Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tennis Elbow Sucks

Tennis Elbow sucks!  You know what sucks the most about it, I've had it twice and I don't even play tennis!  The weird thing is that it can come and go for almost no reason.  This time I know the reason.  

Way back in September, our Brownies were becoming Girl Scouts.  After putting it off a few times, we decided they would "fly up" at our inaugural outdoor camping trip.  (I'm sure this is direct conflict with Girl Scout USA rules so if you are an informant, you may want to stop reading now.)  I volunteered to go get what we needed for the sashes.  We needed 5 numbers for our troop, two patches for our region, a rainbow, and something else I can't remember and didn't have enough of to put on Mollie's sash.  We have 18 girls.  So I ironed on these 9 patches on 18 different sashes, wait it was 17 because we had a sample Becca had done.  Each patch takes approximately 3 minutes to iron on because you have to iron on the material, then iron on the back of the material and you have to iron on the patch.  So doing the math it's almost 200 patches and that's 600 minutes and I'm not even going to attempt to calculate that in hours (after a while I did start cheating and ironed on several numbers at a time).  

Well when we went to the camp out, my elbow hurt, but I thought it was just sore.   I mean you not only have to iron, but you have to press down really hard.   It would come and go but finally mostly stayed.  I started wearing one of those groovy tennis elbow bands (I'm now the proud owner of 3, it would be 4 but I gave one away one night, in 3 different colors and 3 different models--none of them work worth a crap)--I got a lot of attention (which I love) and I often felt quite athletic.  Plus, if I couldn't lift that 8 pounds one more time in sculpting class, I looked like I had an excuse.  Anyway, that was October, this is the beginning of February, it still hurts!

The final straw happened this weekend.  I went to take our youth group for laser tag.  In laser tag you get these lasers (aka guns) and you have to hold them with both hands in order for them to fire.  I knew this was going to be a problem as my right trigger finger is connected to whatever tendon creates the pain from tennis elbow.  I tried using my left, but I was inaccurate and it turns out more competitive then I thought because I wanted to shoot the people who shot me (and I'm somewhat of a pacifist--very strange to want to shoot someone, especially your own child or a neighbor or the 6 year old who follows you around and keeps shooting you every time your lights come back on).  So I paid for my rapid fire shooting, by being woken up in the night by a throbbing pain.  This is TOO MUCH!

So Monday, I decided to wander into the Orthopedist's office at my gym.  They happened to have a cancellation and took me right in.  The doctor said, yep tennis elbow, there are a few things you can do about.  It could go away tomorrow by itself or you could have it for the next two years.  Alternatively , we can treat it with a cortisone shot or some cortisone treatments and physical therapy.  One shot and I'm done?  Let's do it.  Like childbirth, I forgot how much cortisone shots hurt.  This doctor was nice and put some anesthesia in it and so it hurt like hell while he was injecting it, but then BAM pain gone.  I actually think I might have had the urge to play tennis I was so joyful.

I went grocery shopping on my way home.  I unloaded my car.  My arm began to throb.  I put the groceries away.  Shooting pains began to radiate throughout my entire arm.  Seriously,  I think there was a point where I might have chewed it off it hurt so badly.  But there was laundry to fold.  Fortunately my dear husband came out and yelled at me to stop folding and rest my arm.  I took a couple of Advil and sat down to watch soap operas, icing my arm 20 minutes out of every hour.  Soap operas are so boring when that's all you are doing.  I mean how many times can Stephanie try to sabotage Brooke and Ridge's relationship?  and they blew up General Hospital.  Will Dr. Drake make it out alive?  I honestly, it turns out, don't care (well maybe a little about Dr. Drake--he'd be Dr. Noah Drake's son).

Anyway, all of this is to say, it now feels better.  Not perfect, but we'll get there.  It would help if I quit bumping the bruise where he injected me.  They must put A LOT of drugs in the ones the NFL players get.  You know they hurt their shoulder, they go out at half time, get a cortisone shot and then play the rest of the game.  They are getting something way better than I got, but at the same time I do feel quite the athlete now that I've been shot up with cortisone.

And to think, I could have gotten the shot in November.

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