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General News    H1'ed 2/17/21

Dealing With my Four Broken, Displaced Ribs

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Saturday, there was a really nasty ice storm here in Philly. A light rain was quickly freezing, creating black ice all over the sidewalks and streets.

I walked out of my house, on the walkway to the steps that take me to the sidewalk in front of my house. At the top of the steps I slid on a patch of ice and was up in the air. I crashed, with my full weight hitting the edge of the top step. After a few minutes of excruciating pain I managed to stand up and go back in the house. I could walk but the pain in my side was really bad.

I decided that I wasn't that bad and I'd wait until Sunday morning to go get myself checked out, with an X-ray, because I didn't want to wait many hours in an ER. It was a rough night. Laying down was hard, getting up was really, crying out loud painful. I slept in a chair that night.

I went to the urgent care facility and was taken care of right away. They did two X-rays.


(Image by Rob Kall)   Details   DMCA

They told me I had three broken ribs, with displacement, meaning the break had separation. Their policy was to treat a patient with three or more broken ribs as a trauma case and told me I should go to an ER, that an ambulance could take me. They told me that as a referred trauma patient I'd be seen right away and not to be overwhelmed if three or four people approached me at once.

I chose to let my son-in law drive me. I was able to walk and I walked in to the Torresdale ER/Trauma center at about 11:15 AM. They instructed me to sit down and wait to for an intake. That happened pretty quickly. Then they sent me back to sit-- they didn't even look at the X-rays. I sat for about 90 minutes and finally asked the triage nurse what was going on. I was not being handled the way I was told to expect. I showed them the images above, that I had on my phone. They started to move and set me up for a CAT Scan. The purpose of the scan was to determine if I had internal perforations-- of my spleen or lungs. As you can see, the broken edges look like sharp knives.

I have a pretty high pain tolerance and as long as I sat still I wasn't in much pain.

Before getting a CT scan I needed to get a blood test to be sure my kidney function was okay-- a requirement because of the use of radioactive contrast material so non-bony tissues can be seen. That was clear and I went for the CT Scan.

The hardest part of the CT scan was laying down and getting back up. It was done by about 4:15 and I was informed that I actually had four, not three broken ribs.

I had a lot more details written up but I lost them. Suffice it to say that after eight hours at the hospital, waiting for a bed, so I could see a doctor, I decided to say screw it and went home. The CAT scan found that I did not have any perforations, so I felt safe enough. After eight hours waiting I never saw a doctor.

The next day, one of my Facebook friends, an MD, suggested I might need rib plating-- a surgical procedure using plates and screws. I asked for more info and she suggested I contact a thoracic surgeon. Very quckly, another friend commented that her husband was one. and she messaged me with his phone number. I called and was in his office two hours later. He ordered a second CAT Scan to confirm that I had no perforations of my spleen or pneumothorax-- lung perforation, and to see if the distancing of the broken ribs was staying steady, in which case I wouldn't need surgery.

I had the second CAT scan yesterday and it was all good news. It's kind of amazing that with breaks like you see in the X-rays I will be able to heal without surgery. But my brother pointed out that if you look at a rack of ribs that. you eat, the bones are so tightly held by muscle, they really can't move much. Of course just that conversation made me laugh-- and laughing hurts.

So... I'll be sore when I move for at least a month, but thank goodness, when I'm sitting still, I have no pain. I still can't drive my car, which is a low slung Prius, which is too hard to get in and out of. And last night I was able to sleep in my recliner, instead of a chair. So... progress. And I'm back at the computer.

 

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)
 

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32 people are discussing this page, with 42 comments  Post Comment


Bob Stuart

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I get six months of winter, and the barely-frozen ice days are what scare me most. You can get cheap, slip-on studs for your shoes that really help.

The slap-dash care sounds better than I got for a broken bone in Canada. Lots of people got paid, and it never did get set.

