The Value of Elbows – Part 2

In January of this year, I slipped on the ice and bruised my elbow rather seriously.  I wrote an entire blog about it which you can read if you want.  But here I am, nearly a year later, and I find that I am again reminded of just how important these little buggers are.

For several months I’ve been noticing a twinge in my right elbow.  This time it had nothing to do with bruises or ice, but instead with a rather aggressive golf grip apparently.  According to my doctor, I have both tennis elbow and golf elbow, only I don’t play tennis.  That can only mean that I am a really bad golfer (my handicap is 28, so I guess that says it all there). It seems that I over-rotate my right arm, grip the club handle way too tight, and swing as if I’m going for the grand slam homer. A full summer of this has caused me a serious case of tendinitis, and then you add a dash of carpal tunnel from all my time spent at the keyboard, and voila – a very painful elbow in which the nerves and tendons twitch randomly. 

That last part, the twitching, is kind of funny at first, but it gets annoying rather quickly, much like my friend JA. Unfortunately, I can’t ignore my elbow they way I can ignore JA.  That uncomfortable flinching gets painful if it goes on for too long, so I have to wrap my elbow in a heating pad and take ibuprofen.  That’s usually enough to keep me going for a few hours.

The most exasperating part of all of this is that it is making the work of revising a lot slower.  I can’t type as fast as usual, and if I’ve been typing too long, I have to stop to wrap my elbow before the jumps and jerks of the tendon get out of control.  A pressure band seems to help for a while, but even that becomes annoying if I leave it on too long.

In other words, all of this is making me feel like a big, whiny pile of ailments and unproductiveness.  Arghh.  I keep trying to reassure my elbows that I really do value them, that I really did learn my lesson back in January, and that there is no further need to punish me as I clear see the error of my ways and no longer take them each for granted.  They aren’t buying it. So now I have to cradle and coddle them into cooperating for just a few hours in order to make more progress on the novel revisions, get papers graded, and work on my students’ assignments from ICL.  My elbows like being coddled. They like pampering. I keep promising them that if they will let me get my work done, I will earn enough money to treat them (and my back, neck, shoulders, ankles, hips, etc.) to the day spa.  I’m hoping this will convince them to cooperating just wee bit more.

I”m hoping, too, that I can afford some golf lessons so that I can fix whatever it is I’m doing and be able to play golf without worrying next summer.

Until then, it’s time to microwave the rice-filled heating pad again.


3 thoughts on “The Value of Elbows – Part 2

  1. O.K. Ms. Kim,

    You have given me a lot of good writing tips, so now I need to return the favor. (Professional courtesy)

    The great Sam Snead used to say hold the golf club as gentle as a small bird you hoped to return to it’s nest.

    Sam was a Sultan of Swing. He tried to keep a smooth rhythm, and thought of a golf swing more as a dance step than an athletic move. He often put his swing to music.

    When I think music on the golf course, I think about Sam. I go with a waltz instead of a bluegrass breakdown.

    The Doc side of me says to consider this new Voltaren gel. It is an anti-inflammatory, but only absorbed at the site, rather than throughout the body. It is new, but the theory is it might have less potential to damage the kidneys because of that property. I use it on my left index finger before I play golf or music- I have a bit of osteoarthritis there.

    The only drawback is it is expensive and insurance companies often do not cover it. It is prescription so you’d have to see if your Doc thought it would help you or not. (By the way, I have no financial ties to the company!)

    So get well and play hard. There is still a bit of golf left this year, and the new season is just around the corner.

    Dr. B

  2. Kim Justesen says:

    God Bless You Dr. B! I am so looking forward to a day when I can hear you play that mandolin in person, and maybe catch nine holes somewhere. I will check with my doctor to see if this miracle ointment might be available. To heck with insurance. If it works, I’ll pay the money to eliminate the discomfort!

  3. drtombibey says:

    Hey Ms. Kim,

    After thinking about sore elbows, I was inspired to write a golf post. It is my next to last entry.

    Hope your elbow is better. My wrists are sore from typing, but I’m on track to finish my MS in Jan.

    In a way I dread the finish. I have fallen in love with my characters.

    Dr. B

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