1, 2 punch of cystic fibrosis and James Dalton

One of my favorite movies is Road House. Patrick Swayze plays James Dalton, a “cooler,” aka bouncer, or “bar consultant.” When a bar or dance hall needs to clear out the riffraff, he shows up and kicks the sh** out of bad people. If fact, he knows how to rip a man’s throat out with his bare hands – and does.

The end of the 80s and the last of the neon fonts.

The end of the 80s and the last of the neon fonts.

Great movie. Masterpiece.

In one scene, after Swayze’s character is stabbed, he walks into the ER with a thick stack of medical records outlining his long history of injuries, and passes on the pain-killer while the model-hot doctor staples the cut closed. Awesome.

So, I’m pretty much the opposite of this guy, except for the medical paperwork.

Sunday, I broke two ribs, but not in a bar fight, which would have been a 1,000 times more exciting than how I did break them. I fractured them while coughing during a breathing treatment.

I’ve never been shot but I can’t imagine it hurting more than the cough that broke my ribs, or the subsequent coughs that came with blinding, nauseating pain. Luckily, I had an unused bottle of expired Vicodin handy.

After a couple of rough nights of not sleeping well, and not knowing I had broken ribs at that point, I visited the Ortho doc. And even though the half-a-dozen x-rays didn’t show cracked ribs, he told me that I had one. He was half right.

Prescription for healing: pharmacy-fresh painkillers, rest, and Motrin – as much as possible without creating a blood fountain in my lungs.

The next day, not satisfied with the broken rib diagnosis, and thinking it was my intercostals because it hurt in areas other than where the Ortho Dr. thought the break was, I went to my CF doc and he sent me for more X-rays.

The Ortho doc must have purchased his X-ray machine from Craigslist, or in a back alley, because the hospital’s machine showed two broken ribs, numbers 6 & 7, and looking at the film even I could tell they were broken.

But that still didn’t explain the additional rib-cage pain was I having.

The next day, a red bump and blotches that were sensitive to the touch showed up on my lower right side – SHINGLES the clown, where have you been?

F’ing two broken ribs and shingles?

Bar-keep, my good man, mix me a Valtrex & Norco 5/325 cocktail, please. Help myself?  Why thank you very much. I will do just that. 

Yes, once again cystic fibrosis hit me with a 1, 2 punch., and expanded my fat file of medical injuries, hospitalizations and surgeries.

The good news, and this may be painkiller driven, is that I’ve been in a pretty good mood about the whole situation. I laughed when I saw the shingles on my side. Who gets two broken ribs AND shingles at the same time? That’s gotta be kind of rare, huh?

It’s good to be King, even when it’s King of the Idiots.

Oh, and the fun of treatments and making sure I don’t cough too hard – well, it doesn’t get funnier than that.

Some days, I just have to laugh at what cystic fibrosis throws at me. That is until I learn how to rip its throat out.

Yeah, swallow this CF. [Throat ripped out, gagging sound.]

Oh, to be the coolest of all coolers.

The Denver Broncos gave me shingles – in my mouth

16 years ago, when the Broncos beat the Packers in the Super Bowl, the stress of the game made me sick for three or four days. The following year we beat Atlanta (sorry, Larry) and won our second Super Bowl, and I was much calmer.

I packed up all of my Broncos gear until next season. I'm embarrassed to be seen in it right now.

I packed up all of my Broncos gear until next season. I’m embarrassed to be seen in it right now.

As this year’s big game drew closer, I got nervous and a little wound up. I started using a lot of CAP LETTERS IN  MY EMAILS AND TEXT MESSAGES. I walked 81 miles on my treadmill during the week. I wore Broncos gear every day.

Then I woke up at 2 in the morning the night before the Super Bowl with pain in my right front tooth and other spots in my mouth. Nerve pain. I had to take an Ativan to go back to sleep. I feared I’d broken a tooth or had an abscess, which didn’t help with the stress.

Watching the game only made it hurt more.

Monday: The dentist asked me if I was stressed about anything lately. Yeah, the Denver Broncos, I said.

I guess he thought I was joking or this wasn’t good enough to make a diagnosis of shingles. He mentioned something about a possible virus or burn, but I didn’t connect the dots. It took my brilliant wife to do that at dinner while I was high as a Seahawks fan on half a 4-year-old Vicodin tablet.

Tuesday: Back to the dentist, but the one I see most of the time (he was off on Monday). Diagnosis: Shingles. Rx: Valtrex for 7 days, thanks to my doctor.

I thought when I had shingles on my body it was painful, but having it my mouth? Wow, torture and tears. Yes, sometimes when I eat and the food touches just the right spot, tears just fall out of my eyes, which is more rain than LA is getting these days. I should eat in the garden.

But let me make this very clear: Even the pain of shingles in my mouth is nowhere near the pain of watching the Denver Broncos tank another Super Bowl. I’d take shingles over that any day, but having both happen at the same time . . . F**k me.