in my humble opinion

Tennis, anyone? 

Posted 10/24/23

“It was bound to happen” the doctor said, as I sat down with him following a somewhat painful examination. “You know,” he continued with a wink, “being the natural …

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in my humble opinion

Tennis, anyone? 


“It was bound to happen” the doctor said, as I sat down with him following a somewhat painful examination. “You know,” he continued with a wink, “being the natural athlete that you are.”

I threw him a quizzical glance, followed by what could be considered a sneer. “What on earth are you talking about?” I asked. “You know very well that the closest I come to sports is tossing the ball around with That Dog Named Gidget, and at present, doing that hurts like H.E. Double hockey sticks. C’mon doc,” I pleaded. “You’re killin’ me. Spill it.”

He put down the thingamabob that he was using to boink my elbow, wrist and arm with, and got serious for a minute. “Have you ever heard of ‘tennis elbow’?”

I had, of course, but I’ve heard of a lot of things. That doesn’t mean I actually know anything. 

“Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis,” he said, “is a condition that can result from overuse of the muscles and tendons in the elbow. Tennis elbow is often linked to repeated motions of the wrist and arm.”

“And what exactly does that have to do with me?” I asked, still wincing from the little rubber mallet thingy he had tapped me with.

Quoting the fine folks at the Mayo Clinic, he read these words to me: “Despite its name, most people who get tennis elbow don’t play tennis. Some people have jobs that involve repeated movements that can lead to tennis elbow. These include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers. However, often tennis elbow has no clear cause.” 

“So I’m guessing typing, texting and using the computer mouse fall under the miscellaneous category,” he said. “It’s like writer’s cramp, but excruciating, and seemingly never-ending,” he said with another smirk. “I’m guessing using your camera day in and day out isn’t helping either. You might want to lay off all of those things for a while.”

Having just spent days snapping, snapping, snapping the unbelievable, surprising burst of fall foliage that we’ve seen in the Upper Delaware River region, I reflected (pun intended) on that for a moment.

“You might want to take it easy for a little while. Let your arm rest. Otherwise, well…” his sentence drifted off, but I got the drift anyhow, since I had used the Google while he looked at the X-ray images.

“Rest, pain medicines and physical therapy often help relieve tennis elbow,” it stated matter-of-factly. “People for whom these treatments don’t help or who have symptoms that get in the way of daily living might have a procedure, such as a shot or surgery.” Oy.

Not caring for a few of those options, I’m attaching some photos of the gorgeous-but-fleeting fall foliage here, since by the time this hits the newsstands, it’ll be a faded memory. Meanwhile, I’m heeding Dr. Know-it-all’s advice and planning to not type, text, mouse, or pick up the camera for a day or two, although according to him, it’s “gonna take more than that.” 

We’ll see. “No rest for the wicked,” my mother would say, wagging a lacquered nail in my direction. “Suck it up, buttercup, stop whining.” Sure, Mom, I’ll get right on that. Ouch.

Fun fact: “Tennis anyone?” is an expression of indifference to matters beyond or outside of one’s own sphere of concerns. The phrase was popularized in plays in the early 20th century as a jab at the aristocracy and upper class who cared little or not at all for the problems (such as mine) afflicting those in social classes beneath them. 

fall foliage, tennis elbow, That Dog Named Gidget


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