PDA

View Full Version : My darn wrists and how they're stopping me from writing...


Provrb1810meggy
10-06-2006, 03:55 AM
I am very sad right now. Lately, my wrists have been hurting, so I can't type too much. A little bit here and there, but I'm sure that if I type my 1,000 words a day on my novel, that they'll hurt even more. I have to stop adding to my WIP for a couple days. I am very upset.

Plus, I want to get this WIP done for Nanowrimo next month.

AHHH! I'm sad...and now my wrists are hurting...bye.

P.S. Sorry if this is in the wrong place.

Cath
10-06-2006, 04:12 AM
What is your setup when you're writing?

It's worth checking that you have a good typing position. Make sure your chair is high enough that you don't lean on the desk when you're typing. Get a wrist rest if you need it.

You should rest for 10 minutes in every hour - it's worth getting up and moving around if you can do it. Yes, I know it interrupts the writing flow, but you won't be able to write anything if you do long term damage.

PeeDee
10-06-2006, 04:22 AM
Perhaps you should get a comfortable ink pen and a comfortable notebook and do some writing on the couch instead? Or at the dining room table? I do that on days when my wrists have a problem (like today: it's cold in here, my hands slow down, I can't type nearly so well)

Soccer Mom
10-06-2006, 05:41 AM
Honey, you're much too young to be having that sort of problem. You need a proper chair and set up. You can buy pads that your wrists rest on and they will hold you're wrists as the proper level.

And by all means, intersperse days of typing with days of handwriting. Your neck, shoulders and wrists will also thank you.

If you continue to experience pain when you type for a protracted amount of time, you need to talk to your doctor if you haven't already.

Jenny
10-06-2006, 05:55 AM
And sometimes the vicious villain isn't your writing/typing. My wrists are wimps which means - no tennis or squash or they hurt for days, and rationing other activities so - don't iron everything, scrub the bathroom, wash two cars and whisk polenta in the same day. The best thing for them is generally rest. You've got my sympathy:cry:

JennaGlatzer
10-06-2006, 05:57 AM
And if you can afford it, you might want to get voice recognition software. I use mine for transcribing interviews (can't stand trying to type as fast as people talk, for pages and pages), but I know some people who use it for everything, even writing e-mails.

Cassiopeia
10-06-2006, 06:45 AM
The really important thing to remember about RSI ...Repetative Stress Injury is that you can alleviate it but you have to be diligent. Find a cheap ergo keyboard. Find a used rollerball mouse if you can. Make a hard and fast rule that you will do other things with your wrists besides typing. If you are in pain over 1000 words then your positioning is off and you are using the wrong kind of a keyboard and mouse.

I do many things in a day and the more I vary the use of my wrists the less pain I am in. PeeDee is correct, switching to pen and paper and back and forth is good for any of us.

I am particular to my ergo keyboard that I bought from microsoft. I can't type on a regular keyboard now and the last time I was tested..I type 125 words per minute AND...my wrists don't hurt anymore. :)

bylinebree
10-06-2006, 06:46 AM
I sympathize mucho. Been there! Still struggle with it.

Stretching the arms and gently rotating the wrists helps me - both phys therapist and chiropractor gave me the same exercises. Ask yours?

Rest. It's hard, but everyone here is right. While you're resting, visualize your story. Maybe an old-fashioned tape recorder could help you vent-out some of your story while you're resting those muscles.

I also read useless, funny books when my muscles give out for a while.

WriterInChains
10-06-2006, 06:59 AM
You have some great advice here already. Something else you could try is to do as little "mousing" as possible. I worked as a typesetter for over 4 yrs & typing for 4-8 hours a day didn't hurt as much as working with a system they just stuck us with at my current job. It doesn't have anywhere near enough keyboard shortcuts. :rant: Last week, we were all sore from all the mousing, but I've cut out half of my clicks & this week is shaping up much better.

Hang in there! :)

Cassiopeia
10-06-2006, 07:03 AM
You have some great advice here already. Something else you could try is to do as little "mousing" as possible. I worked as a typesetter for over 4 yrs & typing for 4-8 hours a day didn't hurt as much as working with a system they just stuck us with at my current job. It doesn't have anywhere near enough keyboard shortcuts. :rant: Last week, we were all sore from all the mousing, but I've cut out half of my clicks & this week is shaping up much better.

Hang in there! :)roller ball mouse...you guys have to get one!

WriterInChains
10-06-2006, 07:06 AM
Don't you still have to click, though?
That's the part that kills me.

Cassiopeia
10-06-2006, 07:12 AM
Don't you still have to click, though?
That's the part that kills me.You click with your thumb instead. It is a much better set up.

WriterInChains
10-06-2006, 07:15 AM
Thanks, Casiopeia, sounds like it might be better -- but I'll never know until I try. :)

Provrb: Thanks for this thread! I hope we both end up with more pain-free writing hours because of it! :Hug2:

Cassiopeia
10-06-2006, 07:22 AM
It was actually my physical therapist I was seeing when I had a knee op..who told me to use an ergo keyboard and a rollerball mouse.

Kentuk
10-06-2006, 07:49 AM
Think more type less.
I've discovered that spending more time at the keyboard doesn't necessarily make me more productive.

