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Category Archives: Hurtin’ Hands Ergonomically Existing

A category devoted to my hurting hands and all issues ergonomical in nature

Back to school … and hand therapy

I went back to school yesterday, after two weeks without teaching.  It’s been a productive little break for me.  While the third draft of my screenplay is not totally polished, it’s almost there.  The only mystery is how, after hoping to make this draft 3-5 pages shorter, I’ve managed to make it five pages longer.  On Sunday, I chopped that +5 down to a +4, but I still need more trimming before I’ll consider this one finished.  Then it’s off to my next batch of readers.  Once I hear from them, I’ll decide how much more work it needs before the agent search begins.

So goes the thrill-a-minute writer’s life …

hand-anatomy

I’ve also started hand therapy.  In case you’ve been wondering why I don’t post more frequently, a big reason is this:  I hate typing.  I hate typing because typing hurts.  For the last four years, I’ve been dealing with tendonitis in my fingers, and, in the last year, it’s gotten real bad.  At my worst, I’m unable to type more than a couple sentences without experiencing discomfort.  This is–as you might imagine–a real bitch of a problem if you are a writer.  It’s also why I haven’t been returning e-mails promptly these days.  Sorry about that.

Over the years, I’ve spent lots of money improving my ergonomic situation, and I even use the profoundly frustrating (and frequently comedic) iListen dictation software to help me type less when I’m at home.  Still, my problem persists.  Off to hand therapy I go!

So far, so good.  My tendonitis is pretty serious, so this is going to be a long process, but I’m optimistic I may finally be on the right track.  I’m doing lots of new stretches, I’m trying to be hyper-aware of my posture at all times, and (most importantly) I am icing my paw like a crazy person.

Previous doctors/therapists have told me to use heat on my hands, and this has been a major part of my daily routine to this point.  Heat before typing, heat while typing, heat after typing.  It feels good to heat, but it turns out it may not be good for me.  Brian, my new therapist, says this constant heat is probably encouraging an endless cycle of inflamation, preventing me from healing.  So now I’ve said “no” to heat (except in the morning).  Now I ice my hands a few times a day–and always after typing.  While icing is painful, unpleasant, and inconvenient, I must confess, it does make my hands feel better (once the numbness subsides, that is).

The final change in my routine (aside from my twice weekly therapy visits) is that I have had to temporarily stop all upper-body exercises.  Until these hands are better, it’s abs, cardio, and swimming only.  While this will undoubtedly lead to some scrawnification of my physique, I’m happy that it should also make for shorter gym visits — a good thing, now that my day job is once again squeezing in on my writing time.

Will all this help my hurtin’ hands?  Let’s hope so.  At this point, I’m willing to do almost anything to turn this problem around.  So I’ll keep my fingers crossed.  That is to say: I’ll keep them uncrossed, limber, and frequently on the rocks.