Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Writing and pain

My hands hurt. It's been a long time since this last happened, since my last bout of repetitive strain injury. Maybe 8 years. Back then, my whole arm went numb, I had to stop typing for several months, which is very difficult for a journalist. I remember I dabbled in voice recognition software but just couldn't get used to talking to myself. I had to stop knitting, too, which I was sad about. I had a lot of chiropratic treatment etc.. and that helped. Then I discovered yoga, and that really really helped.

I haven't had pain for years, I've been doing yoga regularly, sitting properly at the computer (I think), not really knitting. Then a few months ago I took up knitting again, delighted, because it's pretty trendy now, I don't get called "Grandma", everyone wants hand-made jumpers. But I must have overdone it, or over-used my laptop, or been careless about posture or something, because now I have those familiar twinges, mostly when I am not typing, not writing.

It's very upsetting, feeling I shouldn't type, shouldn't write. Writing by hand isn't any better. All I want to do is write. I did go to yoga last night and it felt like everything was stretched and wrung out, so that should help. In the meantime, I have to look longingly at the cardigan sleeve I am in the middle of, look longingly at my laptop. I do have this laptop stand

so maybe I can have a go with the laptop at a different angle. Although I know I shouldn't really type at all. But I am antsy, irritated, I need to write. Why should it be painful?


Anne Brooke said...

So sorry to hear this. RSI is a nightmare. I would encourage you to pursue Voice Recognition Software - you soon get used to the peculiarity of it and it will save you hours of pain in your arms and wrists (which is your body's way of saying "stop" of course) and possible future operations, or worse. VRS is much improved these days and it'll really free you up to write.

In the meantime, please listen to the voice of reason and DON'T type if it's painful (you can tell I'm the VDU Assessor at work, but really I'm doing you a huge favour by saying this - honest!). Also - give up that knitting if you can!



TitaniaWrites said...

Anne, thanks for the advice but the problem with Voice recognition is that I just don't think in the same way when I talk out loud, I think while I type, it is the rhythm etc.. I really tried last time, but it just didn't work for me. Thank you, though! And I feel sad about the knitting but should take a break. I know, I know.... stop typing!

the Orphan Leaf Review said...

Tania - thanks for your message, just nipped to your blog and read this post. Are you typing on your laptop? Are you using the touchpad? If yes to either, I'd recommend using a pluggin in a full-size keyboard and mouse. I use a WhaleMouse (from Humanscale) which I find fits my hand better. You could try switching hands for mousing as well - I used to use my right hand, but from RSI now use the left. Your problem may be different from mine, but I found a the nerve-stretching exercises a physiotherapist showed me very helpful.


TitaniaWrites said...

James, thanks so much for your advice. The pain is actually a lot better now, but I looked up the Whale Mouse, would love to get one. Where did you get yours?