Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Don't You At Least Have To Know HOW To Play Tennis To Develop "Tennis Elbow"?!?

What is that old saying, "When it rains, it pours"? I suppose because I live in Seattle I should expect quite a bit of "rain", but I certainly wasn't prepared for the latest downpour today at my ARNP's office!

If you've been following The Blog (as I like to artistically call my ramblings in writing here), you read how I attempted to play Wonder Woman two weekends ago in the yard...only to land myself in a bit of a physical stupor for the remainder of the weekend. Well, the secret little news I didn't share with you besides my exhaustion was the strange and increasing arm pain I developed shortly AFTER my "yard event" (it doesn't seem quite that bad to me if I call it an event...rather festive, actually).

Now mind you, the pain I developed was in my GOOD arm...not my gimpy, neurologically disastered left arm. That would have been too simple. I mean, my left arm already hurts from nerve pain and I wouldn't have cared all that much if it continued to poop out on me...I've actually considered just having it removed as it isn't performing up to the standards I had hoped it would by now post relapse! But for balance purposes, I've just left it intact...for now.

On Monday evening following my "yard event", I developed this rather severe burning pain deep in my right elbow. Of course I immediately diagnosed myself with a fatal bone disease or tumor and thought little more about it, except when it frequently reminded me to pay attention to it...which was, like EVERY TIME I USED IT! But being the good MSer I am, I simply "adapted". I started using my teeth to open things (I'm sure my dentist will love this) and figured out how to carry and do things with TWO gimpy arms. I got by...not gracefully, but I managed all the same.

Yesterday, I again had the day off and noticed the yard (Satan's playground) was in need of some trimming and mowing. This was the front yard and not the hill, so it seemed fairly benign and not nearly the "event" of last weekend. And not wanting to seem like a real whimp, I tackled it...ignoring the fact my right arm continued to have this deep, burning pain. As my old basketball coach would say, "I pushed through the pain". I always thought that was a rather stupid saying then and I'm living proof to tell you it IS a stupid saying now!

This morning I woke up to get ready for my ARNP appointment (to deal with yet another health issue...hypertension caused by my study medication, Rituxan) and found I could barely bend my right arm. And what's more, when I DID move my forearm around, there was this strange, dry squeaking sound emitting from my arm and elbow! I felt like the Tin Man needing a bit of oil!

So after a few brief tests of endurance by my ARNP (you know, moving things around and asking me if "that" hurts...she's just sadistic), she informed me I had a severe case of Tennis Elbow. I was dumbfounded. I don't even play tennis and I haven't been near a court in years, except for the occasional viewing on ESPN. I, of course, questioned her diagnosis.

She asked if I had done anything strenuous recently and I sheepishly admitted my yard work debacle (it had sunk from an "event" to a "debacle" by this time). There were choice words of chastisement that followed from her lips with a stern look of discontentment, as if to say, "You know better than this. WHY do you treat your body this way, then come here and expect me to fix it?" Actually, come to think of it, she may have said those words out loud...OK, she did.

So, now I have this bulky wrist mobilizer and a separate band wrapped around my forearm with explicit instructions I am to "cease and desist" all yard work and any other use of my right arm until my Tennis Elbow heals...she even tried to scare me into submission by telling me if I DIDN'T obey her command, I would develop a very chronic and nasty tendonitis that would hurt for a very, very long time.

I guess there will be no more tennis for me for awhile, which is OK...I never really liked the sport anyway.

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