tennis elbow update

I suddenly realised that you’ve probably all had months of sleepless nights wondering about my tennis elbow. And no spellcheck, I do not want to put a z in realised.

So a quick update.

Well basically it’s still the same. Lots of bloody nasty pain and inconvenience. Not being able to do things without pain that most people take for granted. Like brushing your hair or putting your bra on or picking up the sugar jar or a thousand other things. Waking up in the night and almost crying from the pain.

But I did see the elbow specialist. I didn’t realise that joints were split up between so many people. Some specialists do shoulders, some do shoulders and knees, some do hands and apparently a very elite group do elbows. And the one I saw was one of those arrogant condescending types that some specialists seem to be. I was so not in the mood for him right from the start. He spoke to me like I was an idiot right from the start and he was one of those people who presume to know all about you after having known you for about two minutes.

The first thing he told me was that I was very bloke like. (It was all to do with the way I took my cardigan off). I don’t take that as an insult because I am in fact very bloke like, I’ve never been the girly girl but still it’s a big call on his part. Then he gave me a lecture about being a control freak and a Type A personality. And how my elbow would never get better because I was a type A personality and never gave up control and never let anyone do anything and bla bla bloody bla and that if I wanted it to get better then I had to rest it for twelve months.  And I just sat there and thought where the fuck do you get off mate. I work part time, I go to school full time, I run a house, I run a hobby business, I have three kids and I’M RIGHT HANDED.  And if there weren’t so many useless bastards in the world there would be no need for us so called Type A’s who should really just be called the people who get the bloody job done.

So I could see what he was saying but the way he went about it was all wrong and I felt like getting real bloke like and punching him in the face. So the whole idea is that you don’t take painkillers, you don’t use strapping and you don’t have cortisone injections (whoops). the idea is that you must feel the pain, so you can tell what things cause the pain and then you stop doing them. You learn to lift things differently. If you are waking up in tears through the night it means you have worked it too hard through the day. Basically there is no cure except rest. Every time you feel pain you have put your recovery back. So work out what things cause pain and stop doing them or work out a way to do them that doesn’t hurt.

I have been trying very hard because I really want it to go away but like I said this doctor, well he was a real prick. I must remember to tell my doctor not to send anyone there who is a bit sensitive because you don’t really need to pay $245.00 to be treated like an imbecile.

So rest easy everyone. No miracle cure, just slow and steady progress.

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34 thoughts on “tennis elbow update

  1. You saw this guy for the first time and he tells you you’re “bloke-like” and a Type A personality? Can we tell the doctor he’s a sexist PIG? Not to mention his suggestion you don’t take any palliative measures for your pain: where did he go to medical school anyway?

    Is there something like a Medical License Board or office of medical ethics where you can file a complaint against this jerk? I complained to the HMO clinic about my father’s GI specialist after he made some wisecracks I thought were outright racist, and they responded right away with an apology. We had to switch doctors of course, because there was no way Dad would go back to see this one: but no patient should have to put up with remarks like that.

    • His arse had barely touched the chair before he started on about the type A business. I can’t be bothered complaining about him. I have to go back to my GP late August so I’ll talk to him about it and tell him what I wasn’t impressed with this guy. Trouble is when you live in a country area specialists are limited so you can’t be choosy. He didn’t send me to another Doc because he said he wasn’t very nice. Maybe its an elbow guy thing.

  2. I really think you should have punched him. It’s a good range-of-motion exercise.

    How can he expect anyone, no matter how idle, to do without an arm for a year?! I’ve no job, no school, and no children, but I still have to lift groceries and cats and drive.

    Bollocks. I would take pain killers at night (not sleeping is bad for your healing), strap it up if you have to do any extra-heavy lifting, and find a new elbow specialist.

    Suffering does NOT make you a better person — it makes you useless and irritable and meaner.

    If you see him again, don’t risk your elbow. Use your foot and apply it so he’ll have to go see the doctor for male bits.

    • Lol, I punched my husband recently not thinking and it hurt like a mofo, definitely put the healing back a few months. I thought I’d broken my arm. Yeah, it’s impossible to totally rest your arm. Daz would have to have a year off work while I lay on the lounge and said – can you please lift my glass to my lips. I’d have to have someone do all my assignments and exams for me. I’d need a scribe. Grocery shopping is tricky, I have to be very careful how I put things in and out of the trolley, I’m getting better at using my left arm though and just being aware of my right. Thinking before I do.

  3. An elbow specialist? Really? I see the day when I’ll have problems with my left nostril and will have to wait for 6 months to see anyone about it … but the right nostril specialist will be free.

    I had tennis elbow and have no idea how I got it. The regular doctor gave me a strap and some extra strong acetaminophen. It took awhile to heal completely because I had to work, but eventually it did.

    • He said it can just be a couple of hours of hard or repetitive work that brings it on. I don’t remember it actually happening either just that it started being really sore about 18 months ago.I think I need to put my arm in a sling, it seems to hurt when it’s left to just hang down as well as when I use it. Giong to look up acetaminophen – ahhh, panadol.

