2019-05-29 The Ultimate Human Condition

Today is the last day of school for my kids and so it’s likely to be the last day for me to spend QT with my most beloved elliptical machine (at my gym across the street from the school). I’ll likely spend the summer getting to know the equipment in the exercise room in my basement better or, better yet, start those Jazzercise classes I’ve been wanting for months now. I’ll also be working out in the garden flexing my digging and watering and weed-pulling muscles.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the steroid shot in my arm will not last as long as the first one. That gave me relief from the annoying aches and pains in my arm for about 2 months. Of course my hope going in (the first time) was that I would have the shot and my tendons would recover in the span of time the med was working. That was in January and by about the end of March it started creeping back. I held out to mid May before going back for seconds.

Funny thing about tendonitis at the elbow… they don’t have a good way to fix it and also not a lot of proven methods of physical therapy that help. I asked this specific question at my appointment “what should I do while I have the relief from the steroids, exercise to strengthen or complete rest? What will help it get better faster?”. The answer..

“We don’t know”. Really? There are no studies or experience with cases that have led to the answer. Some people respond to total rest and some to therapy. Some get one shot and the pain never comes back and some have to come back every 3 months. Eventually, in 95% of cases, the pain just goes away. The tendons, he explained, are more “frayed” than Inflamed. They eventually just recover from the trauma that caused the issue. Ok.

The first go-round I limited my arm activity to just daily living tasks. No lifting weights or Jazzercise arm routines Or tennis. That being said, there’s still a fair amount of heavy lifting in my day to day life. Plus it’s not even the “lifting” things that’s taxing. It’s actually any strain on the wrist or pressure exerted in the hand and fingers. I was trying to hold off getting a second shot. I was holding onto hope it would just start getting better one day. That I would wake up and it would slowly feel better than the day before. It didn’t.

I have an iPhone SE, which is equivalent to the iPhone 6, and that version still has the “power/sleep” button on the top. The day I was holding my phone and noticed that there was pain in my arm as I moved my finger up to push the button and turn the display off was the same day I called to make a second ortho appointment. The fact that such a simple action could spark the pain was just disheartening.

I wanted to write the day I had my appointment but didn’t have time. I just was on the verge of tears all morning. I was just so sad about the pain coming back or perhaps the fact that it’s inevitable that my aging body will fail me. It’s just the start of things to come. I exercise and take care of myself and eventually things will deteriorate anyway. It’s part of the human condition. The aging physical body is just that.. always aging.

What’s next? Eyesight, hearing, cognitive function? Ok, that’s overly dramatic but there may a physical element to my lack of focus and tiredness in the evenings. It may be less to do with not getting enough good sleep and more to do with having 45 year old parts. I don’t know but it definitely weighs on my mind.

Around November last year I developed an involuntary twitch in my eyelid. It would start mid-morning and last almost all day, off and on. It was Mildly annoying and fairly easy to ignore save for the fact that I had creeping thoughts in my brain about this being the newest age-induced problem. For real I thought “oh hell… is this another thing I’m going to have for the rest of my life?” (like the late night leg twitch when I’m sleepy and that started when I was about 38). Good grief!!

The last few months the worry grew and the eyelid twitching more bothersome to the point where I googled it. The articles I read said it was caused by 1. Too much caffeine or 2. Lack of sleep or 3. Too much stress. Old, worn out eyelids were not among the causes. Good. I tried reducing caffeine (fairly successfully) and have managed to bump my sleep by 15 minutes a night on average. I also quit the most stressful part of my life (the dreaded work project).

All that has improved the situation tremendously. I noted in the last week or so that those twitchy episodes have been greatly reduced. So that’s a “tic” in the win column. I’ll take it.

Right now I have very little pain in my right arm. It’s about 2.5 weeks post injection and if I’m going to try and do something different with this go-round, the time is now. I have written orders for PT if I want to use them. I can’t just do the same thing as before and expect a different result. I’m no longer hoprleful that it will just get better, magically. I’m actually thinking it will not get better unless I rest it completely (which is terribly impossible) or jump on the PT wagon. What to do, what to do?

That’s enough rambling on about the Tennis Elbow and the reality of the ultimate human condition today. I’ve got 1.5 hours before the kids are done and it’s not worth driving home just to drive back again so I’ll be hanging out at the gym. I may try reading on the treadmill. I can write blog posts on the elliptical machine so one would think reading would be a snap. 😉

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

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