Get Crackin’! Why I Eagerly Await the Development of Unbreakable Super-Ribs

I’ve cracked a few ribs in my day. It’s become, almost, (one of) my signature move(s): have a particularly bad seizure, break a rib, spend a while recovering, convince myself that it will never happen again because my ribs are now made of titanium (they aren’t made of titanium, unfortunately), repeat at some later date and marvel at the extreme power of self-delusion.

The latest “some later date” was last weekend.

Luckily, I have a very high tolerance for pain that’s so bad it’s hard to breathe/move/laugh (not to complain or anything) and was able to take advantage of the two hours in the waiting room of the walk-in clinic at which I had my rib injury diagnosed—more than twenty-four hours after the fact and at my husband’s insistence since I wanted to “feel it out” while he gently reminded me that the responsible thing was to make sure that there weren’t any complications—to get some thesis-editing done. I’m really into multitasking these days.

I'm not one to ever pass up an opportunity to work on my thesis—like when I'm waiting to see a doctor about my extreme pain.
I’m not one to ever pass up an opportunity to work on my thesis—like while I’m waiting to see a doctor about my extreme pain.

In fact, though I was annoyed about the damaged incurred to my body, I was perhaps equally annoyed about the damaged incurred to my work schedule as I enter the final push to finish my dissertation, which coincides with a busy time, teaching-wise, in the semester.

Still, setbacks are inevitable, epilepsy is unpredictable, my ribs are, apparently, ripe for the cracking, and why dwell on the negative?


An aside of sorts: given the general attitude among pretty much everyone, it might shock you to read that I was extremely hesitant to accept a prescription for painkillers. In fact, I only took it after the doctor reminded me that the pain would continue to make it hard for me to breathe/move/laugh for a good bit longer. Which was kind of rude of him, really—tricking myself into believing that whatever discomfort I happen to be experiencing in any given moment will disappear in, say, an hour or so, if not sooner, has gotten me through a lot of rough patches, and his dose of reality was in this sense rather unhelpful. At the same time, those pills have come in handy in a few particularly distressing moments. I should be grateful, then, that he pushed them on me. And I am, really. Thank you, walk-in clinic doctor that I hope to never see again.

My aversion to prescription painkillers stems primarily from two issues that I have with them. The first is, one could argue, healthy: the fact that I don’t appreciate that loopy feeling that they cause. You know, the one that most people seem to like. Connected, I don’t enjoy how they make it difficult— irresponsible, even—for me to work.

Have I mentioned that I’m extremely motivated to get my thesis done?

This is, in turn, connected to a central problem: that I can be really bad at taking care of myself, which, unsurprisingly, slows down the healing process to a nice reliable sputter. So, I’m working on it—resting more, moving less, eating better (no frozen yogurt today: a personal best). Avoiding watching John Oliver because man, does laughing hurt right now.

And it goes without saying that I eagerly await the titanium ribs of the future. I hear they’ll soon be the latest thing.


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