Monday, August 02, 2010

Elbow Macaroni

Over the course of the last several weeks, what with the painting and wallpapering and gardening and other things, I have managed to hurt my arm.

Specifically I have given myself lateral epicondylitis. It is more commonly called "tennis elbow," but I don't play tennis. I think I have also heard it called "housemaid's elbow" and that one I can relate to. Essentially, I've torn a tendon or two in my arm near my elbow.

One of the things that irritates this, unfortunately, is working at the computer. (Actually it hurts like the proverbial hole where the bad folks go when I try to type for very long.)

Rest and not doing things that hurt my arm is one of the prescriptions for cure.

Hence, my posting has been sporadic and probably will be for a few days.

This is one of the more painful things I have experienced in that stuff hurts that shouldn't. Taking pictures, for example, hurts. Brushing my teeth makes my arm hurt. Trying to tug the covers away from my husband makes my arm hurt. Driving, lifting a glass of water, loading the dryer with wet clothes - pretty much anything - has become a chore to be performed through gritted teeth rather than something one barely thinks about.

I saw the doctor about this today, as my own feeble efforts at cure (which consisted of occasionally trying to rest it and using Arnica gel on it) were not working. She prescribed a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory, suggested immobilization for a few days with a sling or a brace (which I could pick up at the drug store), and later the use of one of those elbow bands (see the Ace thing above) that fits just below the bend in your arm. She also told me to ice it and took me off of one of my blood pressure medications that can cause joint pain.

I picked up a sling but don't like it - I brought it home, wore it about 30 minutes, and then put it back in the box. I am thinking of returning it. However, as the day grows a little longer, and what with this weirdly damp weather, the ache is making me wonder if putting the sling back on might not be the wiser course. I can't decide. Obviously I can't use it while I am typing on the computer. But I suppose that is the point of the sling, to keep me from doing things I am not supposed to be doing while this injury heals.

I opted for the sling over a brace simply because I couldn't find a full elbow brace that fit, and I have yet to buy the little elbow band.

In any event, I miss blogging and I will try to keep it up, but I did want to let anyone checking know that I haven't stopped writing. I'm just trying not to stress this arm.


  1. Sis,
    I think I still have all my braces for this. Let me look tonight. Your in for a long road. Took mine about 6 weeks to leave.

  2. ai ai ai.... you are having the summer from hell this year. My upper right arm has been hurting for almost 6 months now. I have David rub it down with Icy Hot every so often and hot showers help too... otherwise I live with it. Give up blogging?? NEVER!!


  3. Sorry to hear about your elbow. Ouch! I wore a sling once for a torn shoulder and it was a pain. You don't realize how much you can't do until your stuck in one of those things.

    Hope your feeling better soon!

  4. I am so sorry for this irritating problem. But I have to say that I am still chuckling over "the proverbial hole where the bad folks go!" May I please quote you on that one sometime?

    Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Hang in there.

  5. Oh no, Bro, don't tell me six weeks! I have things to do.

    Di, I am going to take the doctor's advice - to a point - and then we'll see. Living with pain is not fun.

    THank you, SF, for the kindness!

    Ginger, feel free to borrow that all you like!

  6. Hope you're on the mend real soon!! Rest is the hardest prescription to follow, but will provide the most benefit.

  7. So sorry you are having elbow pain. I have lived through spells of very inflamed joints in my hands and arms, so I know it is not fun. I never found braces or slings to help. Strong anti-inflammatories and time are the best cures, Hope you recover quickly.

  8. I bet it was that darn wallpaper that did you in. The damp weather will not help. My daughter has been in a lot of pain the last couple of days. The only thing that's helped is a warm bath. Try soaking for a spell and see what happens.


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