You Don’t Have to Play Tennis to Get Tennis Elbow

Swinging a hammer is not good therapy for tendonitis and tearing up the foredeck last weekend really did a number on my right elbow.  It’s been bugging me for a couple of months now and I have no idea what I did or have been doing to injure it.  By late Saturday afternoon my forearm and hand were swollen and my hand was going numb.  Sunday I decided to take it easy…or so I thought.  I wanted to breathe some life back into the two rusty deck cleats from the foredeck.  I got the Flitz and began scrubbing…and scrubbing and scrubbing.  Then my right elbow began aching so I tried to use my left hand, which was futile.  How is it I can type, drive, eat chips and drink with my left hand, but that’s about it.  Stick a utensil in my left hand and I have about a 60% success rate of getting food in my mouth.  And I look like an idiot while I do it – clutching the fork in my fist like ape.  I can’t write at all with my left hand.  Brushing my teeth is no better.  Trying to polish 37 year-old rust off a stainless steel cleat?  Forgeddaboudit.


After about an hour I had most of the rust off one cleat.  We have six 10” deck cleats and all of them are a rusty mess.  I also noticed some small cracks at the welds at the base of the shiny cleat so I thought maybe we could just replace all the cleats and my elbow would be saved.  To the computer I went with high hopes that for a couple hundred bucks we could have all new, shiny, non-cracked cleats.  The only cleat I could find that vaguely resembled our cleats were Schaefer’s 10” deck cleat for $143 each.  That’s $858 for all six, not including tax and shipping.  Ouch!  After picking my jaw up off the floor I had a serious talk with my right elbow and we agreed that it would have to be sacrificed for shiny deck hardware.  This summer Advil is going to become my best friend.

Leaky "teaky"
Hole-y Fiberglass, Batman!!