And nothing helped. Not ice, not the brace, not the four Aleve, six tylenol or eight Advil taken in the course of eight hours. Not the first hydrocodone. Nor the second.
The third hydrocodone, however, taken around 9 pm, put me to sleep, which was all I was praying for at that point, assuming that a swift and merciful death was out of the question.
At some point I called the hand specialist my GP had referred me to on Monday, and begged to be seen as soon as possible.
Today at 3 pm, I saw him. The visit was mainly comprised of the doctor poking and pressing and thumping and asking, "Does that hurt?"
His diagnosis? "Probably tendonitis, and probably carpel tunnel, but we'll have to send you somewhere else for THAT test."
After he suggests all the stuff that any moron without a medical degree would guess, which happens to be the stuff I'm already trying (rest, ice, braces, anti-inflamatories), I ask him, "Is that it? That's all you can suggest when I'm in such pain I can't hold anything, I can't sleep, I can barely fill out your freakin' 20 pages of forms?"
"Well, I could give you a cortisone shot. Wanna try that?"
Of course, I said yes.
As he prepares the syringe, he smiles and says, "You're not gonna like me much later tonight."
"I don't like you very much right now," I say, flexing the hand that he has set to throbbing again with all his probing. "What happens tonight?"
"Well, once this lidocaine I'm spraying on your elbow wears off," he grins (I swear, he grinned!), "your elbow is gonna hurt a lot until the cortisone kicks in, probably tomorrow."
Before I can tell him to get the hell away from me, he says, "Okay, here's a little stick."
Yes, there is a little stick. Not too bad. I sigh in relief.
Then he says, "Okay, now you're gonna feel some pressure."
OMIFREAKINGOD, SOME PRESSURE? No, asshole, this is not SOME PRESSURE! This feels like someone is trying to shove a kabob skewer through my elbow. Perhaps it was just my imagination but I swear I felt metal scraping against bone. And it just goes on!
The "pressure" continues until I am gasping and trying to curl into a fetal position, stopped only because he has my right arm held down on the table. I think I may have used the F bomb. More than once. IT HURT. VERY MUCH.
It's also possible I hissed at him.
"And I'm trying to make it bleed a little," the sadistic bastard tells me. "That will help the healing process."
SERIOUSLY? How about screaming? Does that help the healing process? What about smacking the living daylights out of the doctor? Should I try that and find out?
Finally it is over. I stagger out of there with a bruise forming on my elbow around a red puncture mark.
And as he predicted so glibly, it is beginning to hurt. I have taken one hoarded hydrocodone, and will probably take another one in a few minutes before I go to bed.
Damn it, another doctor bill piles up for no real new information, no significant help. Maybe the cortisone will help, but I won't know for a while.