The other day, I replaced the P.A.P. Upper routine with a 6.5 mile hike through the Jones Bridge Section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. I was moving fairly well, completing the hike in 1.5 hours, at an average pace of just under 4.5 miles/hr. The estimated burn was 727 calories. This is good because, with the tennis elbow injury, I am in dire need for an activity to replace calorie-sucking pull ups and tennis. These short hikes seem an excellent substitute. Plus, I like to hike. And, it’s good training for my Austrian hut to hut excursion planned for later this year.
Additionally, I received a good omen at the exact end of the hike. Just as I was exiting the trail to return to my car, I almost stepped on a beautiful copperhead snake that was stretched out across the trail, blocking my progress. I jumped back. But after the initial shock, I took a moment to admire the beauty of the creature as it slowly slithered off the trail into the cover of the leaves. What makes encountering a poisonous snake a good omen? Well, the snake spirit animal represents powerful transformation and healing. Perhaps this sign bodes well for my recovery from this tennis elbow.
Wait. What? Spirit Animals? Acupuncture? What’s next? Socialism?
Not to worry, I’m still all about freedom, liberty and rational thought. I promise.
Still, there is the issue with the cupping.
Yes, during my first visit to the acupuncturist, there was cupping involved. What the heck is cupping, you ask? Well, I was wondering that too. He had me laying prone and was working my back with his elbow. You’re very, very tight he pronounced. I’m thinking, what? I’m always this way. German heritage, I suppose. Very rigid.
I need to loosen you up. So he takes all these glass cups, creates a vacuum and plops them all over my upper back. There was intense suction to drawing the blood to the surface. The result is large, circular hickeys across my back.
He next began the acupuncture on my upper right back, tricep and at the point where the tennis elbow tendon attaches to the bone. Next, he wired me up to an electrical generator not unlike that used by Dr. Frankenstein to breathe life into the creature. My shoulder and tricep, twitched away from the stimulation for maybe 20 minutes.
After all this, I paid and was sent on my merry way, the acupuncturist assuring me I would be pain-free after three treatments. Why three treatments? I expect it’s because they swipe your credit card prior to treatment to see how much damage they can impose.
After the treatment, I admit I did feel better. Looser. But maybe its just because they stopped electrocuting me and sucking at my back. Time will tell.
I also visited my Ortho doctor. He was concerned that I hadn’t shown any progress in the 30 days since my last visit. He asked if I had had any relief from the anti-inflammatory gel he prescribed. No, I hadn’t. None at all. Upon inspection, he observed that my arm wasn’t inflamed, (No, it’s just withering away because I’m only using it to hold a fork and drink beverages.) “It’s early to be discussing surgery,” he said. (Who’s discussing it? YOU brought it up, I say to myself ). So he prescribes another anti-inflammatory and has me schedule an MRI and a follow-up to assess next steps.
After I get home, I decide there’s no way I’ll consider surgery for this condition. So what’s the point of the MRI? I cancelled the MRI and follow-up and will just really, totally rest the arm for the next 30 days and monitor my progress.
Oh, shit! I’m late for my Tarot reading. Gotta run!