A little more than a week ago, I injured my lower right ribs shoveling snow from the driveway. I'm rather embarrassed about this because the snow totaled about four inches, which is to say, not much. I figured I had pulled a muscle and the pain would subside in a few days. Fast forward nine days, and the pain is worse now than it was when it first appeared. So I went to see my doctor this morning, and the diagnosis is: costochondritis. That's a fancy way of saying I sprained my ribs.
I didn't know until today that you could sprain your ribs. I'm happy I didn't crack a bone, but at the same time, I can't think a break would hurt much less. I'm reminded of the injury every time I get in or out of bed or a chair, cough, sneeze, blow my nose, make a jerky movement, drive over a pothole, take a deep breath, etc. And I'm looking at four to six weeks of recovery time. While you can wrap a sprained ankle or wrist and minimize its use, the ribs have to keep working, and they take longer to heal.
My grand plan to hit the health club three times a week and do abs and butt exercises every day is now being set back until the end of March. But to every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. I'm going to sleep very well at night for the next couple weeks thanks to some heavy-duty painkillers.