A Triumph for Medical Science
Russell Degnan

Yesterday I woke up with an amazingly sore left elbow.

It hurt to bend it.
It hurt to straighten it.
It hurt, less, but it still hurt, to keep it still, regardless of whether it was bent or straight.
It especially hurt to bang it.
And to some extent, to prod it.
And to a greater extent, to put weight on it.

The symptoms were that it was sore, and swollen, but not noticeably dented or bruised. Was I coming down with RSI, from repeatedly leaning on it at my desk, while I read innumerable blog posts and articles? Or from a similarly poor use of it on the bars at pubs?

I was pondering this while I didn't sleep last night, since sleeping involved many of the things that made it hurt, when it occured to me that, since I might need to make a doctor prod it and hurt it, I may as well get the jump on them, so to speak, and prod it and hurt it while I lay there.

My medical knowledge is pretty scant, confined for the most part, to simple remedies for King's Eye and Affright, plus the application of leeches. But one thing I do know is that the body is, for the most part, symmetrical, and that therefore, protusions and bumps on one side tend to be abnormal if they don't appear on the other.

What I noticed, in the dark, feeling my way around my sore elbow and its swollen lumps, was that the bones were intact, and the swollen mess, while full of cracks and dead skin, was not so different to the cracks and dead skin on the other, not sore, not swollen elbow.

But one thing was different. On the tip of the humerus at the inside of my elbow (what Wikipedia charmingly refers to as the medial epicondyle) there was something over my left, that didn't exist at all on the right. With a little flick I pushed it aside, whereby whatever it recoiled into my arm like the vacuum cleaner cord does after it's become unlodged from under a chair.

And lo, my arm was suddenly not as sore, nor as swollen. And it didn't hurt to move it, nor lean on it, which meant I could sleep.

Which was good, because whatever I did to it friggin' hurt.

Passing Fancy 23rd April, 2006 17:23:19   [#] 

Comments

A Triumph for Medical Science
EEEEEK.

I guess you had a tendon move out of its place. I understand medicine because I own a ball of rubber bands.
david tiley  29th April, 2006 01:19:29  

A Triumph for Medical Science
I have a pretty bad record with tendons. I've managed to snap two in my right hand (basketball). One on my palm, and one on my little finger ("farmer's finger" the doctor called it). The latter is partially fixed, but permanently bent.

My elbow is pretty good now though, and I've been getting google searches for "elbow lumps", which obviously makes me some sort of expert on the matter.
Russ  30th April, 2006 04:02:34