I never thought it would happen to me.  I have tennis elbow.

Actually, it’s chainsaw elbow.  I haven’t touched a tennis racket in decades.

The day after Thanksgiving we had designated for some outdoor work, and one of the things on the list was sawing down trees that could potentially block the driveway this winter.  We had picked up the chainsaw a couple years ago, I think, but never used it.

It wasn’t a fun day.  I was cranky, and didn’t want to do the work.  Bettie was gently insistent, and she was right that the work needed to be done, but she wasn’t the one doing the work.  It was the first time we started the chainsaw, and we didn’t have the dude from the store showing us how easy it was.  I must have missed a step, because the stupid chainsaw wasn’t starting.  I kept trying to get it to run, pulling on the starter cord and getting angrier (expressing my inner child, I mean, and he’s obstinate).  It was the adult equivalent of a temper tantrum.

I knew I had hurt my arm by the time we finally did get it going.  We still sawed down the trees and got them into movable-sized pieces, and my arm still hurt.  I tried to be gentle with it, but the damage was done.  I could not hold up a gallon of water, or even a glass of water, with that arm.  I’m just not as dextrous with my left arm/hand, so I kept on using my right side.

After about three weeks of  “it’s not getting better” I made an appointment with the doc.  “Tennis elbow”.  So I am wearing an elbow splint, and taking generic Aleve , and I’m supposed to ice the area down every so often.  The doctor also prescribed diclofenac, which kills vultures in India.  I’m not taking it, but it’s because I was unready to pay $240 for 60 patches when I needed seven.  I’ll put up with a little bit of pain to keep my wallet in decent shape.

So I’m healing.  I’d better be healing.  Because of the elbow splint keeping my arm fairly straight, I’m having trouble reaching into my right-hand pocket, and some difficulty brushing my teeth.  I want there to be some significant benefit for the suffering I’m going through.

And while I’m suffering with this damaged arm, my inner child is probably off sulking about something else.  I am still learning the lesson of that day – don’t let the inner child drive the bus that’s my body.  Nobody wins.

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