Don’t Elbow Manipulate Me

Do you like to be manipulated? No one does, but I’m paying to be manipulated on December 22nd. Well, elbow manipulated anyway. Don’t elbow manipulate me, or do, because I need to be fixed. Ever see a manual elbow manipulation?

If you’ve been following along at all, you probably know that I’m quite broken. But the thing is, although I’ve been going on with my life as if I didn’t have all of this hardware in my broken fin, I’m really not getting a whole lot better. In fact, I’ve kind of stopped swimming in a proverbial sense.

And now, in a literal sense in more ways than one, I’m frozen. Progress is no longer a thing. My supronation is at 0º and pronation at about 5. I can bend my elbow at about a 40, straighten at about a 60. And that’s it. Not cool.

I’ve kind of stopped swimming altogether and to be honest, my psyche is beginning to completely drown with my broken fin. Typing is a challenge, photography is a huge challenge, cooking’s a challenge, driving is a challenge, even grocery shopping and putting away said groceries is a challenge. Life…is a challenge and it totally sucks.

I know I don’t have it as bad as many people do, I don’t mean to sound whiny (although I know I totally do). It’s just that I’ve grown tired of this broken fin and I’m ready for it to be healed. It should be healed. A badass reconstructive surgery and three month of intensive physical therapy, it should be healed dammit.

elbow 9 14 15

But alas, all of that hardware in my arm, the necessity for the placement of that hardware, has caused my body and my brain to decide that my arm just shouldn’t heal. That tendon is so tight, it could probably hold a small child as they zip line. I exaggerate not. It’s just…so…frustrating!

On December 9th I headed to my ortho appointment for my 12-week follow up. The physical therapists recommended a brace that would surely begin my transformation into an official robocop, or robomom, or something. Whatever. I was ready for the bad news and hopeful that the ridiculously cumbersome apparatus would let me gain at least a little of that supronation and pronation back. I really need those things…badly.

In a strange turn of events, my ortho looked at me calmly and said, “We need to do a manipulation. We need to knock you out and manually manipulate your arm and elbow. We need to get that thing moving again.”.

Of course we do! But, wait. WHAT does that mean? Knock me out? Manipulate? Like move this broken bitch around, manipulate? And so, the outside voice questions started pouring out of my mouth…

“So, you’re going to put me under and move my arm ridiculously in places it doesn’t move? Is that what you’re saying?”


“That’s going to be painful, right?”

Well, you’ll be asleep, but yes, it would hurt like a bitch if you were awake. Like you’d be throwing up, crapping your pants, and passing out if you were awake, but you won’t be.”

“What about when I wake up?”

There will be plenty of narcotics involved. And it’s super important that you’re back in therapy the next day to keep it moving so it doesn’t freeze back up.

“In therapy? The next day?”

Yes, with narcotics. It will be painful for sure, but you’ll be moving again.

“OK, sounds good. But the risks? What are the risks? There’s always a risk.”

About 5% of a re-break. Well…in the perfect world…with someone with strong, adult-sized bones (<~~~none of these apply to my tiny, fragile bones)…it’s about 5%. But we’ll be monitoring that and we’d know right away. It’ll be fine and you’ll be moving again.

“I really do want to move again. It’ll be fine. I’ll be swimming again in no time.”

And so, this manual elbow manipulation was scheduled for the week of Christmas. Joy to the world. I can’t say I’m overly excited, or overly anxious, or overly scared, or overly anything in fact. Possibly overwhelmed, but not overly emotional in general. What will be, will be, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get a good bit of my range of motion back. I’m hopeful that I’ll get my life back!

If you’re curious about the surgery, watch the video below. It’s not in English, Bug and I have no clue why they are laughing, but I’ve probably watched it 100 times because I’m sick like that because I need to feel like I have some sort of control over the situation, at least by being in the know. Shit looks like it’s going to hurt considering I can’t bend it at all, but as they say…No Pain, No Gain! PS – I’m certain my doctor is way better at it than this.

Wish me luck, send sparkles, talk to the man upstairs, or whatever it is you do please and thank you. Here’s hoping I’ll be doing swimmingly in the coming weeks. Hold the narcotics.

About Christy

Christy Gossett, managing editor of SoFabFood and creator of the healthy living blog, Insanity Is Not An Option, is a WAHM of 6 kids ranging in age from 27 to 8. She enjoys sharing her heart-healthy, low sodium recipes to help others with dietary restrictions enjoy a flavorful life while maintaining a healthy diet.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge


  1. Melissa Lawler says:

    You are one of the bravest and strongest women I know. You CAN do this! Sending lots of love and healing thoughts.