Yearning to breathe freely

When someone talks about “cracking” ribs, it’s hard to know what they actually mean: I don’t think there’s a medical definition; and people wouldn’t stick to it anyway, if sympathy’s in the offing. So: despite almost certainly not breaking mine, I’d like to think there was a weightier term than just “bruising” to describe what I did to them, coming down the tail end of a red run in the Alps last week.

Throwing that out there in that fashiong makes me sound rather like some humblebragging member of the international jetset, but frankly the slopes these days contain far more surfers, away from the coast for the winter, and early twentysomethings in animal onesies, than bronzed millionaires flashing brilliant smiles into lens flare. On top of that, skiing is sufficiently out of character that, when K. told friends that was what I was away doing, they didn’t quite believe her.

After a week, I’m almost back to normal, so it’s clear that, however bad the bruising, that was all it really was, “cracking” notwithstanding. But the surreality of returning from skiing to my new freelancing life – of returning from Christmas, or anything, to my new freelancing life – has been slightly compounded by the cracked rib and terrible weather keeping me entirely indoors and sedentary. Every sneeze is followed by a whiny “ow”, so there’s no way I’m up for five laps of the local park, or a couple of hours spinning around the Cotswolds.

From chalet fervour to cabin fever, if you like. Roll on the brighter mornings and evenings. Just wait for me to get my breath back first.

This entry was posted in body, diary, environment, exercise, experience, france, freelance, health, injuries, location, occupation, person, tourism, weather. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Yearning to breathe freely

  1. 1looby says:

    I know you go skiing but each time you mention it, there’s always a moment in which I have to override my disbelief. But if you’re going to snap your ribs on something, a snow-covered mountain is definitely the place to do it.

    • smallbeds says:

      I know what you mean. It’s completely out of character for me, and if I hadn’t had a work jolly to push me into it then I’d have never, never tried it: it even took two work jollies (the first time, I just did cross-country skiing for fear of snapping a wrist: it was dull.)

      The odd thing is that I had fallen already on that last day, just two minutes earlier. The first time round, it was a big spill on a steepish slope; both skis whanged off; lots of people saw me do it; I felt my shoulder pop out (and back in again – it does that) as I hit the ground; and given my desire to stay still until I was sure my shoulder wasn’t hurt considerably more, I was lying immobile to the extent that complete strangers were asking me if I was all right. I was.

      Two minutes later I fall comically on my stomach during a flat section, like I’m pretending to ride a luge as part of some asinine tomfoolery; yet ten days later it’s still not right. Still utterly overjoyed I went, though. I wish I could explain why, yet remain ostensibly in character.

  2. I did something remarkably similar myself several years back, though falling off a bike. Not bad enough to get x-rayed, but ouchy. Much sympathy.

    • smallbeds says:

      Thank you for that! It’s been like two injuries combined: serious bruising and swelling that (briefly but worryingly) made me feel like I’d swallowed some food and it hadn’t gone down properly, but which has healed at about the rate bruising usually heals and is therefore almost gone; yet underlying that is a kind of feeling weakness, like you get in a thigh muscle when someone’s chortlingly jabbed it with their elbow, only this latter injury isn’t really going away. I’m guessing that’s the slight sprain, that’s going to be with me for quite a while.

    • smallbeds says:

      (I say “briefly but worryingly” because “food that won’t go down” is also a symptom of quite serious heart problems: two heart-attack sufferers I know say that it was the only actual symptom they had during their attack. But apparently you don’t have very many dedicated nerves around there, so your options for proprioception of discomfort are limited.)

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