Watching the snow fall yesterday I was reminded of the good ole days of sunshine, tennis and my younger days on the court.
Then I remembered my experience with TENNIS ELBOW. No one had warned me about this disease that lessor players are particularly susceptible to.
Tennis friends are not sympathetic! Just because they had never seen me hit a ball hard enough to cause pain, was no excuse for them to refer to my arm band as an elastic placebo.
One of the difficulties of treating tennis elbow is that no two people, i.e. doctors, can agree on how it should be done. I tried everything from cortisone injections to a mercury band around my wrist. Cortisone injections are the ones favored by most doctors to even the score for all the afternoons they spent in the office while you were on the courts playing tennis. If the first injection doesn’t cure they are happy to prescribe another one.
When I sidled into one of their offices clutching my elbow, the conversation went something like this: “Well, I see I have another one-handed backhander with tennis elbow. ”
I replied: “I hit mine with two hands, I don’t know how to hit with one hand.”
He then threw out another fifty dollar gem, “If you wouldn’t put so much top-spin, under-spin, slice and all that other junk on your ball and just hit a good clean shot, you wouldn’t have this trouble with you elbow.”
And to this I truthfully replied: “I just try and get the ball back over the net.” He then suggested I sell my new oversize graphite racket half-price to his brother-in-law.
Next I tried the mercury band. This is a little tennis do-dad bracelet with a plastic cap of mercury in the center. In theory, the mercury stops the racket shock from passing the wrist and going to the elbow. Mine slipped through the fingers, by the wrist and up to the elbow before the mercury had a chance to get set.
Once I recuperated (6 weeks) and got back on the court I used my mended elbow as an excuse for everything, including chipping the net man’s front tooth, serving out of turn and forgetting the score.