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Saturday, July 27, 2013


After the tummy trouble of Wednesday night and Thursday, I was doing much better Friday morning, and so I went to work. I love my job, and the people there are so understanding of things like illness and injury, so I was only feeling a little bit 'off.' Just enough to want to grab some ibuprofen and have it with my breakfast.

The bottle of ibuprofen is too big to fit in the first aid kit - and the kit is pretty large and prominent but because of the nature of our work (designing, building, and supporting surgical lasers) it has a lot of stuff not normally in an office kit, like eyewash and burn cream. In any case, it was full of first aid goodness, and the ibuprofen was on a shelf above it, and I cracked my funny bone (not funny, humerus!) on the way down.

9AM Friday
That always hurts, a lot, and so I didn't think much of it until it was still hurting a half hour later. I put my hand down to feel it and... well... let's just say I connected with flesh a lot earlier than expected. It was that swollen; when I posted this pic, one of my online friends asked when my elbow's baby was due.

Yeah, ow.

Huh, okay, swollen funny bone. Odd. And hee hee, it looks like a funny bone hit feels. Until my lead spots it and grabs me an ice pack, and our safety officer spots it and sends me off to urgent care ("That's why we pay Labor and Industry insurance, Jenn," she says over my protests that it's just a bruise, "It's to cover all the bases when someone gets hurt, no matter how minor the injury."

Now I feel guilty; I'm still relatively new here, under three months, I stayed out with the stomach flu Thursday and here it is Friday and they're sending me off to urgent care for something minor. Arg. I'm supposed to be answering phones and taking orders and helping other people with their medical (and veterinary) surgical equipment issues, not off getting x-rays of a bruise for crying out loud.

But they are concerned because of the swelling, and when someone asks if I need to be driven to urgent care (about two miles down the street) I'm appalled and I explain hastily that my car is an automatic transmission and I can handle this.

And now it's really starting to hurt and the tips of my fingers are pin-tingly. Dang. Guess I'd better go after all.

Property of King Features
Long time in the waiting room (there are actual emergencies ahead of me) and x-rays and manipulations of the injured joint later? Yep, a bruise, a bad one, and acute bursitis. No break unless the radiologist finds something the doctor didn't see. (That this particular form of bursitis is colloquially known as "Popeye Elbow" is just a bonus.)

Anyway, back to work, where I do the job while resting a padded and Ace-bandaged elbow on an ice pack. Then home, and since the kids are at a sleepover (Lizzy's first that's not at Grandma's house!), it's pretty quiet (only one call and one text from Abby, complaining that Lizzy isn't doing what they say and their host (birthday girl M) doesn't want to tell her mom that the little kids are being mean, so Abby called me.) We get that all worked out and I'm in bed around midnight. Maybe one.

1PM Saturday
At 12:30 in the afternoon my phone (which I commonly use as an alarm clock) goes off, telling me that its battery power is low. I plug it in, take a shower (and it takes a while under hot water to unkink the joints that have been in one position for about twelve hours now), move my car (which is in the mail delivery space), make some lunches for the week, make some bacon for tonight's sandwich bar, and only then do I take a second pic of the elbow.

Eight hours of compression. Liberal application of ice. Twelve hours of sleep. Two doses of naproxen sodium. And it's down to the bruising I claimed when I first objected to going to the urgent care clinic. Still hurts to the touch, and aches slightly when I move the joint. But the swelling is almost completely gone, and so now I can get on with my weekend.