Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Not Particularly Happy to look up "bruised ribs" and see that the symptoms can last up to four weeks. Phooey.

I had a mishap during a three-hour(!) Access Paratransit ride last Thursday evening. (That would be the ride during which I posted that I could see the "Hollywood" sign, but couldn't get a decent photograph of it from inside the van.) It started when KC was seated in the row behind me in the van, due to the fact that there was another rider in the van and we couldn't sit next to each other. (Paratransit rides are, normally, shared rides with multiple passengers, pickups, and drop-offs... which is why it took us three hours between getting on at the hotel, and getting off at KC's apartment complex 24 miles away.) So KC sat in the last row of the van, which was designed to seat two passengers, with her guide dog and the other passenger. I sat in the middle row, on a seat that could fold completely up and out of the way when a wheelchair user got on board.

Eventually, the other passenger got off, and KC decided to shift to the seat directly behind mine. But when she did, she couldn't reach the seatbelt, which was up over her left shoulder. So I leaned over the back of my seat to try and retrieve the seatbelt for her. I couldn't reach it. I leaned farther. No luck. So I thought, "I'll give one big lunge in the direction of the seatbelt. That should do it." This involved throwing myself against the back of my seat, and when I did that, I did reach the seatbelt and hand it to KC, who buckled herself in.

However, that was when I discovered that the foldaway seat I was in was a LOT less padded than it appeared. OOOOOF, hitting that freaking thing really hurt! Fortunately, the pain on the left side of my ribcage faded away within a few hours. Unfortunately, the pain on the RIGHT side of my ribcage has yet to fade. From that point onward, it's ranged between a minor annoyance and a major annoyance, depending on what I'm doing and how much ibuprofen is in my system at the time. (Except for the flight home -- that was pretty bad. Five hours of flying cross-country, plus a rib-area injury, is a REALLY nasty combination. On a scale of 1-10, it ached at around 6 or 7 pretty much nonstop. Ugh. I blame the discomfort on the air-pressure changes that occur during flight.)

Anyway, I doubt that I've actually broken anything -- I would expect the pain to be way worse than in the "minor to major annoyance" range, if there were broken bones involved. However, I sure as heck did some sort of damage. I'm thinking I bruised soft tissue in there, and/or the bones. Probably both. Either way, it feels like crud right now because the ibuprofen has worn off. Time for me to re-medicate.

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