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Broken ribs: everything they’re cracked up to be

Thom recounts the aftermath of a slip and fall and expresses gratitude for healthcare workers
For your consideration - Thom Barker

The Kispiox Valley Music Festival was awesome.

Except for the cracked rib.

When I slipped and fell on Sunday landing hard flat on my back, my immediate reaction was pissed off because I was now wet and covered in mud and still had a set to play.

After that, I knew immediately muddy clothes were the least of my worries. I have had cracked ribs before and knew that pain.

Pain, of course, is our friend. Nature’s way of preventing us from doing something stupid like bouncing around on a stage with a 10-pound Fender Jazz bass strapped to your back.

Nevertheless, the show must go on, so that’s exactly what I did.

It wasn’t that bad, but then the first day never is.

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It’s the second or third day that is usually the worst.

Not this time, though. I was certainly uncomfortable, but not enough so to seek medical intervention because my past experience with the Smithers ER told me it would likely be several hours only to be told there is nothing they can do for cracked ribs except try to make me comfortable with drugs.

I don’t like taking drugs, at least not for medicinal purposes. Recreationally, is another story.

So I put up with the discomfort and went about my business of which I had a ton, it being a short week and having inherited another newspaper to edit (Kitimat Northern Sentinel) due to a staffing vacancy, and since I wanted to be in Prince Rupert by Thursday.

By Thursday morning the pain had almost become unbearable. Thursday night I couldn’t even get into bed. I had to “sleep” propped up in an armchair. Pretty sure the neigbourhood probably got as little rest as I did because my back and side muscles started to spasm resulting in excruciating pain that prompted largely involuntary and loud moaning according to a witness who shall remain anonymous to protect the innocent.

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So, Friday morning, but only after I finished preparing the Sentinel for editorial layout, I begrudgingly headed to the Prince Rupert ER.

No slag on the Bulkley Valley Hospital, which has always been very busy when I’ve been there, but Rupert had me in and out of there in less than half an hour with an official verification of my self-diagnosis, a shot of Torodol in my arm, a bunch of shots of lidocaine in my back and side and prescriptions for an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant in my hand.

Suffice it to say, Friday was a very pleasant day.

I guess I got kind of carried away with the background story for what I had intended to be kudos to our healthcare workers.

Personally, I try to avoid interacting with them, in a professional capacity, as much as I possibly can, but it sure is nice to have them when you really need them.

Also, I can tell you this. Slipping and falling and cracking a rib, is a really bad idea.

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