Friday, September 19, 2014


Your elbow is something you hardly ever notice until you do.

I've been noticing my left elbow now for over a week. I have a theory about why it is hurting. Nobody would believe my theory, and I don't blame them.

But here it is: I am lucky (or unlucky) enough to have such severe allergies that I qualify via blood test for a medication called Xolair. It's two shots every two weeks to give me allergen blockers. I can really tell that it's working 9 months after starting. I haven't had asthma once in all that time and though I still cough and sneeze, it wasn't nearly as bad as it has been in the past this summer. Not nearly as bad. Plus, I'm on half the medication I used to take before the shots and in October may, if my doctor agrees, go off it altogether. So, good news.

Bad news is this: I broke the two bones in my left forearm in 8 or 9 places in a car wreck 6 or 7 years ago (I'm not sure since linear time confounds me...) and have two titanium rods in that arm. The first time I took Xolair I had one shot in each arm and my forearm started aching until I went to the surgeon who put them there. Everything was fine according to X-ray and some anti-inflammatory pills made the ache go away in a day or two.

Then, two weeks ago, for reasons beyond all comprehension, I let the nurse give me a shot in both arms. I woke up two days later with pain in my elbow that only got worse when I was in Chicago. I still had the pills from the last time and though I've been taking them for three days, my elbow still hurts. I can't quite put my left forefinger in my left ear. I can't lift anything heavy with my left arm. It wakes me up a couple of times a night when I'm not on my right side with my left arm folded over my chest.

Very annoying.

Noticing your elbow is a pain in the...well, elbow.

I'm going to urgent care tomorrow if it isn't a lot better. Could Xolair and titanium really react that way? I have no other explanation--I didn't hit or injure my elbow in any way.

Pondering the human body will get you thinking too much....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.