The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Coping with pain

Snowdrops in the grass

Snowdrops in the grass

“I’m afraid you are going to be rattling for the next couple of weeks or so.”
The duty doctor looked at the screen as he filled out the prescription.

I didn’t care if I rattled or even hooted at midnight. Anything to get rid of the pain.

Rushing down the garden last Friday, I slipped on a mossy brick path and fell backwards. Breaking a rib on an old stone planter.

Apart from being a bit sore over the weekend I must have been cage fighting in my dreams on Sunday night. By Monday I could hardly move – the pain was so severe. I also had developed a nasty phlegmy cough. Each deep cough tickled up the broken rib. In the end I realised that I couldn’t even sob as it was just too painful. Danny was away on Monday, so only the Min Pins saw my operatic slow stagger down the stairs to the loo.

I was treating the pain with Ibuprofen. The max dosage is six tablets in 24 hours. The gaps between the pills were a ghastly struggle. I’m a wooz when it comes to any sort of pain. The risk of torture meant that Spy was a career choice that I’d left to others long ago.

So yesterday I rang NHS direct and they advised me to go straight to my doctor. I was really impressed with the service from NHS direct. They were kind and gave me loads of useful advice – such as holding a pillow against the ribs to ease the strain of the cough. They also informed me that you could combine different types of painkillers to give 24 hour relief. You do need to check with your doctor before you try this.

They also explained that if you have damaged ribs the tendency is not to breathe too deeply. Consequently the lungs do not clear naturally and an infection can quickly set in. The key thing was to deal with the pain so as to be able to cough easily and effectively.

Danny and I glided down to Newmarket in The Duchess. The doctor took my temperature by putting a clever instrument I my ear! He prescribed antibiotics, codeine and worked out a combination of the latter and over the counter pain killers to make me more comfortable.

So I’m grazing on a handful of pills a day now. The pain is no longer at the knife twisting level of yesterday and hopefully I’ll be up and about very soon.

I’m looking forward to hearing that rattle when I can run down the stairs again.



  Leave a reply


  1. KarenO

    Oh no just when you want to be ‘up and at it’ as Spring approaches!! You poor thing – get well soon!

  2. Shereen

    Bloody hell, Fi! You don’t do things by halves! I’m glad you went to the doc’s as soon as you did and I hope the pain stays manageable now. Take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal properly before you get stuck in to the usual Spring workload.

  3. danast

    If your body could only be repaired by all the love winging its way to you Fiona, you would be on your feet again in no time. You are a much loved and respected lady. xxx

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