.
The pain specialist.
That is the man I want to meet.
That is the light at the end of the tunnel.
That is who will help me breathe again.