Four Weeks ago, Whitsun Weekend was a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, went back to work on the Tuesday with a niggling pain in my right Arm.
I’ve got various aches and pains at any time, so hadn’t really given it much thought as it was above my elbow at the front, and I thought that maybe I’d collided with a door or something and had a bruise that was below the surface?
I Struggled through the Tuesday, the pain really acute when twisting my arm, being totally Right Handed this made carrying my Toolbox very difficult and climbing into the new Van that I received at work not a week before was silly, having to pull myself in using the steering wheel with the wrong hand!
Went into work on the Wednesday having rubbed what seemed like half a tube of ‘Voltarol Emugel’ into my arm as it was so painful by now. Said hello to the Lads, went to make myself a Mug of Tea, somebody beat me to it… Result!
Went to drink my Tea, Ahh, Problem! Lifted the Mug up as far as my chest and couldn’t get it any further! The pain was Really Horrible, now I’m no wimp, I’ve got a very high pain threshold as a rule and rarely if ever complain about it. My Mate was there talking with me at the time, looked me straight in the Eyes and said: “Get yourself to the Vets Andy, You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.
Yeah, Yeah said I, thinking to myself that it’d be ok in a minute? walked round to our Service team Controller’s desk and put my tea down. “Are you ok?” She asked, yes of course, well I’ve done something to my Arm but I don’t know what. Pick up your Tea then” I tried, really I did, “get yourself down the Doctors NOW”. Drank my Tea left handed and had to agree as She had just taken all my Service breakdowns off my screen.
Drove round to the Doctors and managed to see a Doctor within an hour of walking in the door, He apologised when I related what was wrong about what he was about to do, (Strange, thought I, what does he mean) so I sat there whilst he felt around my elbow, the muscles and tendons etc, all the while asking if it hurt and watching my face like a Hawk. His fingers relaxed but didn’t let go and still watching my he started going through the possibilities finishing with “Of course, it’s not only those because if I do THIS (waited for me to climb off the ceiling) it proves to me that You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.
I was advised VERY strongly that I was to take at least a week off work, I was to go home via the chemist, getting my prescription filled and to take one of the Naproxyn twice a day, no more and with food and definitely no other anti-inflammatories or I would be in Casualty. “Do not do anything you would normally do with your Right Arm”, (Raised Eyebrows) “especially that” Ooer, Matron! No, I didn’t ask him what ‘that’ was.
Drove myself home Very carefully, calling in the Chemist on the way, also work to let them know and went indoors and attempted to make a pot of Tea left Handed. This is going to be different thought I, as I live alone and tried to unlace my workboots with the wrong hand!
I don’t like being home off sick, it always feels like I’m Skiving even though I definitely have a reason that I cannot do my job! Didn’t go out at all until Friday Tea time, when I drove myself to the Chippy to get my usual Cod & Chips… Phew, that was far enough! can’t drive much further than this at the moment, too Bleddy painful. Drove to Tesco Supermarket Sunday Morning to do my weekly shopping, couldn’t push the trolley round with both hands as usual, couldn’t grip items picked off high shelves either.
Monday comes round and I’m thinking that I’m going to have to ring the Surgery and make an appointment for Wednesday as that’ll be a week, and my self-certification for work will run out and there ain’t no way I’m going to be able to return to work anytime soon. Went into the Doctors Surgery as I prefer that to a phone call, spoke to one of the receptionists who informed me that nearly all the appointments were taken already, and certainly all for the Dr I saw! She said She would put me on a list for the Duty Dr to ring later in the day today, and that it would probably be after 6pm.
Received a phone call about 18:30 from the duty Dr who discussed how it was going etc, advising me to go to the Pet Shop and get myself a Dog Collar to strap around my lower arm to restrict the pull on the muscles, also that he would leave a sick note for work at reception for collection tomorrow.
Tuesday comes round, I get collected in the Morning by one of the younger Lads and taken to an Engineer’s meeting that we usually have twice a Year, Didn’t want to miss it and there’s free Tea, coffee and biscuits as well! Got dropped home at lunchtime, went out almost straight away and collected my sick note from the Drs and went to the Pet Shop. 3 different sizes of Dog collar on sale, all tied onto their cards so I couldn’t see which size I needed! Asked a young male member of staff if he could advise me, No! Knew I should have waited for a female member of staff!
Gave up and went home via a pasty shop, I was really flagging by then, my arm felt like it was on fire and I’d bitten my lip in an attempt to be nice and polite with the young man who’d nearly had to get off his stool to come and help me!
Looked at the Sick note, it says a calendar week from Monday, Hummphh! Sometimes I have a day that goes according to plan, I must do I suppose, they can’t all be like this, can they? Yes? Thought so!
Rang the office to let them know and ordered two arm straps from Ebay for less than the cost of one Dog Collar! Took a couple of Paracetamol to extinguish the fire in my upper arm and elbow and flopped in my chair in a heap for the rest of the afternoon.
The straps turned up on Friday, just the straps, no packing note, no how or where to wear them, nothing. Spent a bit of time with Google and YouTube and found out.
Wow, what a difference, the pain just disappeared and though I still have restricted movement, it is now uncomfortable as against Bally Painful! Drove myself round to get my Tea again, phew, that was better, not right yet but definitely better.
Another week off work followed, I drove further and further, did some clothes shopping and bought a few other things as well and fitted a new pump in the Pebble Pool water feature in my back garden, Phoned the office on the Friday, “I’ll be back on Monday and we’ll see how it goes”.
So I’ve been back for a week, the first two days were bloomin difficult, especially as we were very busy and I can’t work at my normal speed, but I’ve stuck with it and I asked for someone else to do my on-call this weekend so it’s Sunday today and so far so good!
What about this Holiday then?
Well, this next Thursday I leave home to drive to my Wife’s flat, We’re going down to Austria by Car on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (1000 Miles) then we stay for 7 Nights before the 3-day drive home. So a 3 Day week for me this week, Shame!
I’ll try and take photos of this trip as we go, and of course, I’ll post them here as well as Facebook.