PeeDee
10-06-2006, 08:55 AM
My In-Laws have an ergonomic keyboard, which I used when I was at there house at the same time I was hitting a short story deadline. So I sat down and I used their keyboard to do the story. By the time I was done, I was in agony. I don't know how anyone writes on one of those split-key things.

My laptop keyboard is slightly curved, which is also aggravating.

(not talking you out of it, not by a long shot, just grumbling a bit. Carry on.)

Jaycinth
10-06-2006, 06:32 PM
Take Evening Primrose Oil (a nice anti inflammatory. 3 caps twice a day) Buy wrist supports and wear them. Watch what you do with your hands and wrists when not writing. It may be non-writing actions are causing the problem, and the pain just shows up when you finish your day, sit down and try to relax by writing..
Hugs!

Allissa
10-06-2006, 07:17 PM
Hi there!

I broke both my wrists in June, about 2/3 through writing my book. Stupid me, I went to work instead of staying home to write (I kid.. but I really should have stayed home that day) and ended up changing a garbage outside that had a nest of wasps under the bin.

Anyways, that's another story for another time. You can only watch TV for so many hours a day before even that gets boring, so I found a way to sit up and write when I first took my meds to keep the pain at bay. But I found that I couldn't write because my casts were at different angles. Speach recognition software helped.. but I found myself henpecking through things too.

It's going to sound crazy, but when my wrists hurt from typing I'd pick up a pencil and draw for a while. It would give my wrists time to rest, but also strengthened the muscles from my wrist to my elbow. (Those hurt a lot when they're healing BTW *wince*)

Give it a try. It worked for me :)

Hope things are feeling better soon so you can get back to doing what you like to do :)

MidnightMuse
10-06-2006, 07:18 PM
I'll echo everyone's advice here and also to see your M.D. about this. My wrists were never a problem, but I did develop serious elbow tendon issues using the mouse/keyboard the way I was, and had to have surgery 6 months ago. I'm still working on getting my typing stamina back (let alone general arm usage) and have learned a LOT since then.

Trackballs are great, but they do take some getting used to, so if you switch to that, don't panic about how odd they are until you have time to adjust. Same with ergonomic keyboards - there's a "getting use to this" period.

Take breaks, learn to mouse/trackball with your other hand. I mouse with my right for a week, then switch to my left for a week - had to teach myself how to use the left hand for a lot of things it didn't normally do, but that helped a great deal.

But go see a doctor first ! Don't let it get to the point where you need surgery or simply can't type anymore.

aadams73
10-06-2006, 08:04 PM
. Watch what you do with your hands and wrists when not writing. It may be non-writing actions are causing the problem, and the pain

Yes, this is very important. If I'm not careful I have a tendency to sleep with my arm under my head, which gives my arms grief the next day. Also dangerous is resting your elbows on a hard surface. I ran in to trouble doing this at the kitchen table--reading with my elbows pressed on the table. My arms were tingling and writing was almost painful. Now if I catch myself doing this I stop immediately and my arms, wrists and hands are just fine again.

arrowqueen
10-07-2006, 03:00 AM
Sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome. See your doctor and get it checked.

mkcbunny
10-07-2006, 04:09 AM
Definitely see the doctor.

I'll throw my 25 cents in here. A few years ago I suffered repetative stress in the elbow and upper arm area. I was working full-time [ah, the days] as an editor, but working from home at a poorly setup workstation. One day, with very little preceeding trouble, I began suffering incredible pain while using the keyboard and mouse. Wound up seeing a doctor and being forbidden to use my arm for a month. No computer, no writing, no lifting ... horribly dull. After two months of recuperative rest, exercises, and frustration at not being able to do what I was used to doing, I went back to work with ergonomic improvements to my work area. The first thing I was told to do was scrap the mouse and get a track ball. Also put the keyboard on a lowered tray and adjusted the height of my tray, chair, and monitor into proper position for the least amount of strain.

Then there were the breaks; I never used to take them. Now I make a point to do so. I think that working at home was the source of many problems because when one is at an office, with other people pulling you away all the time, you takes breaks without thinking. At home, I would just work through and only get up to use the bathroom or eat/drink. The day I had the major problem, I had been transcribing for something like six hours without a real break. Now I know better.

With changes to my work area and habits, I have rarely had any problems since. Laptops are a real issue, though. Unless you have it connected to a proper ergonomic desk setup, just about any position you use it in is going to strain something. When I use it on the sofa [bad me] it's my back that suffers. I only do that for quick e-mail and simple computer work and try very hard to sit here at my desk like a good girl for most things.

[I'm with PeeDee on not being able to use those butterfly keyboards. I'm a glorified hunt-and-peck typist, and it's just too hard to do on that setup.]

Provrb1810meggy
10-07-2006, 05:02 AM
My mom is setting up a doctor's appointment for next week, so we'll see how that goes!

It may be something un-writing related... Sometimes during the school day, there has been random spurts of pain, or even when I'm just writing with a pencil it starts hurting.

I've also got some lower back pain. I feel like such an old woman!

Anyway, I've been managing to stay away from typing my story for the past few days, even though it's been torturous, and I have whined quite a lot to my poor parents.

Provrb1810meggy
10-12-2006, 04:53 AM
The doc said it was most likely an overused tendon, but just in case, I got an X-ray today, to make sure it's not arthritis or anything.

Soccer Mom
10-12-2006, 08:24 PM
Hope you get nothing but good reports and that the symptoms fade. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.