Slow Recovery

It’s been a disappointing week. I thought I had been making a good comeback from my fall two weeks ago. Last Sunday, I did an easy 32-mile ride with no bad consequences. But Monday, I developed some pains in my side.

I had been having these feelings pretty much since the fall, but they were minor. I mostly concentrated on that huge bruise I blogged about last week, and then a hip pointer made itself known. Football players (American football) and hockey players get these, from banging the point of their pelvis bones against something hard. Most of the time, it’s not there, but when I bend my left leg a certain way, the pain is enough to make me jump.

Then on Tuesday, I decided to do my after work ride. It’s a 19-20 mile jaunt through my neighborhood. This time, as soon as I got on the bike, I could feel that pain in my side again. It feels as though something under my ribs is bruised, and if I bend at the waist a certain way, it’s quite painful.

On the bike Tuesday, that ache was with me throughout the ride. Instead of 19 miles, I cut it short and did only 12.

“You should see the doc,” said my wife, when I told her what had happened.

Luckily, my doctor keeps evening hours on Wednesday, and booked me an appointment that evening. He’s always been supportive of my biking, because of the changes it’s made in such indicators as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Of course, this is a negative effect.

He had me do some stretches, which didn’t hurt. He poked and prodded my sides, and found the quarter-sized spot on my left ribcage that triggered the pain. It’s where the rib meets cartilage, and he told me the cartilage is the damaged part.

“In my professional opinion,” he said, adopting a pedantic tone, “you’re banged up.”

There is nothing to be done. “Even if you had a broken rib, we wouldn’t do anything,” he said. “We’ve stopped wrapping ribs. It turns out that can cause pneumonia.”

He did recommend heat. And anti-inflammatories, which I’d already been taking. But it looks like it will be several weeks before the aches and pains go away.

I dug out the heating pad, and it does work. Saturday, I got on the bike and repeated the ride I had started Tuesday. This time, I did the whole 19 miles. My torso felt fine.

I rode again today. The only time it feels sore is when I stand to pedal up a hill, so I rode a mostly flat course. But I can ride without pain.

I’m looking forward to riding again Tuesday after work. My time in the saddle is really down this year. I’ve got some catching up to do.



  1. says

    Lovely diagnosis. You’re banged up. D’oh. Well, at least you have an answer, and a little something you can do to help the healing (heat–good call). Happy healing!

  2. says

    You know what they say about being divided by a common language! “A quarter sized spot” had me baffled for a moment, until I realised it refered to coin. Sorry I’m a little slow today. Hope you recover soon.

  3. says

    First of all, congrats on having a doctor who will see you in the evening. What a nice benefit! Regarding the fall, I am guessing you will be living with pain for a long time. I had a bad fall last September. Thought I broke my collar bone. The ER said, after an X ray, it was a contusion (bone bruise). Whew! But, that shoulder was so sore that I couldn’t sleep on my right side for 9 months. Best of luck in recovery.

  4. says

    Sorry that you had a spill. I had a really embarrassing one last year when I just toppled over at a light. I got back on my bike, but by the time I got home I couldn’t raise my arm. My rotator cuff hurt for weeks. It still doesn’t feel quite the same. It certainly is a bummer to suffer from setbacks.

  5. says

    Glad to see its nothing too serious. Here’s hoping you’re up to your old rides in short order.

    Congrats to your wife for encouraging you to see the Dr. Why is it that us men have such a hard time with that? I can only imagine what our life expectancy would be if we didn’t have a spouse encouraging/ordering us to seek medical assistance when appropriate!

  6. Tim says

    There’s a joke in there somewhere…oh yeah

    You: ” doc, it hurts when I do this.”
    Doc: “stop doing that.”

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