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Urgent Care and Ginger-Lavender Syrup with Lillet and Club Soda

2011 April 26

Hold on, have to ingest my steroids. Confused? Here’s the story.

I’m not sure if you’re going to believe me. I thought I had tennis elbow, bursitis, or gout (yeah, I made fun of that word and thought that could be why I have it). A week after bringing you bummer news about all the dental work I need, canceling our offer on our ideal home and instead moving to a studio apartment for the summer, my right arm is out of commission.

While driving back to our apartment Friday evening, my elbow had a little discomfort. While sitting on the couch, it became a more intense pain and then on my way to bed, I noticed some swelling and redness. I hadn’t done anything that would pinpoint why this was happening. We were both confused. Rough rest followed. Saturday, more swelling and redness. I rested all day with Excedrin in my system. Sunday, more swelling but less pain with a switch to Aleve. Rested again on that Easter day, abandoning our Easter plans for trails and a picnic. Monday, arm felt 10 times better, still swollen, but now a different color in place of the red. Unsettling feeling soon followed so I had Greg come home and take me to urgent care.

Long story somewhat short: after a rough start (the doctor was a jerk) and x-rays that came back with nothing abnormal, he noted that my at-home care pulled me through and decided to be safe and prescribe me steroids and anti-inflammatory medication. He never told me a diagnosis which, with the help of some friends, made me realize made for horrible treatment. However, relief flooded my mind since it is healing and knowing that I’d performed the correct steps to aid the recovery, due to my research on the symptoms/treatment of the most common diagnosis, put a pep in my step.

Late last night, I noticed that he provided the code for bursitis…the condition I came in asking about to which he quickly passed over, mentioning about 4 other things it could be while berating me. He seemed to be stuck on the idea that I hit it (nope), was careless with my attention to it (I hadn’t even said 3 words to the guy), and told me that I should’ve gone to my ortho specialist…what world does he live in? Sure, let me just get my ortho specialist on the phone…we’re on a first name basis. (That filled my quota of sarcasm for the day but it’s only 9:37AM.)

He also apparently didn’t read my chart or check out my arm to any extent that made me feel secure in his care. Unnecessary x-rays followed with their monetary value attached in the health care world (yipes), and then he came back with a new attitude probably thanks to the paper thin walls and my freak fest to Greg once he left the room. He became human but I’m left once again disappointed with a professional in this town. I grew up visiting urgent care centers and still have a grateful attitude and warm feeling when I think of them. The doctors were kind, informative, and listened without coming in jumping to conclusions that it was indeed the worst case scenario for the illness or injury. It’s always been my opinion that you think about the features of the most common ailment and check off any of those symptoms and if the ailment is not concluded, then you assume it could be something worse and check that out, all the while not scaring your patient and their family. This guy came in as if I were about to die without talking to me.

Good side is that I have a nifty sling doing a much better job than my scarf. Unfortunately, to feel a little more secure popping pills for the next few weeks, I changed my wisdom teeth removal to mid-June. Darn. I’ll be replacing the pain in my arm with pain in my face along with new meds.

My current medication side effects could include “exaggerated sense of well-being” and “inappropriate happiness.” Fingers crossed. Greg says the mood swing side effect took hold years ago.

Don't mix medication and alcohol, not my point but if you are med-free, find Lillet, a citrusy, French wine made from sweet and sour peels from grapefruit and oranges. It's delicious alone, mixed in a cocktail or splashed in a spritzer.

Today I have more use of my right arm and it feels much better. It still means I have to take it easy so no chopping of ingredients, no lifting of pans, no stirring or serving. I’m reliant on Greg which makes getting ready rather difficult. I’m not the kind of person to rely on someone else but after I thought I could still “do it all,” resulting in horrific pain pulsing through my body, I gave in. On this Tuesday, I managed a shower, to get myself in loose-fitting clothing and I did the dishes as best I could with one hand. Oh, and I typed this post which took me twice as long.

What it was exactly, I don’t know but have a guess: I’m on the computer constantly and sometimes I find myself resting my elbow on the glass tabletop. Once in a while, it went numb and caused some wrist/hand discomfort. I kept mindful of that and stopped when I noticed myself doing this action. Sounds like the culprit, a slow, sneaky culprit that took its toll over month’s time til I hit this point. The very thing I told the doctor who dismissed this notion at first. I hope to be ambidextrous after this blows over.

The doctor discussed with us a different arrangement for my workspace so I’m evaluating my options. The ironic part is that Greg had the same issue at his work desk and had it evaluated for ergonomic factors while visiting a chiropractor for the resulting neck/back problems. He filed a claim and recently found out that he is approved to continue medical treatment. I’m my own company (it’s an awful HR department…the rep is a real jerk). It’s my turn now.

This is horrible timing since we’re moving in a month. Throughout our many many moves, I’ve always been able-bodied (but less and less willing) and our two person circus could always manage to get us to the next place. Greg doesn’t have superhuman strength (as much as he wants it) so our big items are threatening this easy move across town. We have a helper lined up.

To think, I was going to tell you about our boring trip to Le Mars, Iowa last week to check out some table trouble for Greg’s work. Nothing to mention, rain and a dirty company car along with boring landscape, made the 8+ hours of driving not pleasurable. But he did take notes on the tables and will further the investigation. The only good part was the time with my husband. That’s always fun. The “mom and pop” restaurant we intended to stop at was closed; closed for good.

Forgive me for posting another recipe for simple syrup. It’s one of the few things I can make right now and I again am in the mood for spring-like drinks. Much like a year ago with my drink week. Check out those recipes for fruit spritzers and fruit pops, watermelonade and cucumber limeade, iced tea and its many variations, then lemonade and its variations or iced coffee with coffee cubes (preventing dilution). I’ll be back with a recipe for a chicken dish I’m in love with soon. Until then: refreshing ginger-lavender syrup for your sipping pleasure. Be sure to maintain elbow health and take ergonomics seriously.

Ginger-Lavender Syrup

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
2 ½ cups water
½ cup dried lavender or 1 cup fresh lavender
3-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger, roughly chopped into large chunks

Place sugar, water, lavender and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to steep until cool ( at least 25 minutes). Strain the lavender and ginger from syrup and store in an airtight container for up to a week. Add club soda and ice for a spritzer and perhaps a little alcohol like Lillet (a citrusy, French wine made from sweet and sour peels from grapefruit and oranges). If you find the syrup too sweet for your taste, add a few splashes of lime juice, shake and store or serve. Enjoy!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. May 8, 2011

    I’ve made ginger syrup before, but had never through of making ginger-LAVENDER syrup—delicious! (We’re also huge Lillet fans, so I can’t wait to try this.)

    • May 9, 2011

      I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I can still smell it now…refreshing.

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