coughing can be dangerous

so, i had bronchitis last month, and it hung on for quite awhile. i had coughing fits that were both extremely impressive and ridiculously disgusting. even though i got to the point where i definitely felt "all better," i was still coughing long afterward, with icky results.

last week i had some slight pain in my back, in a weird place (internet drawings of backs call it the "flank"). i thought i had slept funny and kind of ignored it for a couple of days. it got steadily worse and then it was driving me kind of crazy so i was poking around back there trying to pinpoint the location and figure out what it was, exactly. i couldn’t figure out if it was muscular or skeletal or what. it hurt most when i would cough. by yesterday it was really bugging me.

i went to a large family gathering and started showing it off to people. "my back really hurts here," i’d say, and shove my thumb around until i found the right spot. push, shove, poke, prod. did that for probably 30-60 minutes. later that evening i was sitting on the couch and realized that the pain had moved slightly (which it had been kind of doing all week, but this seemed more significant). now it seemed to be on my side, and it was really really tender. poke, prod, squish, "now it hurts here!" (foreshadowing: i am a complete dumbass.)

by last night it was really killing me, so my husband informed me that he would be making a doctor’s appointment for me first thing today. i woke up, side still smarting, and trundled off to the doctor. the verdict? i have injured my rib, most likely due to massive coughing fits. definitely strained, possibly cracked. i said, "hmmm, i was poking at it a lot last night…" and he said, "that probably really aggravated it." heh. i suck.

my instructions are to leave it be, in other words, "stop trying to locate it."


  1. I did that with a lump on the back of my neck once. It kind of bugged me a little bit so I kept poking and prodding it, and all of a sudden it hurt like a motherfucker and I couldn’t even turn my head. And it got HUGE. It was scary. It became infected and I was on these enormously large antibiotics every 4 hours. It was fun waking up in the middle of the night to take those damn things. So yeah. Poking soreness = a bad thing.

  2. thanks, VeganMomma!
    over the course of that week, i actually realized i had TWO sensitive spots in my ribs. argh. then i did some stupid stuff that made them feel worse instead of better (hint: it involves wrestling with a pit bull, heh)… but now things seem to be improving. i will keep my fingers crossed!

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