Sounds preposterous, I know, but I can’t figure any other way. The twinges in my elbow started about a year ago (pre-BB) when I would pull my laptop out of its bag. So I made sure to not reach and lock my elbow, and to use two hands. When I tried to play volleyball at the Friday Faculty games, my usually-phenomenal serve sucked big time because my elbow hurt so much. (And it wasn’t even a real volleyball – it was lighter.)
I bought my BlackBerry in October, and used it as much as my old phone for texting and emailing. Until I realized I could do so much more on the Internet, and I loved having the full qwerty keyboard. I started using it more and more. By December my right elbow was hurting almost constantly. If I stretched for something – even to take a piece of paper from a student – I would flinch.
I decided it was time to see the doctor. He said it was tendonitis and gave me four steps for recovery: rest (don’t use it), Advil four times a day, ice it, and wear a brace. He said I’d be better in a week. (After a month, I looked it up on WebMD – they said four to five months!) Using it less only made my left elbow start hurting. Advil had no effect. Using an ice pack worked wonders, especially when I put it in the freezer at school. The brace was a disappointment. It would feel a little better, but I couldn’t leave it on very long. I tried to wear it overnight and my hand was numb in the morning. Worst of all, my arm felt worse when I took it off.
But the brace is how I figured out the BlackBerry connection. The brace has a band that wraps around the forearm just in front of the elbow, and it’s supposed to put the tendon back in place. Under the band is a little gel insert that rests right on the tendon. It feels good. When I tried texting with the brace, I felt the tendon moving as I typed with my thumbs. I just laughed. Shouldn’t I get carpal tunnel from texting, or my thumbs should hurt?
I actually think it comes from having my elbows bent so long while typing on the BB. Or, I find that when I text while leaning on a table my elbows really kill me. I’ve been careful not to lean lately, and they’ve been hurting less. Yay!
But I guess I really haven’t learned anything, because I’m blogging this on my BlackBerry. (Hey, but I want to try out the new “post by email” feature! Oh, who am I kidding, 95% of my blogs are typed on here. 😉 )
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed