So, just as I hit radio silence for the remainder of last week (yes, self-imposed, I know), I went to my sparring class. Now, I've been sort of spotty when it comes to attendance at the sparring class. It's at a time on Tuesday evenings that sort of interferes with my routine of putting the kids to bed. Plus, my generalized cold-type illness, which kept me from breathing properly for a few weeks, also kept me from wanting to run around hitting and being hit. But I want that next belt, so I need to up my skills in the sparring department.
So, my intention was that last Tuesday night would be the start of a couple of months or so of concentrated effort to get my sparring skills up to par, get that next belt, and have a nice accomplishment for the start of the new year. Unfortunately, a new sparring partner put a rapid stop to that plan.
We started the evening with some basic practice with jabs and hooks. Good stuff, working combos, and so forth. I was working along with a new person (to me anyway), who seemed to have good control, and a good focus on sparring. So, when it came time to pair up and hit one another, I was happy enough to run my first round (of what usually amounts to a dozen in the evening) with him. Well, we were moving pretty well, I went in for the head shot, and he went low. Got me right in the rib cage. Harder than usual as well. Pretty much put a stop to the fight right there, as it knocked the wind out of me, and I couldn't get a good breath. So, I took a few seconds to get back my breathing, and we finished out the round. I hit the bathroom for a wet towel to cool off the area. Unfortunately, it started to clench up. Clearly something was wrong.
I was able to stick it out for the rest of class, but it was painful. I only managed two more rounds, and both of those were miserable, because I couldn't get my movements right. Class ended, I drove home. On the way, the rib cage started to seize up more tightly, and by the time I got home, I couldn't get myself out of the car. I had a call to make to India . . . figured I could hold off on the seemingly inevitable trip to the ER until after. But no, the pain just got worse and worse, until it was all I could do to get myself back in the car to go to the hospital. At this point, it was a toss up in my mind as to whether the rib was cracked or just bruised.
Once there, of course, it was the usual 2 hour wait. They even put me on the "Fast Track," which I've now decoded to mean "not any faster, it's just that you're not really all that sick, and treating you won't take long, so we'll move you off to the side." As long as I didn't move, I was able to keep the pain in check with shallow breathing. Eventually, I got a bed. The wife came back, since mother-in-law was able to come watch the kids sleep. She sat with me, brought me a book to read, all that good stuff. They did some rudimentary tests, asked me to breathe while they listened. All really good people there. My only complaint, and it's a very very small one, is that the doctor, when he asked me to breathe and saw that it was hurting me said, "Take the deepest breath that you can without causing pain." Now, I am a good soldier when it comes to following doctor's orders, so I reacted to "Take the deepest breath that you can . . ." before hearing the end of that sentence. I figured one big breath was all he needed to hear. So, my complaint is, could the doc not have said, "Without causing pain, take the deepest breath that you can?" I know, I know, my own fault for jumping the gun. The whole evening was my fault anyway. Doc said I could have a nice shot of Demerol.
That is some good sh*t, let me tell you.
Then, the x-rays. X-rays on Demerol. Nice. I got a little nauseated, and started to sweat (both normal reactions). Had to take a breath and hold it (just like Chong, I get the bowl and I reload it). Not really all that comfortable. They took about 6 pictures. Wheeled me back to the room. I fell asleep on my way back. In point of fact, I have no idea how I got from room to x-ray and back. I know I was laying on the bed, and that I wasn't making a hell of a lot of sense. I think I mentioned that it was strange how all hospitals seem to have hallways that don't meet at 90 degree angles. My wife, trooper that she is, stuck around in a room without a comfortable chair for her, for another hour while they developed and analyzed. However, I did make her promise not to hold anything against me that I said while under the influence of Demerol.
The verdict? Contusion. Gave me a prescription for Vicodin and those fat 800mg ibuprofens. The wife took Lotus to daycare, then took Tesla to the doc for a followup on her ears (still). Tesla was cleared for daycare as well, so the wife came home to sleep a while before going to work. Brought the drugs back with her. I spent the rest of the day on the couch under the influence of Vicodin.
I'm mostly off both of them now. I take the ibuprofen when I have to be moving around, and the Vicodin to let me sleep on my back. I hate sleeping on my back, but it's the only comfortable position. The Vicodin knocks me out. I don't think I'm getting dependent on it, but I hope to not have to take it much longer in any case.
Needless to say, I won't be sparring this week.