how things fit together


POSTCARD#336: Chiang Mai: Learning how to do this, simply to walk mindfully, step by step; dhamma footsteps? It’s the name of my site – how could I have known that 5 years further on there’d be a very good reason to be taking these mindful footsteps?

I had another fall (backstory: right foot sticks out too far, gets stuck on things) and broke a rib also did something to the sternum. Sternum is the vertical bone in the centre of the chest. This part took the impact of the fall – I tripped and fell on the step of 7-Eleven. I fell diagonally on this step, hands held out to break the fall, but as the floor comes rushing up to meet me, it’s the step BANG! that takes the weight. A bit like being in the ring with a heavyweight boxer, who punches me in the chest, and that’s it, game over.

I got up ok and made it back to the apartment. After that, I was getting around allright but the pain in the centre of the chest got worse and worse. Decided to go see the doc, “tremendous pain in the chest and feeling very weak”, and he said ok let’s do an X-ray and also let’s do a few blood tests.

Now here are the results, X-ray shows you broke a rib, the pain in the chest is just the muscle healing, and blood test shows the sodium level in the blood is very low. Ok so we start the process of building up the sodium level and it takes a week or two. This low-sodium level is a side effect of the medication I’ve been taking for three years. Now I’ve come off that and getting used to another kind of medication.

It amazes me how all these meds work, and I need to find out how to understand that, but my ‘find out’ function has gone missing, lots of other things I depend on gone missing too. Losing my balance, over-compensating, and doing a dance along the pavement while attempting to find out how to walk properly. Also pieces of the jigsaw that belong in the cognitive mind, let’s say, vanish then reappear.

So, all kinds of things happened for about a month, and I got back to WordPress in the end… really, it’s all a bit bewildering but anyway I’m here. It’s so good to be aware of your quiet energy, old friends out there in the blogosphere; I can feel your presence here in my heart. All this gives me the boost I need to lift me off of that floor and that long story I can leave behind. Thanks for being here.

T

30 thoughts on “how things fit together

  1. So sorry about all these mishaps. I had low sodium as a side effect of the Lithium I was taking. Felt quite ill. All drugs have side effects. Guinea pig style we take them and see if we can stomach the side effects. It has gotten to the point that I don’t want to try any new med!!! Seriously.

    So feel better and please drop me a line sometime.

    😔ellen

    • Thanks Ellen, interesting for me to hear you felt quite ill in connection with the low sodium. That’s how it was for me too and loss of balance, pain in the ribs and sternum. Wow we could go on like this complaining seemingly but it’s really like this and the various and differing drugs they present to you, it does feel like the human guinea pig ‘try that and see’ scenario. Not so encouraging… I had a pretty bad time with it. Anyway it’s all kinda over now and life goes on.

  2. Oh my…I totally understand as one who falls often…and do you think? I might be able to mail you my most excellent sternum repair cream???????? it would probably take forever but then again you’d be able to look at it and chuckle right? Life in a body is interesting, for sure. In fact, I do think of you quite often so I’ll be sending happy bone and sodium thoughts!!!! xoxoxoxo and ps broken ribs do feel far more awful than they are. kind of a gold standard of pain……..

    • Hi B, I’d really like to try that sternum repair cream! However the Thai officials are strict about importing medicinal products. I had some homeopathic meds sent to me and they stopped the parcel at the border and called me up to say the parcel was to be destroyed and I had to pay a fine and costs etc. But back to what we’re saying, “life in a body is sure interesting!” And the pain in the rib cage is almost gone. Thanks for your kind healing thoughts

    • Thanks Steve, it does seem quite distant to me now, Christmas wishes – I mean the pagan root at that time of the year in the northern hemisphere I know you are interested in. Recovery being the word, all going well here
      T

    • Ah yes Miriam, will we ever find that which has gone missing? Or maybe that’s all gotten forgotten too, and it doesn’t matter so much or not at all. Good to hear from you and thanks for your kind thoughts

  3. Hi T, I’m so sorry about your fall and painful injuries. My husband took a fall last winter in a parking lot at night, falling over one of those low concrete parking barriers that keep one from driving across to the row of spaces facing in. He broke one rib, and his pride, and was miserable with pain for a few days, but he recovered. He even took another bad tumble the next month under the influence of sedating meds prescribed to make a brain MRI less claustrophobic for him. No injury then. Did gabapentin cause the sodium deficiency?

    • Hi Sunny, Tell your husband I know how it feels, I have four broken ribs from other falls, and having to have an anaesthetic before having the brain scan, MRI? Yes there’s no other way to get past the claustrophobia – it takes 45 minutes! I had one of those years ago and the thought of it now turns on refusal mode. So the neurologist says I have to have it in January and yes she’ll have an anaesthetist to give me the magic medicine before going into the small tunnel. I note that there needs to be somebody there to take me home after it’s over. I hope your husband gets well soon…

    • Thanks B. Interesting to hear low sodium makes you dizzy and fainting. I don’t have a clear enough dialogue with the Thais to get these kinds of details. I see your doctors there are baffled, by it or blind-sided. In my case, I know now it’s likely low sodium level caused the fall (and other falls in the last 2 years). Going along these rough pavements and reconstruction areas in Ch’mai, being off-balance is asking for trouble. So I’m staying at home until there’s some improvement. Thanks again for your good wishes.

      • Tiramit, I hope you start to feel better, and that you’re able to find out the reason for the low sodium level. My doctor (a few years ago) said it can be caused by several things. (In my case I have a gene mutation that causes all kinds of imbalances….) Take good care and I hope you don’t have any more falls!

    • Good to hear from you H. You must know how it feels to be in the pitfalls of the new urban transformation, that’s been going on forever. For me it’s been encounters with gravity – you see the road coming up to strike you in the face, and oh no, here we go again. Thanks for your kind words, I’m getting over this low sodium thing…

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