Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ouch.

Good morning, readers. So, in case you were wondering, the problem with doing as much long-hand writing as I do on the front end of a project - particularly when I'm in the nutso place where I'm over-doing it, as I have been in the past couple of days, is that it hurts. Well, and then there is the tingling and the hand weakness, too, but the hurting is the one that really gets me down. Now, you might say, but why don't you type your notes instead, you dummy? Well, the fact of the matter is that while my left hand/wrist is not as grievously afflicted as my right, I have the same symptoms in both hands when I type for long stretches of time. There is no escaping the carpal tunnel. And so, I'm an old lady who has to bust out the wrist splint (or splints, if I'm experiencing the symptoms in both hands) and pop some @dvil or @leve and then I need to take it easy so as not to be thoroughly miserable forever. I know that someday I'll end up having to have stupid hand surgery unless I stop writing all together. I just hope that day is a long way away, and thus the managing the syndrome with the splints and the mandatory rest, etc.

So, today I'm not allowed to do much typing or long-hand note-taking. Instead, I'm going to wear my stupid splint (just typing right now is making my hand/wrist hurt again) and spend the day reading (still for NB, but things that I don't need to take copious notes on either in hand-written or typed form - things that are more under-line-y) I also may do some chores around the house and pay bills.

In other news, I actually wrote a couple of pages single-spaced (typed) yesterday, which are pinning down my argument sorts of pages. I'm feeling pretty psyched about my progress.

9 comments:

Belle said...

Seriously, invest in an ergonomic keyboard. Makes a huge difference. Weaned me off the wrist splints unless I work on the laptop!

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

There are also a variety of stretching exercises that can help -- and even some computer programs that will run in the background and remind you to do them every hour or so..

Arbitrista said...

Sorry to hear about the hand pain, but it's great to hear the project is coming along!

Terminal Degree said...

Hope you feel better soon!

I bought my husband (who is a lousy typist) voice recognition software for Christmas a year ago. He loves it. If the repetitive stress injury won't heal as fast as you'd like, this might be worth looking into...

Dr. Crazy said...

You guys are so sweet :) Actually, I'm not like dying or anything. This has been a recurring problem for years, but only when I am in overdrive and forget myself. So, for example, yesterday I spent about 7 straight hours taking notes longhand (and breaks were spent typing). So yeah, ouch. But as long as I take a day off and then limit time spent per day on the repetitive stress sorts of tasks, I should be fine. I'm actually feeling a ton better even now - just because I've taken it easy today and have avoided writing/typing.

physioprof said...

A good friend of mine uses voice recognition software, and she wears by it. I hope you feel better soon!

JaneB said...

I second the 'ergonomic keyboard' advice - it makes a huge difference to me, and nice as voice recog. software is, when you have chronic laryngitis, it isn't a complete solution!

Belle, did you know you can now get a portable adjustable keyboard to go with the laptop? Weighs about a pound, and is quite expensive, but worth every penny/ounce to me when I travel and can't carry a standard keyboard with me.

Doctor Pion said...

Switch your mouse to the left hand. You'd be surprised how easy it is to use once you reverse the buttons (control panel) because your brain will quite automatically use the left forefinger instead of the right one. (That is why Leonardo could mirror write with his left hand.) I find that this balances the work between left and right and it completely eliminated my developing carpal tunnel problem.

The other thing is to be sure you don't rest your wrist on anything.

lolaraincoat said...

The world is full of historians with rep stress injuries, from carpal tunnel through to rotator cuff issues (my own current special hell) and when it gets too bad to write, some of us browse the internet ...

Anyway, much of the advice here is good, especially the l-hand mouse idea, but also (and for your sake I hope you already know this): ice! Ice is a great, no-side-effect anti-inflammatory and painkiller. Those freezeable gel packs from the drugstore can be sanity-savers.

Love your blog, btw.