Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lego my Elbow

**Previously on GrapplingGirl**
"Then, while I was rolling..[on Friday], I got scissor swept, posted on my arm, and things went very wrong..." There was a sudden, very severe pain in my right elbow.

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.

 Some funny pictures came up when I googled pictures to illustrate my bra trouble...

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!

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