Friday, May 22, 2015

My tennis elbow

You know I had been bitching about my hurting right arm? Well, I let it get really bad before I went to see the doctor. It was very poor judgement. I kept thinking it would get better on its own. Another reason I was delaying going to the doctor is the amount of waiting time involved. I was planning to go for subsidized healthcare and based on my experience, the polyclinic is always crowded. I ended up going to the clinic 3 times in one day. The first time I reached the clinic at 8:25am to get registered. The doctor allocated to me had so many patients that my appointment with her was at 12 noon or so. I went back home and returned at noon. I finally saw the doctor at 12:30pm. She sent me for x-rays and said I had to return after 2pm for another consultation when the x-rays are ready. I went to meet hubs for lunch and went back to the clinic at 2pm. Fortunately many patients weren't around when their numbers were called so I got my turn fast.

The good news is I do not have any broken bones. The bad news is I have tennis elbow. And I know exactly what you're thinking. And the answer to your question is: no, you don't need to play tennis to get tennis elbow. The doctor wasn't very forwarding with any treatment. The day I consulted the doctor, I had already reached the point where dressing myself was a problem. My right arm could no longer straighten and many simple daily tasks were a struggle. Like brushing my teeth, wiping my ass, opening the refrigerator, boiling water, tying my shoelace, opening a bag of chips, putting on my bra, taking off my bra and have I mentioned wiping my ass? And the doctor was like, oh, it's going to get worse. But no concrete treatment plan. She asked if I had tried putting ice on my elbow. I said yes and finally I asked her what were her suggestions for my elbow to get better.

Guess what? The doctor opened Firefox and googled "tennis elbow". She picked wikipedia and it's here if you want to read it. She went through the wiki page with me and after all that, she suggested I see a specialist. There is a waiting list to see a specialist so in the end we decided I should see a physiotherapist first. She sent me off with some NSAIDs.

Fortunately I got to see the physiotherapist just 3 days later. Honestly, I didn't have much confidence in him either. Well, he kept saying to himself: what to do, what to do. I went through all the tasks I usually do with my right arm and he thought it was possible the weights exercise I do at my cardiomix class may have caused a shoulder injury. He did some arm rotation, some shoulder manipulation and found a very tight spot in my right shoulder. He pressed on the spot for a few minutes. And lo and behold, I could straighten my right arm. It was almost like a miracle. He gave me some exercises to do daily to fix the shoulder issue. After I reached home, I realised he hadn't given me any exercises for my tennis elbow! Idiot!

This week I have become slightly better. The tennis elbow is still there. But I can wipe my ass without problems. Once my NSAIDs run out, I will know for sure how I feel. The past few weeks, I have modified my lifestyle to accomodate my right arm. I use my left hand more often. It was very challenging at first and my brain really resisted. In particular, using the mouse with my left hand is mind boggling. I have to really think about my action otherwise I will use the wrong finger. By the way, anyone received weird emails from me? Like an empty reply or on facebook did you get an increased amount of Likes from me for your posts? Well, aplogies from my left hand!

Hubs bought me this mouse which I can put on any surface, even my lap or stomach. This is a right handed mouse but sometimes I use it with my left hand. Hightlighting is still a challenge with this mouse and dragging the mouse pointer gives me a headache.

Hubs also bought a keyboard with a touch mouse. I like this touch mouse but your fingers can feel cramped after a while. So now I have two keyboards and three kinds of mouse.

Cooking is a bit of a problem at the moment. I have to plan it really well if I want to cook. Like get hubs to do any chopping of vegetables before he goes to work. (I can't use my left hand to chop) Housework that involves scrubbing or vacuuming is out of the question. My home is a mess but it's the last thing I worry about.

This week I was able to go for my Pilates and cardiomix class. Of course I am extra careful and there are some exercises I skip. I'm finally feeling human again. During the period when I couldn't bend my right arm, I felt so sickened with fear. It's possible I stuffed my face with snacks and it's possible I may have gained weight. Anyway we'll never know because I refuse to weigh myself.

It's a good thing I'm feeling better because this Sunday, me and hubs are participating in a vertical marathon. I think it's 63 storeys. What was I thinking? I have height phobia, remember? I'm suddenly feeling faint. Plus I totally did not prepare for it. My biggest fear is I will be carried out in a stretcher. See ya.


Sandra :) said...

I gotta tell you - if I had to wake up every morning for days/weeks/months, with the realization that I couldn't wipe my own butt, I would NOT BE A HAPPY CAMPER. OMG! What kind of doctor has to Wiki to get a "prescription" for taking care of tennis elbow?! I'm glad you got some relief from the physiotherapist, but are you sure you should do the vertical marathon this weekend? You definitely should NOT be doing housework - hubby and kiddos can help with that, or it can just go undone :D

BTW - I have no idea what a vertical marathon is, so you should get pictures and share them :D

Linda said...

I can't believe your doctor had to Google your treatment!! You could have done that yourself without all the hastle. I hope your elbow is much better now!!

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