Falling, Ouch!

Hi, Carole here. I have some news that I've not posted. Two weeks ago I slipped on some soap in the shower and fell on my right breast and ribs. My breast hurt so badly, but as of a couple of days ago is better. The ribs are another issue. The pain, especially at night, is almost unbearable. This has inhibited my sleep and activities. I had just started a yoga class and still going, but not getting much from it. No stretching; can't do. I saw my GYN two days after the fall and she said no hematoma in my breast. I can breathe deeply, so do not believe any broken ribs. My concern though, is two lymph nodes that are being watched. One in the breast I fell on and the other mid chest. My concern is, have I injured them in any way. I see Dr. Susan O'Brien at UCI on May 23. I will let her sort out all of this. Any comments on injuring lymph nodes? Thanks. Carole

17 Replies

  • I honestly can't answer the question about impact to the swollen lymph nodes Carole but you have the ideal person seeing you soon who can.

    My concern is, did you not have your ribs and chest X-rayed after the fall? I once fell in the bath many years ago pre CLL days and had pain breathing in. Whilst I hadn't sustained broken ribs, I got a right telling off from my GP for not addressing it immediately because an inability to inhale and exhale properly can lead to chest congestion and possible pneumonia. Can you seek advice from your GP/primary physician before this appointment as you shouldn't be enduring 'almost unbearable pain'.

    Others may be able to give you better advice on the lymph impact question. I'm recovering from a bad fall so you have my sympathies.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you Newdawn, for your reply. I'm not sleeping well with this (last night was awful), but during the day it's almost bearable and other than not being able to bend over to pick things up, I am able to do what's necessary. I am able to take deep breaths. The reason for not getting x-rays is the radiation. I just had three CT's in March. I don't need more of that stuff. Will wait to see if I get any other replies on the lymph issue and you're right Dr. O'Brien will address it.

  • I understand the radiation concerns totally. I've had to agree to endless XRays (9) since my fall and pneumonia and a less worrying ultrasound.

    It's dreadful being unable to sleep at night due to pain, I empathise totally. I hope you get some answers and some relief soon. It sounds like you might have internally bruised your ribs badly.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Newdawn,

    I know my ribs are bruised (hopefully not a break). Last night I took Aleve and it does help. I slept pretty good on my left side. As I said in another reply, my thought of what a fall does to your body from jarring is another concern. When I did this I just felt yukky for the rest of the evening and was almost afraid to go to bed. I see Dr. O'Brien in a week. I'm sure she'll have some answers. Will keep all posted. Carole

  • I can't add any insight but want to send my good thoughts your way. Hope Dr O'Brien can give you some helpful information.

    Take care!

  • Thanks much Ozziebee. I too hope Dr. O'Brien can give me insight on several things. I'm making my list now and adding to as I think of something else. Don't think I've ever hurt so much in my life. Carole

  • The two times I have ended up with broken ribs I did not have pain from breathing, but any movement definitely caused pain. I understand about avoiding radiation if possible, but think X rays might be in order. I would definitely check with your GP. My best friend when healing was my vacuum. I used the suction to pick things up so I didn't have to bend over.

  • Hi and thanks for your reply. Well; that was ingenious to use your vacuum. I can bend somewhat to my left, so very slowly I reach down to pick something up. I will be seeing my oncologist in a week and if not before will see about x-rays. Carole

  • Hi carole. I'm v sorry to hear about your fall. Did the Dr that you saw recommend an xray or was she satisfied with the examination she gave you? Also what painkillers are you taking? Two weeks is a long time to be in such pain. Something with antiinflammatory properties such as ibuprofen or diclofenac (stronger than ibuprofen but brilliant for 'bony' pain) might be good for you as long as there is no reason for you not to take them. I don't know the answer to your lymph node question but I hope you start to feel better very soon.

  • Thank you, Lyra. My breast is feeling much better; it's my ribs that are the issue now. I am taking Aleve and it does help take the edge off the pain. It is an anti-inflammatory as you may know. I am more concerned that in falling what the effect of jarring the entire body is. Will find out more in a week.

  • If NSAIDs are approved by your doctor, then fine...

    but they can effect platelet function...something CLLers, need to be aware of...


  • Oh no! Sorry ti hear that, it must be very painful. How great that you're under Dr O'Brien, you're in excellent hands.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


  • Thank you Peggy. I am looking forward to seeing Dr. O' Brien.

  • I hope you receive an answer concerning the effects of potential damage to lymph nodes. It's a very good question and one that many of us may have pondered but not posted. I look forward, with you, to any pearls of wisdom from others on this site.

  • Hi fieldmeadow,

    I definitely will share what I find out about lymph nodes. I see Dr. O'Brien on the 23rd. Thanks.

  • It's an interesting question as to whether a fall onto already enlarged lymph nodes can cause problems/progression etc. as well as obvious pain. I'm just relieved I didn't fall onto my spleen which whilst not massively enlarged, may have faired badly in a fall.


  • No expertise in this area. Bit I do hope you feel better. Sounds quite painful.

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