Sunday, February 12, 2017

These Arms of Mine

Two years and one month later, I'm back at the orthopedic surgeon about my elbow.  My right one this time.

Last time, it was the left one.

Last time it was physical therapy exercises, meds and a band to go around the area - just below my elbow.

Since I knew all these things, I tried to self-treat. The problem is, none of the previous things worked....even in the slightest.

So, off to the doctor I went......well, after I called a counterpart in orthopedic surgery, asking for a reference for a doc who isn't a surgeon. I always assume they'll want to go straight for the cutting, when that is what I want to be a last resort.

The front desk staff was nice - though the paperwork, which my own staff gives to patients - I find highly doubtful anyone reads.  So much so, that on the top question on the second page, I almost wrote: "about 20%"

I was kind of a dick of the following question on the last time I had my arm x-ray'd....and I wrote "about 5 minutes ago".

I can't say I was horribly impressed by the doc. He was nice enough and seemed to know what he was talking about, but had little to no bedside manner. And he annoyed me when he called my malady: "golfer's elbow". Nor did he find it amusing when I asked when it changed from "tennis elbow".

But he said, if the brace isn't working by now, it's not going to. And this time, my pain is directly on the elbow, not slight below like last time. All the tendons come together on the elbow and I can't wear the brace directly it goes, I guess.

He didn't offer stronger prescription meds. He just offered physical therapy. One with electro-stimulation and some heated massage. So, I'll look into that on Monday.

On the chance that PT doesn't work - and really, why would it? - the next stage would be cortisone injections. And if that doesn't work, there is another kind of injection series to get, to which I got the pamphlet.

I don't know I want to get back to giggles.  I don't even know if I was ever there in the first place. Actually I do know that I was not.

There are other steps after that too - steroid injections and then, yes, surgery. But those are down the road. Until then, I'll wince when I put down a plate and I'll tear-up when I try to lift a gallon of milk.

Most gym things are out of the question. I doubt even with treatment that lifting or curling will be in my future - long or short term. Yoga is a struggle too......but I'm trying.

So maybe PT will be exciting. Maybe I'll get a cute therapist.

Song by: Marti Jones & Don Dixon


anne marie in philly said...

nah, you are not the giggle type.

to think you work with MDs all day and you have to put up with a shitty one for your problem.

I have had to modify my own gym routine due to arthritis. but I keep plugging away because the benefits outweigh the modifications.

Fearsome Beard said...

Ouch! Hang in there. My surgery shoulder seems to have finally started to turn the corner toward getting better. I'm now in my 8th month post op with PT twice weekly this whole time. At this rate I might be able to go back to modified yoga by month 11 or 12 ...I hope....and hopefully be able to lift/carry things by that time as well. After my surgery experience I don't reccomend surgery except as the absolute last resort.

Jeffrey said...

Golfer's Elbow is pain/inflammation/tendinitis at the median epicondyle of the humerus, the inside jutting bone of the elbow that's close to the bod. Tennis elbow is pain/inflammation/////tendinitis on the lateral epidondyle, teh outside of the elbow, the one you bump things with. Lots of docs don't know give a shit whether it's one or the other: they are trained in diagnosing, prescribing and curing. They don't know crap about soft tissue pain, on the whole. I know, becuase the docs in the physician's office I used to work in all came to us, the massage therapists, to ask questions about soft tissue stuff. All. The. Time. Physical therapists and massage therapists, on the other hand, are all about the soft tissue pain and know exactly what structures are involved and how to get the pain resolved quickly and effectively.