Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

My Broken Rib: Day 2

I was still coming to terms with the pain and limitation of things. My initial plan was to cancel two days of patients and see if I’d be fit to work on day 3 and then challenge the sick certificate to see if I can get it shortened. As I was up and about on day 2, this seemed like an unnaturally aspirational idea and the doctor at the Swiftcare Clinic had probably got it right – so I asked the crew to start rearranging the next couple of days of appointments for our patients.

I was cheered up that one of the patients wished me a good recovery when we rearranged his appointment. The range of reactions to the announcement yesterday had surprised me. I can understand that people had to have their appointments changed at short notice, and this is likely to be an inconvenience. Most of them understood the seriousness of the situation and although they were probably unhappy, they didn’t show it or take it out on my team. Some of my patients were surprisingly aggrieved by it – “this just isn’t good enough” would be the core comment. Even though I’d had an injury serious enough to fracture a bone and would now be working extra sessions and early mornings and later evenings and an extra Saturday or two, I wouldn’t be able to keep everyone happy.

What I did notice was that I had a good night’s sleep – albeit I didn’t fall asleep until late. I had to stay on my back throughout, but that wasn’t a huge problem to me. Lying in bed when I woke was painless, but getting up and dressed and out of the house and locking the doors left me very sore.

Sitting or lying isn’t particularly painful but changing from one to the other or standing can be.

This was the day when I realised that sneezing doesn’t happen normally for me now. I can feel the sneeze coming on in my nose and my lungs inflate more than ever before – excruciatingly sore and I expect it to get worse and then the urge to sneeze passes. One of my team tells me how to stop a sneeze. I have never heard this technique – apparently pressing your tongue against the top of your mouth halts a sneeze in its tracks. That’s something to think about as the week runs on.

One other thing on day two – I was surprised at how many people in the practice had broken ribs in the past – two of the regular team and one of the regular outside contractors. I couldn’t find any reliable data online on how many cases of broken ribs are diagnosed for every 100,000 per year but I know a few people that have broken a rib, but I don’t know anyone that has broken their jaw for instance. I could as easily have smashed my jaw that morning, and the treatment and life-impact that injury would have is in another league from what was ahead of me with the broken rib.

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