Back in April, I did what I normally do as I prep the yard for the spring season ahead...Clean up in front of our home. Most times, it is just cleaning out all of the leaves that fell from the neighbor's tree that landed in my flower beds. This year it seemed the streets department used more anti-skid stones for the snow-covered roads after a hard winter here and all of those needed to be swept up as well.
Not really a big deal until I put them into a garbage bag that that was bursting at the weight of them all.
My husband suggested that we dump them all into an empty five gallon (from blacktop sealer) bucket and take them to the city bin on the playground not far from here. The city workers come and empty those rather than our regular trash hauler.
So we did that...filled it to the tippy top and together we carried this obscenely heavy bucket of rocks down the block.
I am not a weakling at all, nor is he and we both could not believe how heavy this bucket was as we took our baby steps down the street. In hindsight, we should have used the dolly to move them. We put it down before repositioning ourselves to lift it up and dump it. The garbage men would have never been able to dispose of these because they would have torn through the bag and ended up back on the road.
We came back and continued on our chores...now the raking of the leaves in the yard.
The next morning when I woke, my left arm was paining me something terrible and I assumed it was from the lifting and carrying of the rocks. I put a topical cream on it, took two Advil, and went on with my day.
The pain didn't seem to want to stop and now it was affecting my fingers so with my doctor appointment the following week, I made mention of it to him then. He did a few tests by bending my arm in a few different positions and making me scream out in pain before diagnosing it as tennis elbow. He told me to rest it, ice it and it will heal itself over time. A compression sleeve and sling are recommended.
Well, the icing part was fine...in my down time I could do that but the rest it part I was having issues with. You know we need two arms to do just about everything. From washing your own hair to carrying things...even just washing dishes...you do need both arms and my left arm was becoming more and more painful.
Painful to the point of not sleeping at night. In the morning, I need to use my right arm to reach over and move my left arm to get out of bed.
Everything I have read up on about Tennis Elbow tells me that there is not a pain relief drug that will give relief. So, you sort of, suffer until it heals. Six months up to twenty-four months.
After three months of suffering, I went back to the doctor yesterday because I am now concerned with how little I can move the arm and how much the elbow bone is protruding up above the muscle.
As soon as he came into the examining room he commented on the look of that bone. It seems I have a bit bigger problem than Tennis Elbow.
He is concerned now it is Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Plus, the muscles in the arm are atrophied and have become noticeably smaller.
He ordered twelve X-Rays. Yes, twelve. Everything from the elbow to my neck, head, and chest. I thought when I shut off the lights last night I was going to be glowing from all of that radiation. Eeks.
He ordered Occupational and Physical Therapy in a week as I wait for my EMG testing. I watched a video of that. Fun stuff I tell you. Skinny long needles pushed into your skin to jolt the sleeping nerves to see where the "short" is. Um, No Thank you.
And fingers crossed nothing bad shows up so I don't have the surgery he is talking about...the relocation of the Ulnar Nerve.
I tried to explain to him that the Good Lord put it there in the elbow crack because he wants it there...not relocated. I am so not keen on Nerve surgery...I have enough aches and pains...No Thank You.
So as I wait to hear back about the X-Rays today I am doing what I usually do...work...candles...life...
And next year the rocks can stay where they are!!