FALLING APART IN 
ALL THE RIGHT PLACES

    I hate to brag, but I've got bicep tendonitis. Well, at least I did until my body literally started falling apart. Modern or ancient medicine played no role in my recovery. It was just the human body working its magic.
   Let's face it. You don't get bicep tendonitis sitting around on the couch. Only the most studly men or women develop this painful affliction, usually from overuse of a highly-charged and structurally sound bicep muscle.
   "Yes, it definitely seems like bicep tendonitis," said my doctor after he put me through a battery of tests a couple of months ago, which was basically having me point to where it hurt and then moving my shoulder up and down. "Has it been bothering you for awhile?"
   "About eight months," I replied, watching his reaction as he wondered how anyone could cope with such pain for so long. Clearly, I was a Profile in Courage.
    "Any idea how you hurt it?" he asked, obviously figuring I inflamed my manly tendon by doing 150 pound curls or perhaps on my 200th push up.
   "I was pulling into my driveway and turned the steering wheel and felt the burn," I sheepishly replied. "But I was coming back from working out." Which was a lie.
   "And you haven't curtailed any of your physical activities during these eight months?" he asked as he typed notes in his computer.
   "Nope," I said proudly. "I played through the pain."
   "And now it's worse," he said, typing 'idiot" into the computer, or so I guessed. "What a surprise."
   He referred me to a physical therapist. But I had a better plan, now that I had a confirmed diagnosis. A friend had suggested acupuncture, and in my expert medical opinion, it was worth a try. Physical therapy is for weenies. I wanted needles.
   So off I went to see an acupuncturist. I was a little skeptical, but the practice of acupuncture had been around for more than 2000 years. It must have worked for someone.
    "Bicep tendonitis?" asked the nice acupuncturist, when I told her my malady. "I can fix that in two sessions."
   Now that's confidence! I had been a little skeptical, but no more. This woman said it with such assurance that it left me no doubt I would be cured once and for all.
    "Anything else bothering you?" she asked before beginning the treatment.
   "Well, I've got some tendonitis in my right knee, but it's not too bad."
   "No problem. I'll take care of that. Anything else? You get one more."
    I couldn't think of a third ailment, so I made one up. She said she could help. Then the treatment began.
    "I'm going to put some needles in your ankles which will help sedate you."
   I felt a sharp prick when she inserted the needle, but I didn't feel the sedation. But she immediately began inserting needles everywhere , sedation or not. It didn't really hurt much, so maybe the sedation was indeed working. Within minutes, I had needles in my knee, my wrist, my shoulder, and for some reason, my head.
   Then she left, leaving me in the room for 45 minutes to let the needles do their work. When she returned, she quickly removed the needles and asked how I felt.
   I now had no needles in me, so the answer was obvious. "Better," I said.
   "Great!" she chirped. "It usually takes up to 24 hours before you feel improvement. You're ahead of the game."
   As noted, acupuncture works for many ailments and many people, but not in this case. I tried two more sessions and showed no improvement. I then saw a physical therapist, who suggested (surprise!) rest.
   Before I could even attempt to rest it, though, I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and noticed some bruising around the bicep. I also noticed I could suddenly lift objects without any pain. The tendonitis was miraculously gone.
   "Your long head bicep tendon detached from the bone in your shoulder," the doctor explained when I went back to see him and showed him my new Popeye-like bicep. "It's fairly common. No surgery necessary and your strength shouldn't be affected."
   I was literally falling apart, and it was a good thing. The answer turned out to be even older than acupuncture. It was the human body making natural adjustments.
   Good thing. I was just about to try leeches.
 

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