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I Think It Was Emily Litella Who Said It

“It’s always something…if it’s not one thing, it’s another”


Yep, Emily Litella, the character played by the late great Gilda Radner had it pegged.

I’ve only had one arm working properly for several years now, so that right arm’s been doing double duty in almost all of those everyday tasks you normally ask both arms to do.

It’s been coping pretty well, but last week my right elbow that I’m always leaning on acted up; the tip swelled up to robin’s egg size after being a bit sore for a day or two. I dug out a beanbag rest to keep pressure off it and waited. After a few days it didn’t seem inclined to get any better, and I started having unpleasant visions of spider bites or flesh eating bacteria so I got online and checked what might cause these symptoms. Took me all of about a minute before I found the likely culprit after seeing plenty of pics of what my elbow looked like. It even has a fancy name:

Olecranon bursitis.

Often referred to as “student’s elbow” or “baker’s elbow,” it’s a common problem caused by…guess what…leaning on an elbow too much. Simply put, if you annoy the elbow enough, the protective bursa at the tip of the elbow fills with fluid like an airbag deploying, and stays that way till you quit annoying it. I guess I’ll be using that beanbag rest full time now.

I called my doctor’s office to see if they’ll put in a request to get a home health nurse sent out here to have a look. I don’t mean to fool with this and take any chances on it getting worse, I kinda need this right arm in good shape. Usually all one needs to do is stop leaning on it and no medical attention’s required, but with MS I’ve found it’s generally better to ask and not assume.

If anyone asks me how I’m doing, I can answer them literally…Swell!

It’s always something, as Emily said.

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