I'm very glad you are stable and on the mend. When Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, he was hiding some cracked ribs, taped up by a Rodeo specialist off-base, but I like what you do better.


Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:13:52 PM

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Sage

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Geez...so sorry to hear....another reminder of how vulnerable we are to accidents, near misses, etc. Please stay safe, warm, and mending....

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:21:52 PM

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Fris Koy

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Thank Kamala Harris you were not placed on a VENTILATOR!

Love Story is a good video to watch when recovering from busted ribs. You'll rarely laugh to cause ribs to pain you. Get well, slowly.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:30:14 PM

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Maxwell

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"The Big Lebowsky" would have literally killed me. Especially the scene where John Goodman, alluding to sodomy, smashes the car with a crowbar and its owner comes out. I've seen the movie a few times and still can't help myself.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:52:02 PM

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Zef Rose

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Thanks, Rob, for sharing your experience. I had broken ribs years ago, and I feel your pain. And your experience at the hospital does not surprise me.

It is not the first time I have heard such stories of hours and hours of pain, waiting for doctors and tests.

I wish you a speedy recovery, with no further incident.

This will take some time I know, and my thoughts and sweetest wishes are with you now and throughout your healing. Be well.

Thank you for your good work here. Best regards, Zef

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:31:48 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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OMG for goodness sakes, keep on laughing. What a story, but my friend, you were very lucky.

I have a story to tell, too, but not here and not now.

My wishes for a speedy recovery go with this comment.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 5:47:29 PM

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molly cruz

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Oh, Poor! I broke two. Breathing was what I found difficult. I never went to the Dr. but I never do. Took weeks before I could stop thinking about it. Bones. That's what all those sexy pain drugs are for I guess. I take aspirin.

What you don't want is a blood clot, please discuss taking something (like aspirin!) to prevent that which can also kill you quick. Some bones have marrow and it breaks away and forms clots.

Take your vitamins.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 6:16:31 PM

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shad williams

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Close call. I found some shoe ice cleats for sale on the amazon and sent some to friends. Haven't thought about a helmet. Take care to cover and protect your head when falling, and remember despite your high tolerance for pain, No pain...no pain!

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 6:23:41 PM

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William P. Homans

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Especially in the weather we've been having here in North Mississippi. I have not been out of the house since last Sunday; I have plenty of food for me and the dog, and besides, my street is well-nigh impassable, with a big layer of ice under 6" of snow. I have seen less than a dozen cars sinceSunday evening.

I have a very high pain threshold, but I'm not going out and tempting fate.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 4:06:06 AM

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Maxwell

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My worst traumatic injury so far (hopefully ever) was from a high speed bicycle ride down a steep hill with a pot hole at the end. In those days I considered the thrill payback for having attained the altitude. It was July 4th, and I was dreading the influx of idiots who had blown their fingers off. The preliminary diagnosis was fractured c-7 vertebrae, a pretty serious injury. I was held captive in the ER until a neurologist could evaluate me. I also suffered an ankle fracture, but didn't find out until a week later. And nobody treated the skin abrasions until I requested it. At one point I was wheeled out and parked in the hall awaiting a CT scan then, maybe half an hour later, wheeled back. Apparently someone had misread "c-7" for "c-2", which would have presented a further risk for brain trauma. I finally escaped, some 8 hours later.

They usually have a lot on their plate at emergency departments. I can understand avoiding them if at all possible, but sometimes you just can't.

Anyway, speedy recovery.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 6:23:42 PM

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Sorry, Rob, but I just don't buy it. All right, I didn't read the whole article, but I'm like, how could you misplace your ribs? "Gosh, I had all my ribs last night and now four are missing." Yeah, right. Open a thread, Rob. Maybe someone found them and will return them to you;-)

Get well soon, buddy. Try not to laugh too much.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 6:54:43 PM

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Tom Calarco

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Sorry to hear, Rob.

