In this past year of awesome, there is one painful reminder of what I’ve done. There is one nagging souvenir telling me Tough Mudder is a fool’s errand. There is one memory that was poked and prodded by doctors, to which they answered “Here’s some Vicodin,” but it’s solved nothing.
Last night I slept on my right side. I like sleeping on my right side. It’s my thing. Why do I sleep on my right side? For whatever reason that usually puts me facing the door, my back to an outer wall. I don’t get it, but this brings me comfort. It’s likely more and less complicated than that, all at the same time, but I’m not sure. The point is, when I woke up, I was in a great deal of discomfort. I can’t quite call it pain, it’s just a small voice in my side saying, “I hate you and won’t let you sit still.”
Ever since TM, one of my ribs has been either in severe pain or sporadically unhappy. There was a bulge there for a while. When I drove for a long distance, I’d use my hand to put distance between my seat belt and the rib or it made it difficult to focus on driving. This isn’t like a small ordeal. Right now, as I write this, I’m continuously moving around because sitting in one spot for too long is bad. My arm is also crossing my side, which is aggravating the stray rib.
Originally, I could not tell my side hurt. I couldn’t feel this one rib and its incessant tears. My core was wracked with so much pain, it was indistinguishable. I had to roll out of bed for over a week because it was that painful to sit up. And rolling onto the floor didn’t help as much as I would have liked because I still had to sit up. Often I got up by swinging my legs and using the momentum to carry me up right. When this subsided, I finally realized there was a very specific part of my ribs that was in a particular kind of pain, a pain that at one point was bad enough I couldn’t drive. I went to urgent care that day.
The reason I call it a floating rib is because it’s an apt description as to how it feels. It feels like this one troublesome rib, so traumatized by the obstacle course, is floating in there. It’s moving back and forth. It’s irritated. The more weight I put on that side, the more it acts up. The more it says, “And you want to do this again next year?” It is seriously disconcerting to the point I sometimes consider not doing TM next year. This gets me all weepy, because it was an amazing life altering experience I desperately want to do again. In under six hours this time. Four is a good aim. Not being dehydrated when I start would likely make that feasible.
I hope it just got badly bruised and is easily agitated. This is what I’m truly with all I have hoping for. Because it hurts. I do not like it one bit. But the hell I’m going to let it keep me from TM.
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