All About My Elbow

For about four weeks, I’ve been in pain. It’s not so bad as long as I don’t use my left arm. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) I’ve gotten used to having two arms and I rely on them both to get through my day.

After a few weeks of watching me grimace when I bent my elbow (something else I like doing), my wife asked me the same thing I’d have asked her if she were in the same condition.

Not my elbow. So far, mine is still inside my skin. (public domain)

“When are you going to call the doctor?”, she asked. And while that’s something you might expect someone who is hurting to do, I tend to wait a little before I dial-up the doctor.

“It’s just a strain”, I replied, “it’ll pass”.

“How’d you strain it?”

I couldn’t answer that, so I agreed to call the doctor “soon”.

I Didn’t Call The Doctor

“Soon” passed, I didn’t make an appointment and then my wife and I went on vacation. We had a great time, but I wish I’d gone to the doctor first. That would’ve kept me from pretending my elbow didn’t hurt during our journey. And at night, my mind drifted over what was happening inside my creaky old body. Do I have tendonitis? What is tendonitis anyhow? What if it is tennis elbow? Why would I have that if it were? What if I need an elbow replacement?

So when we got home, I admitted that I wasn’t getting better and that taking ibuprofen at night wasn’t curing me. I really was going to call the doctor.

And I did. I called to arrange an appointment. When the scheduler asked, I told her that my elbow hurt. She repeated it questioningly, as if no one had ever needed an elbow replacement before. “Yes, my elbow hurts, but only when I bend it”, I told her. “Bending is the best part of having an elbow”, she said, “can you come in on Tuesday?”


This is not my elbow, yet. (public domain)

Let’s pause here and admire the majesty of “bending is the best part of having an elbow”. It was spontaneous and it is true.

I’m not sure what the second best part of having an elbow is.

I ended the call, noted my appointment and moved on with my day. The offending elbow hurt less and less throughout that day. Soon, I was doing what needed doing without pain.

Admittedly, when I say without pain what I mean is that it hurt a lot less. But it still hurt. And it felt better throughout the evening. That brings me to why I hesitate to call. When I call, I begin improving; by the time I see the physician, I have no complaint. I end up feeling like I’m speaking in the past tense and wasting time.

But if I cancel, my elbow will flare up again and I won’t get help for my tendonitis, elbow obstructive disease or whatever this turns out to be.

So the race is on. Will I improve through the weekend, giving me no reason to bother going to the doctor’s office other than making small talk? Is it ethical of me, does it even make sense, to hope that I’m still suffering from my case of elbow extenderitis just so I can avoid revealing that I’m the patient with the worst bedside manner in the world?

I should’ve called weeks ago


2 Comments on “All About My Elbow”

  1. Body parts can hear you call the doctor, so they get worried they’re in trouble and start behaving. Also, tennis elbow is the muscles in your forearm, not the creaky bendy part. My husband had it from clicking a mouse too much at work. Cheers!

  2. Lol great post…cubital tunnel syndrome?

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