The moment I landed in Singapore, after a ten-day trip to Hangzhou, I went straight to A&E at Singapore General Hospital. I had a fractured rib, and my pain was an 8 on a scale of 10. A fractured rib is very painful, particularly when I breathe in. Even a sneeze or a cough could make me tear.
Fractured Rib: How did it happen?
I had gone on a learning trip to Hangzhou with several of my classmates. The Singapore Government subsidized the trip. We stayed at the 5-star Four Point By Sheraton Hangzhou. I had an accident shortly after I checked in. I tripped and fell in the bathroom, hitting my right side on the sink. There was redness on the right side of my torso. I did not think it was a serious injury, so I went to the dinner hosted by the organizers at the hotel coffee house.
On the second day, I attended class the whole day. In the night, I felt a sharp pain when I slept on my right side. By the third morning, it was quite painful. I was fidgeting during class due to the pain. By 5.30 pm, I was in excruciating pain and had to alert the organizers from Nanyang Polytechnic.
Fractured Rib: A&E Department, Hangzhou
When we informed the hotel, they sent an intern to accompany us to the nearest hospital. We arrived to see long queues at every counter. After registration and payment, I waited quite long to see the doctor. The young doctor ordered a blood test and a CT scan after assessing my condition. He was concerned for my internal organs, especially my right lung. When the report came back, he announced that my ninth rib was fractured. Everyone was stunned. But I was worried.
There was nothing else the doctor could do except to prescribe painkillers and a rib belt. The adjustable rib belt limits the movement of my torso. It provides stabilization and support to my extremely painful rib injury. It would take three months for my fractured rib to heal by itself. In the meantime, I need rest and eat light, healthy food.
My husband was worried when I informed him of my fractured rib. He advised me to get a second opinion. Immediately after my course ended, I seek out a top orthopedic hospital and consulted a specialist. The consultation brought more complications. Then there is the question of insurance. Who pays?