Get well ... your story indicates what a sorry mess is our broken healthcare system. And to add, most doctors and lawyers suck. The former are hindered by a myriad of incompetency and the latter are just plain damned liars for whom truth is not a priority.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:25:11 PM

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I know that ribs are especially challenging to deal with, since binding restricts breathing. But seeing the displacement in the X-rays, I'm surprised that the doctor felt that no support was needed. Can the ribs align better as they heal?

Here in Canada I'm almost sure to regret it if I don't use cleats in icy conditions. I had a nasty fall a year ago when doing a little snow shovelling and was surprised by ice underneath. Even without breakage I was sore and hampered for weeks. I hope you heal well.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:34:28 PM

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jenny miller

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What a terrible experience. Glad you have a good doctor now and are not in pain (which is amazing).

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:39:47 PM

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Yikes! Falls are scary. I'm glad you didn't need surgery and are on the mend. I had three bad falls within a year a few years back. I am seriously cautious about where I step these days. Be careful out there!

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:45:07 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Yucko, wucko. I hate stories involving any kind of serious pain. But I'm glad you're doing all right. I'm sure you'll be back on the warpath, taking names and scorching the earth sooner than you can say "GOP".

God bless....

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:54:29 PM

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Brian Cooney

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Feel better soon! Your ER experience was an outrage.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 8:01:18 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Wow! 'Slip & Fall' on the dark ice and 'in a split second' go flying - loads of healing vibes coming your way Rob! Happened to me in Vegas. Was looking up and my right foot got stuck in a partially missing cobblestone tile on a side street off the strip. My wrists became my shock absorbers as I went down with my nose just about smashing into the pavement. Couldn't clench my right wrist for about a week but then gradually I could and nothing got broken or smashed on that one.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 8:35:46 PM

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Sorry to hear, Rob.

Get well ... your story indicates what a sorry mess is our broken healthcare system. And to add, most doctors and lawyers suck. The former are hindered by a myriad of incompetency and the latter are just plain damned liars for whom truth is not a priority.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 8:49:59 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Rob.

Very sorry to hear you went through this. In the midst of the pain and discomfort, I invite you to find ways to get gain from this loss. Visualization might be useful. Heal well and soon.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 9:06:53 PM

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Sorry to hear of your accident. For future (hopefully unnessecesary) reference, you made a big mistake not going by ambulence -- at least if your health would cover the ride. I learned the hard way myself that anyone coming in by ambulence will get attended to much faster than walk-ins in the waiting room. They usually even have a room waiting for you (or did before Covid at least). Its one of the main reasons I'm glad I have MASA Gold medivac insurance even though I've stopped RVing. It covers all my ambulence rides even locally.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 9:15:15 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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You know I was wondering why I was seen by a doctor at the ER almost immediately both times I ended up there after each of the two bicycle accidents I over the last couple of years. I guess that's why; I arrived in an ambulance (which was actually paid for by the township)...

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:55:12 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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I have read it is the other way around, at least with some symptoms. The ambulance patient at least had a prelim diagnosis and life support, for those transported by others that is not the case. I presume this depends on the ER workload in addition to the symptoms.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 8:05:46 AM

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Robert Gormley

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That's an awful feeling when you slip and are falling uncontrollably the air. Hope you mend quickly Rob. Those hospital waits are enough to drive anyone nuts.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:15:09 PM

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Get well soon.

Yes, medical system is broken and people are at the mercy of this broken system.

Sorry about your pain. Wish you a speedy recovery.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:32:45 PM

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Get well soon, Rob. I had nine broken ribs once when a tree jumped out in front of my car. I know what you're going through.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:57:31 PM

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Liam Watt

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Wow. airborne - then the corner of brick steps. Just hearing the story hurts.

My favorite nurses name is Margarita...

I'll send you distance Reiki in a little while. Glad you're back on board.

PS - 20 yrs ago I lay curled up on a gurney in a side room for 3-1/2 hours with a broken back and a concussion (bad construction fall) before they took an X-Ray. So painful I could barely breathe. No insurance at the time. Don't get me started.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 11:48:33 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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I'm so relieved that you can find a position to be in that doesn't give you pain! WOW, being able to rest without pain contributes a lot toward healing.

