The pain was impressive, and got worse with things like knitting, or playing the harp, or picking things up (even just a coffee cup, which really got my attention in a hurry), or even using a mouse.
“A-ha!” I said to myself. “Obviously, I have pulled a muscle in or around my elbow, or perhaps I smacked into something I don’t remember smacking into!” (You laugh, but at the same time…I don’t organize my life with lists and calendars and assorted electronic things that beep, chime or administer a slight electric shock to keep me on track down to the quarter-hour mark because I’m organized but rather because my brain is so full of holes it wouldn’t even make a decent sieve, which by design does hold at least something, while my brain can’t be relied upon to hold onto a boulder-sized piece of information for two seconds, let alone all the little bits of trivia I demand of it in the average day.) (Longest. Run-on. Sentence. EVER.) (But I digress.)
Eventually (pronounced, ‘over a month later’) it dawned on me that perhaps this wasn’t going to just, you know, get better. And that perhaps I should look into it.
Look into it being a term which should here be pronounced, ‘look to the Internet for a diagnosis because goodness knows I wouldn’t want to bother an actual doctor with these things.’
I had a sinking feeling I knew full well what was going on here. Lo these many moons ago, my harp teacher had launched forth into a lengthy diatribe about the evils of tennis elbow, a condition which she had contracted from, you guessed it, playing (and moving, and lifting, and toting, and otherwise futzing about with) the harp.
She had described the way it felt in gruesome detail, and guess what? My elbow now felt exactly the same way. Even picking up a coffee cup hurts a little; picking up bigger things hurts a lot.
And the repetitive movements that likely brought it on? Hurt like gee-whiz-gosh-darn-it-billy-OH. (Which should be pronounced…never mind, I wouldn’t want to lose my ‘G’ rating around here…)
From the article linked above: Most of the time tennis elbow is caused by overuse. You probably got it from doing activities where you twist your arm over and over. This can stress the tendon, causing tiny tears that in time lead to pain.
Ahem. Activities where I twist my arm over and over again. Let’s see. Knitting, using the keyboard/mouse, picking up children, doing laundry, playing the harp…hey! That’s pretty much every minute of every day of my life, thank you very much…
Because I’m already weeks past the first few days, making the ice applications kind of pointless; and besides, I take a prescription anti-inflammatory for my back/hip issues. Since I can’t do the anti-inflammatory part any more than I’m already doing, what’s left, then, would be…rest.
That’s it. That’s the Miracle Cure. Just…rest the elbow. Don’t do things that hurt. If it hurts, stop. Give it a break. Take a load off it. Just let it hang out, without demanding much of it.
Rest. The. Elbow.
Of course right! I should be grateful that it is so simple!
So I set down my knitting (wah) and ignored my harp (WAH!) (I was just starting to get
I have been “resting” the elbow for almost a month, and
I am way behind on my knitting (which I say as though I have a quota or something, which I don’t). I am getting a bit on the snarly side these days, because come on! Seems like just about everything I need-need to do (like earning money, which I do using a computer or [according to theory, although I am currently thanking $DEITY that I have no actual engagements right now] the harp) or need-want to do (like knitting) is on the no-no list.
My ratio of fun:not-fun is getting seriously whacked around here.
So tomorrow, I’ll pick up one of those counter-brace thingees, because I read on the Internet that “You don't need a health professional's advice before trying a counterforce brace.”
That should be pronounced, “You don’t have to spend $365 to have your doctor tell you to try a counterforce brace, you can just try it on your own.”
Of course, the same article also says this: “Most cases of tennis elbow respond to rest, ice, rehabilitation exercises, pain medicine and splints. This injury does take from 6 months to 12 months to heal. Patience helps.”
LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU, LA LA LA.
Seriously, did it really say that? Six to twelve MONTHS? “Patience helps”?!
I am not particularly well-known for my patience, yo.
Not that the elbow particularly cares whether I’m patient or not. Which is rather infuriating of it, but then what do you expect from a traitor?