So a few weeks ago I mentioned I’d pulled my bicep muscles and I was now wandering around with mummified elbows. I’ve since been to a specialist who looked at my elbows and said it could well be a pulled bicep, x-rayed the elbow, winced when I said I was a carpenter and gave some less than reassuring career advice (“You should be able to finish the apprenticeship, hopefully, but then try to specialise in something that doesn’t involve lifting”), then sent me to have an MRI scan* (MRT scan in German) of my shoulder. Fortunately the receptionist spotted that one before things got complicated.

Having been scanned thoroughly with big magnets I had a week to wonder if I’d have to stop the apprenticeship before I’d really got started (and any thoughts of paramedic training would also go: can’t do that with duff arms). In my usual cheery optimistic way I started imagining various scenarios of being booted out for not being up to the job, and having to look for another apprenticeship.

This made me ever so slightly nervous by Friday.

In the consulting room. Enter Doctor.

Had a look at your MRI scan. The damage isn’t on the Bicep but another muscle. Common problem, a nerve which has a long Latin name and hurts inside of elbow when you lift things, making it feel like a damaged bicep.
Fair enough Doc. Can I keep doing my apprenticeship?
Don’t see why not. You’ll get some pressure armbands and you’ll need to keep wearing them all day every day until I tell you to stop. They’ll take the pressure off your muscles so it won’t hurt or make it worse, and they’ll help the healing process. Just don’t lift anything too heavy. It will fix itself in time, but the more heavy stuff you lift the longer it will take. Off you go to get your armbands, see you in a month and remember not to lift heavy stuff. See me in a month.

Armbands on, instant improvement. Much relief. Look like I’m part Droid but I can keep doing the apprenticeship. Emailed boss that I’ll be in work, but don’t ask me to lift fire doors.

Of course, that means I’m now stressed out with exams each week for the next month, but I’m not complaining.

*This was painless apart from having to listen to a truly awful radio station on the headphones.