You might want to consider holistic / homeopathic bone support for healing ... arnica is good, and there are other things, too...

Sending healing vibes!!!!!

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 1:22:53 AM

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Rob Kall

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good idea. I have dig out my arnica.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 2:13:24 AM

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j dial

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"Politics is the entertainment arm of the military-industrial complex."
       -- Frank Zappa

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They say Oxycontin is unmatched for pain relief.

Well, maybe not ...

It'll be long and slow, but this too will pass. Speaking of which, stool softeners might be helpful ...

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 3:35:16 AM

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Nels Wight

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They say its better taken before you fall, so may have said Rush L.

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:41:40 PM

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William P. Homans

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I will try to hang out with you Saturday. If it's any consolation, I am in constant moderate pain at present, with at least a cervical and a lumbar misalignment, to go with my left shoulder which always hurts anyway, the result of sawmilling motions I had to do hundreds of times a day. And my chiropractic clinic has been closed since Friday last.

I'll think good thoughts about your apparently best case scenario. I've had broken ribs (2) before, 33 years ago, so I'm empathetic.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 3:53:22 AM

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sorry to read this, Rob. Ice is dreadful and dangerous.

i had cracked ribs and it is excrucating to lie down and get up - the worst! i can only imagine how much worse it is with broken separated ribs! Take care, and heal soon.

Homeopathic comfrey is great for healing bones, cartilage, and connective tissue, speeding up the healing process. One of the common names for comfrey is 'bone knit.' Homeopathic comfrey is called Symphytum. It really works and it is not contra-indicated, so is safe to take, even with other prescription drugs. I used it on a cat with a compound fracture of the leg (hit by a car) and he healed really fast.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 6:48:37 AM

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Another example of gross abuse of power by government. I've heard so many nightmare stories about ICE. Isn't it time we ended ICE once and for all?

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 2:25:47 AM

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reply to John Rachel -

Too funny! We're not supposed to make him laugh.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 18, 2021 at 2:51:58 PM

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Rob:

I am terribly sorry to read of your fall. It must have been awful, especially in the cold, which makes pain hit hard and linger. Your willingness to write despite the pain shows that you are a true journalist and civic-minded leader -- but we all knew that already.

I, too have a trip and fall story, with a glimpse of the bright side as a reason to share.

Several years ago I was walking to a morning meeting and failed to see that the base of a traffic sign extended far onto the sidewalk and sent me right down on my face. It was mess that took a while to heal, although no where near as bad as your fall.

But I came out it of almost -- but not quite! -- glad that it happened because I thought how much worse it could have been and, once I started paying attention, how many people suffer really serious injuries. So as I look more carefully at the ground, I regard the fall as a kind of vaccination -- although that's a lot easier to feel after the recovery.

Best wishes for your own, prompt and full!

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:50:41 AM

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Hi, Andy, nice to hear your voice, though your nessage doesn't include much pleasure,

Be careful of Foggy Bottoms!

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:39:01 PM

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So sorry to hear this. Heal up fast Rob!

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 1:56:32 AM

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This is truly groundbreaking! 35 comments on an article that didn't mention Trump. Maybe it was the obscene nipple shot at the head of the posting that drew all the attention. Oh Rob, you DEVIL!

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 2:18:08 AM

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At least, now, Rob, you can speak about 'life before the fall'.

rush isn't talking any more

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:47:16 PM

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At least, now, Rob, you can speak about 'life before the fall'.

Yes, in the Garden of OEN...

:)

Submitted on Friday, Feb 19, 2021 at 1:31:17 PM

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Ouch-ouch-OUCH. Black ice is no joke; had a few close calls myself this time around.

Rest up and heal up well, Rob"we still need you out here.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 20, 2021 at 7:17:30 PM

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