  4. Time to work on your left hook, dear. 🙂 You do raise an excellent point, though. Why is it that we who are stuck doing all the crap no one else can be bothered to do are saddled with the label of being “Type A” and “control freaks” who never “let anyone else do anything.” Because I would gleefully not do things if anyone else would. But they don’t. And someone has to. Maybe we should just chuck it all and be elbow specialists so we can get paid $245 to insult people and tell them to stop doing things.

    • I hear you. I would like to not do the washing up in a minute but I think the washing up fairy must have run away because I left it there all night in case she/he did it but it’s still there now and I appear to be the only one home.

  5. What a dick. It is possible to rest your elbow and still live your life, but some helpful hints would have been better than exposing your dickitude to the world, elbow guy.

    • It is possible and I’ll start resting it as soon as I’ve finished painting the hallway. Actually that doesn’t hurt it and he said if it doesn’t hurt then I can do.Yes, elbow guy was not too helpful.

  6. Long ago, my husband had tennis-elbow or, more accurately, rock-climbing elbow. He isn’t the kind of guy to sit around and rest, so it took awhile to heal, but it eventually did. We did more running and no rock climbing for awhile.

    He would always say, “it hurts when I do this” (such as closing the truck door) and I’d tell him, “So, don’t do that” which was silly. One has to get in and out of their vehicle!

    • Lol, yeah you don’t realise how often you do things that require your elbow being involved. It sort of just hurts to do anything. It made me start running as well. I can’t do any weights work or yoga so I started running instead, I’ve always liked running.

  7. Then he gave me a lecture about being a control freak and a Type A personality

    Sexist is the word!

    Do you have a tens machine? http://www.sportstek.net/omron-tens.htm
    We have one and use it on knees, shoulders, backs, necks. It helps with the healing process. I think some chemists or physios will hire them but they are usually less the $100 and you can get them off private health care. They really do help relieve the pain and swelling.

  8. HATE those types!
    Took me about 5 tries to find a physio therapist who could genuinely help my knees (while I take pain killers) instead of just placing blame. But then they started with the, “you need to do these exercises at home” stuff – and all I can think is, “If I would do those exercises at home, you’d have no damn job. I PAY YOU to motivate me to do the exercises!”

    I hope you find a better option. Especially because my elbows are going out (I sleep on my stomach, with my arms up toward the pillow and bent… and it’s hurting more and more every day).

    • This guy has a physio working with him but he said he’d still just rather use the rest it theory. My GP had given me some exercises to do but they just hurt too much and when I told elbow guy he said yeah, stop doing them. Rest, rest, rest.

      • I have one more like the first one but I don’t wear it much, I find it really irritating. Also this doctor said that sometimes if you use a strapping type thing like that you’re inclined to use the arm more because it might feel okay to you.

  9. A guy I work with had a sore finger – that’s when I discovered that there are specialists the specialize right down to fingers or thumbs!

    I went to a doctor who told me my blood pressure was really high and I was about to have a stroke. When i started to cry she said crankily: “Is there something else wrong?” – nothing that a better bedside manner wouldn’t fix. I changed doctors.

    • Yeah, it’s weird isn’t it. That there can be enough sore fingers out there to have their own specialist.

      I’m used to my GP who is about the happiest man you could ever meet so it’s a bit of a surprise when you meet a nasty bastard. I have to go to the vein clinic next week. And even though I know Jacquie is going to cause me a lot of pain at least she looks like she’s sorry to be doing it.

  10. I broke my left elbow, with a sprain of the circular ligament arount my radial head. After 20 days in my plaster, my joint was blocked. Physio has been a horror for little progress. I decided to carry with my bad arm, all what I have to carry … six boxes pack of milk, 9 liters bottles pack of water, bags, suitcase …
    After several months, my muscles decided finally to work by themselves and not to ask every time the work to my ligament ! … I stopped suffering … and now my left arm is well unfolded as the right ! …
    I sympathize and whish you to succeed in making your tennis elbow that enough is enough ! …
    Have a nice day.

  11. eeeee
    well, it is good to know it is all the fault of your personality.

    resting probably *is* what you need to do, but good luck with that.
    maybe you could arrange to go live in a spa for the next year?
    le sigh.
    I’ve just spent over a year with a bad thumb, and splinting it so I couldn’t use it At All was the only thing that finally made it much better.
    (not all better)
    and it needed a good six weeks of that.
    (I will point out that being totally unable to use your right thumb really sucks.)

    alternatively, it might help to figure out what five things you are doing that bug your elbow the most and recruit people to do them.
    with my thumb, opening anything went, and using scissors.
    it helped a lot just to stop doing the things that really, really hurt the most.

    and the taking pain meds so you can sleep is really smart too.

    • Not using your thumb would be tough, you use it a lot more than you think. The five things is a good idea but there’s never anyone around when I need something done. Opening jars is definitely bad for me, so are tight taps. And like yesterday I had to take my mother out to some shops she wanted to visit and she uses a walker so I had to get that in and out of the car boot half a dozen times and I knew it wasn’t good for the elbow but what can you do? But I am getting better at just being aware of it and not continuing if something hurts it if I possibly can.

    • That is an excellent idea actually, Chicken Little and I walk past an east/west medical place on our walks – will definitely look into it.

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