Writing

When It’s Time To Listen


It started as a popping in my right wrist. I didn’t think much of it, because I’d been writing a lot, using the computer a lot. I just needed to take more breaks, and the pain would go away. Took some pain reliever, used a wrist brace, rubbed it with Bio-Freeze, and did some stretches. I got some relief and thought that was the end of it.

Then my left wrist started popping.

I had the same thing happen with the left. I chalked it up to an overabundance of computer use, and maybe age. I treated it the same way, and it started to resolve. I was glad because I needed to work on blog posts, my volunteer work with my local writers’ group, my WIP, emails, and keeping up with social media, besides the regular activities of life. So I got back to work.

Then the right wrist pain roared back with a vengeance.

Wrist, forearm, elbow, shoulder, and even fingers have been aching, throbbing, with feelings of burning and tingling thrown in for good measure.

Besides the obvious discomfort from the pain, I’m concerned I could be dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or even some fibromyalgia symptoms that up until now have been fairly low level. I’ll be checking in with my doctor and chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment suggestions.

Are you like me, you normally push through pain, too busy taking care of others that you put yourself last on the list?

It’s taken me several years and several physical battles to learn to listen to my body. Pain, in whatever form, is not normal for your body. It’s a way for your body to warn you that something is not right and needs attention. I’m going to listen right away this time. My ability to be productive as a writer may depend on it.

I’ll be taking about 3 weeks off from this blog for a ‘summer break’ to rest my hand/wrist/elbow/shoulder, have some medical evaluations, and possibly go back to my physical therapist to do some intensive rehab-type exercises. I may reblog a blog post here and there, but otherwise it will be quiet around here for a few weeks. Don’t worry, enjoy your summer, and I’ll be back.

If you suffer with carpal tunnel, repetitive motion muscle soreness, or just want some preventative TLC, try these wonderful exercises from my yoga lady, Esther Ekhart. She is the best.

The programs are only around three minutes long, not too long to help you take care of your assets. If you’re a writer, you need to keep your tools in shape. You need your spirit, soul, and your body to be at their best so you can create your best work. Keep your hands, wrists, shoulders, back and neck healthy.

Do you have any home remedies for carpal tunnel or back and neck issues that writers regularly deal with?

12 replies »

  1. Sorry you are having to take a writing break. Both my mom and sister suffered from it and had to have surgery. I hope I will evade it, but considering how much time I’ve spent on the computer my whole life, I doubt it. Hopefully, the break will give your hands the rest they need! 🙂

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  2. So sorry to hear this, Kristin, but you are doing the right thing by stopping and taking care of this. I have been dealing with pretty horrible neck problems, and it turns out I have some significant degeneration of discs. I guess my neck posture has been slightly off, which adds to wear and tear over many years. Posture at the computer is key. I’ve been working on correcting that, as part of a PT program. But I had to stop serious weight lifting (maybe forever), which I really miss. For me, there was a lot of denial before I was willing to face this–but there’s something about searing, incapacitating pain that pushes one into awareness! Of course I wrote about it – http://ow.ly/mGUf5.

    I do also have mild-moderate carpel tunnel (you can get it diagnosed by a nerve test), but that has not hampered me as much. I wear a brace at night.

    Anyway, you are not alone.

    Best to you in recovery.

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    • Judy, I’m so sorry you are dealing with neck pain and disc degeneration. I’m well aware of the pain that can cause, Keeper Hubby has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and has the titanium (neck and lumbar fusion) to prove it. Definitely not fun. I’m glad you are able to keep a good attitude, that is one of the most important things when dealing with chronic pain. Keep your smile on and keep working that PT. Thanks for your well-wishes and gentle hugs to you. 🙂

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  3. Hope the down time is just what you need to heal, refresh, and replenish physically, mentally and spiritually. I agree that we have to do a better job of listening to our bodies. And, I might add, the conventional wisdom of modern medicine in the preventative value of colonoscopies and mammograms – the latter may have saved my life. We’re all busy and nobody LIKES to do those things, but the inconvenience is worth the life-saving trade-off.

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    • Thanks for the good thoughts, Shel. It’s funny how many people don’t want to do preventative procedures and even just getting a regular physical because they are afraid of what they MAY find. Better to take advantage of the advances in medicine before it is too late to be helped by them.

      I’ve had both the procedures you’ve mentioned, and both helped diagnose that suspected issues didn’t exist. I will be gifting myself with both procedures to celebrate my half century on the planet this year.

      Friendly PSA: Everyone, especially you ladies who are natural-born caregivers to everyone in your world, and put yourself last, take care of yourselves. Basic check-ups and preventative procedures are not luxuries you should deny yourself.

      Shel, so glad you had a good outcome as well. 🙂

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