**Previously on GrapplingGirl**
Of course, elbow injuries are very common in jiu jitsu, whether they be accidental (a post gone wrong, like mine) on intentional (the ubiquitous arm bar).
I consider myself very lucky that in my year and a half of jiu jitsu, I've dodged all injuries. In fact, I haven't had a boo boo severe enough to make me miss even a day of practice! (I'm knocking on wood as I write this). But I know that if you stick with the sport long enough, even if you are uber careful, injury is inevitable. It's not a question of if, but when. As pain sliced through my arm, I just wished that the when could have been some other time. The Pan Ams were, after all, just 2 weeks away.
But what happened next was scarier to me than the injury itself. Suddenly, I was having a hard time breathing and was wheezing audibly as I exhaled. I felt cloudy and dizzy and was told that I looked very pale. I focused on my breathing (in through my nose, out through my mouth). Then, just as quickly as the symptoms came on, I snapped out of it and was fine (minus the busted elbow).
It turns out that the neurological weirdness was just a reaction to intense pain (my doctor later confirmed that this was indeed the case). But it weirded me out. I called my nurse-practitioner mom who served to weird me out even further. Nausea, she said, can be a sign of a fracture, a symptom that she experienced when she broke her wrist, rib, and elbow (on separate occasions...and no, she does not do jiu jitsu).
That evening, my elbow stopped throbbing, which I took as a good sign, even though I couldn't straighten it. I went for a run, and when I came back, I found myself unable to take off my sports bra. I wiggled and wrangled and finally got one arm out, but it was impossible to get the sweaty bosom-smusher off without lifting and straightening my right arm. Frustrated, I cut the bra off with scissors. Then things got worse. I gradually discovered that I couldn't use a fork...or brush my hair...or work the gear shift in my car with my right hand.
I went in for an X-ray the next morning. If my elbow was fractured, I just wanted to know, so I could rest it and eat normally again. If not, and there was any chance I could still compete, I likewise wanted to know, so I could do whatever I could to continue to prepare.
The verdict: my X-rays looked good! The doctor was sympathetic to my sport and said that my elbow should feel better in 7-10 days. He also said that competing Oct 1st was "a good probability." I was beyond relieved! I may have kissed the doctor, had that not been terribly inapporproate.
My elbow already feels MUCH better. I almost feel sheepish for overreacting and getting it X-rayed. It's looking like I might be back rolling by the middle of the week!