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If you have ever sustained an injury to your body that was severe enough your body had to be immobilised, you’ll appreciate what it’s like to be able to go back to sleeping normally.

At the end of October 2019 I had a fall and broke seven ribs. In the short-term the pain was extreme, but it has been the long-term recovery that has caused me a lot of grief mentally.

Broken ribs are usually left to repair themselves and you are told to sit up, make little or no sudden movements and not to do any heavy lifting. Well, that’s all well and good if you’re able to accomplish most of these and certainly your ribs will heal a lot faster. The medical advice is that it can take from 4-8 weeks to mend a broken rib. I’ll let you into a secret, seven ribs will take longer and in fact, nobody really knows how long it will take your body to heal. So far I’ve been on the mend for a total of eighteen weeks. That’s four months!

The problem was I contracted a viral infection, a sort of flu, but with overtones of a cold and was coughing and sneezing for most of January this year, which didn’t aid my ribs mending. On top of that our dog Holly has sustained a leg injury so she has needed lifting up and down on the sofa. Top that off with chopping wood for the fire and hoisting gas cylinders in and out of the car and you’ll get the picture.

In all that time I have had to sit up in bed to sleep. Literally, sit up, stop from moving and try to sleep. After a while I got used to it, but by February I was getting restless and wanting to lay down. I tried to sleep laying down several times over the weeks but the pain was too intense. Last night was the first night I managed to lay down and sleep. Okay, it was fitful sleep and it was painful, but my was it a glorious feeling.

I had been getting to the point of believing I would never sleep lying down again, which was really getting me down. So it was a fabulous feeling not only laying down but stretching out, bending my limbs this way and that and being able to turn over, albeit gingerly and painfully.

Finally, I have reacquired the ability to give a shape to my poor aching body when I sleep.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

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