BLOG: Bear hug lands Clark in ER

Ellyn Clark
Sep 15, 2010

The week of Sept. 25 was week 36 of the FIT Challenge and quite a few people have asked me, "Where was your blog?" Honestly, I physically didn't feel like blogging. And here's why.

About two months ago, Scott, my husband, gave me a big "bear hug." You know the kind where your guy grabs a hold of ya, squeezes ya while lifting you up off the ground? 

Well, when I got my big "bear hug," I felt something move in my chest, and it wasn't my heart. The severe pain under my right breast, right in the ol' rib cage, lasted a good five to 10 minutes then subsided to a dull pain for several weeks.

I told myself it was probably just a pulled or strained muscle, because when Scott picked me up, I stiffened up. He took me by surprise. But still, should a big ol' "bear hug" cause an injury?? Maybe.

So, here's what I'm thinking. My bones aren't what they used to be. Dare I say it? Because I've shared this with you more than once. Oh heck, I'm gonna say it again anyway. I have no estrogen. And right now, you're probably saying to yourself, while at the same time rolling your eyes, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Ellyn, we get it." But I'm telling you, no estrogen leads to bone loss in women. And your saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, OK, we got it already!"

So during my workouts with T.J. Temper, my personal trainer at the Northern Ohio Medical Fitness Center, I would strap my ribs in and was able to get through the workouts pretty much pain free. T.J. was aware of what happened and never pushed me beyond my "ouch that really hurts" limit.

As the weeks went on, the pain completely subsided and I was able to do workouts without strapping my ribs in. Strapping my ribs in, by the way, WAS NOT T.J.'s idea. It was upon my insistence. I didn't want to stop working out for fear it would interrupt my progress within the competition, as well as my weight-loss efforts.

Because I felt so much better, no pain in my chest at all, I decided to go to my chiropractor for an adjustment. I did not tell him what happened when Scott hugged me. Why? Because by this time I had totally forgotten about it. I wasn't in any pain, not even uncomfortable. 

But guess what happened when the doc gave me that first adjustment? Yeah, I didn't think I was gonna make it off the table. The adjustment actually knocked a few breaths, like 10-seconds worth, right outta me. That's when I told the doc what happened. And he said, "Yeah, sometimes those types of things can really hurt." I was like, "Yeah, really? (sarcasm), OK."  

I received the adjustment Sept. 3rd. By 9:30 p.m. Sept. 6, the pain was so bad I decided to go to the emergency room. I explained to the ER doc about the "bear hug" and the chiropractic adjustment. He felt under my right breast and said, "Yup, let's X-ray for a possible fractured rib." Apparently my rib was injured, began to heal and the chiropractic adjustment re-injured it. So the ER doc sent me home with an excuse to take off work, a prescription for Vicodin and instructions on how to care for a fractured rib.  

These instructions explain that it takes four to eight weeks to heal from a fractured rib. So what does this mean for my workouts?? It means working out with the muscles from the waist down. It also means I have to be all that much more careful about what I put in my mouth.

And if you suspect you may have "brittle" bones be careful of those big ol' "bear hugs"!