The past few weeks have been pain filled. I know I’m not alone in this. Writers spend a lot of time sitting. Some pain is expected. Getting up and moving around, taking breaks help. But that becomes a lot harder when your pain has a medical name.
Once it’s named following a doctor’s visit, a sort of permanence settles in. That’s different from just a little back pain or wrist pain that leaves when you step away from the keyboard and do other things that exercise different muscles. Those minor pains can be lessened through new activities such as cleaning, taking long walks, even taking a short nap can set you back on track to write again.
After years of writing and doing data entry at my job, I’ve developed carpal tunnel and sciatica. Add to that a diagnosis of neuropathy several years ago, a simple change of activity doesn’t always set things to right.
My right wrist gets over used at my job because my hand uses the mouse more than the keyboard. The sciatica makes it difficult to sit for long periods. And the neuropathy that has been dormant for years has suddenly ( I suspect with this particularly harsh winter) morphed into mega pain.
Combined with stresses in life, the pain can be unbelievable.
I’ve found some things that help me keep writing. Acupuncture did wonders to minimize carpal tunnel pain. The chiropractor also recommended hand exercises. Over time, I no longer needed a brace. Heat helps too.
Heat and medications help my neuropathy and sciatica. Walking and stretches reduce the pain.
Fortunately, I am left-handed. So, I write long hand on a tablet while my right arm rests.
I take a few days off from typing and then resume. During my times away from the keyboard I take time to pray, read the Word, read things that inspire me. This energizes my soul and reduces my emotional stress.
I know when I retire form my job, it will be easier. At my office I sit in the same spot all day. Taking a few walking breaks.
At home I can move my laptop to a countertop and type standing. To a couch and put my feet up. And I have a desk that fits over my bed where I can place a heating pad on my legs and keep working. New positions relax my muscles.
Some people use Dragon to dictate their stories onto the page. I need to learn that program. Some writers dictate to their spouses so they can rest their typing muscles. That might work because my hubby types much faster than I.
Being an author is a dream fulfilled.
Pain wants to rob that dream.
I’ve shared the ways I work through my pain. I’d love to hear what others do. Together we can encourage and help one another.