After two weeks of training, I finally submitted someone when rolling today – three times in fact (triangle, armbar, and an Americana, almost caught an omoplata too)! This was a very exciting point for me and hopefully things will continue to click from here on out. I have weapons now! (to be honest they are still sloppy)
I took the last three days (Sat/Sun/Mon) off to rest my elbow and I was very glad of this. It still hurt just a bit before practice today, but I was hoping to make it through – and I did. Of course, I also cheated a bit, as instead of doing sprawls and pushups during the cardio I did squats instead. Most importantly however I was able to drill and even roll three sets and only came out of it with my elbow slightly aching.
It was a fun class and really aside from concern for my elbow I felt good about it and feel like my body is in shape enough to handle it now – darn elbow! After talking to a few people here and a doc back home as well as doing some research, I decided that it would be best to go ahead and try to get a cortisone shot to even it out so that I could train hard for the next two weeks and get the most out of my time here. I was leery at the idea but it seemed like the best option.
I cabbed over to Phuket International Hospital, which is supposedly the best in the area with Western-style medicine, certifications, etc. Walked straight into the ER, signed in, and within a few minutes was talking to a doctor. Unfortunately (or fortunately), he did not approve of the cortisone shot idea, feeling it was too drastic and too likely to cause long term injury. After talking for awhile, he said he was going to prescribe me some very high strength anti-inflammatory meds and wanted me to do a bit of physiotherapy and take it easy – if it’s still really bad in a couple days, come back. We shall see.
The physiotherapy bit was both weird and awesome. A nice doctor/nurse lady poked around at me for awhile probing for pain and marked various spots with an X (she found one spot that KILLED when she pressed on it). I got a nice massage for awhile, then the weird stuff started.
First she used some sort of laser thingie on my elbow for a bit (no sensation). After that, she rubbed goop stuff on it and pulled out this metal thing and started zapping me with it. Holy crap, it was brutal! She explained that it was to reduce inflammation and it somehow did something inside my arm – there was no feeling at the surface, but she would hold it in place and the pain in that part of the arm would slowly mount until it became unbearable, then she would move it. A couple spots in particular got very painful very fast and she concentrated on those as the bad spots I guess. Oof. My arm aches remembering that.
After this, she hooked up electrodes to my arm and started zapping me. This was totally awesome, because she cranked up the electricity until my fingers and wrist were jumping around like fish out of water and twitching constantly, then left that on for fifteen minutes while I napped. No pain at all, but I had a hard time not laughing at the feeling of my hand constantly twitching.
Finally, they pointed a bit radar like cone at my elbow and zapped it with microwaves (wtf? did I understand that right?) for fifteen minutes. The inside of my elbow joint felt a bit warm during this time, but no discomfort or pain.
All done, I paid 2600 baht (~$80USD), picked up my meds, grabbed some yogurt at a nearby grocery and rode a scooter home to TMT (missing the afternoon Muay Thai class).
So, we’ll see how things go from here, if it stays at a dull ache then I’ll be fine with that – either way I’m going to be extra careful about the things I know aggravate it, skip the pushups in MMA and Muay Thai classes, and try to work less wrist control in MMA with my left arm.
Bonus: I took a timelapse during MMA class today (the images above are pieces of this), check out the entire class in sixty seconds on my flickr here: