Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I have tendonitis and a stack of yarn

Yes, I have tendonitis and a stack of new yarn. This is not a happy combination.

HANDS ON KEYBOARD FEMALE CARPEL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Tendonitis starts out like a minor wrist cramp and swiftly develops into agonising pain, the likes of which would make you whimper. After a few days of whimpering (which fell on deaf ears, I might add), my loving husband packed me off to the doctor, who in turn confirmed my suspicion: I'd wrecked my hand.
"Do you write a lot?" he asked.
"I do," I answered with alacrity. I not only write more than most people do - yes, with real pens. Often with ink pens, too - but I'm also famed for my ability to demonstrate complex grammatical concepts with stickmen pictures on the blackboard. My students have even occasionally given me a round of applause for same.
The doctor noted this down and asked if I used the computer a lot.
"A little," I said, lowering my eyes modestly so I could admire my freshly-cut fingernails (all the better for tapping the keyboard.)
"Do you use it for work?" he said.
I'm not sure if intrepid blogging counts as work, but I do take it seriously. I confirmed that yes, my laptop and I are close friends.
Anything else I was doing that might strain my hand?
Phew. Where to begin?
"Well," I said, "My husband and I are renovating an old house, so we often do things like... stripping wallpaper, priming walls, painting, plastering - oooh, lots of plastering - and we put down laminate floors. And tile bathrooms..."
He was impressed. Rightly so. And even more so when I told him that I'd acquired my professional tiling skillz from watching a DIY video on YouTube. Yup. I have broadband and I'm not afraid to use it.

Shaking his head in admiration (I like to think), he asked me if I did anything else that might be a strain on my poor little hand. I stared him down for a couple of seconds, but he returned my steely gaze - and finally I admitted to occasionally doing handicrafts. Just a little. It's not like I have baskets of yarn stashed all over the place. And I don't have a hook in every handbag. Or attached to my keyring. And the fact that I'm practically on first-name terms with the lady in the local yarn shop (a big step in Germany) is no reflection on the frequency of my visits. It's just a little crocheting and I HAVE IT UNDER CONTROL.

The upshot of this is that I'm wearing a wrist brace and I have to take it easy. So I'm trying - but what do people (normal people) actually do when they watch TV? What do you do with your hands? I'll have to find a hobby I can do left-handedly for a while (finally learn to knit properly?) or I'll end up going crazy...

PS: Dr Schmidt: if you're reading this, I am being good, honest. Haven't touched a hook in days.
xxx

9 comments:

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Oh that sucks!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Yes, I know. And I used to think people with tendonitis were just exaggerating ("Look at that great big bandage! Wussie!") but I take it back. I got my comeuppance: it's really, really sore. And all the worse for being a self-inflicted injury... (rolls eyes)

glor said...

Ouch!!! Sorry to hear this, hope that it goes away (??) quickly! I can't imagine not being able to crochet.

Ev said...

I have something similar, DeQuervain's tenosynovitis. It's in the tendons of the thumb rather than just the wrist. I knit. I work in a print shop. I, like you, have to be careful what I do now. My knitting has been severely cut back and there are things here at home and at work that I simply can't do right now. I was told it will take about 6 weeks to feel better. Do what your doctor says or you may end up having to go the surgical route and that means a cast, not just a brace, for 6 weeks. At least you can take the brace off now and then.

Take care of yourself! :)

patrysia said...

Well, based on my own personal experience, the cat that sits on my lap while I watch television would be actually petted instead of having her head swatted by turning crocheted items-in-the-making.

Paul & Carla said...

Oh, yes. Been there, done that. Only I did it up right. Crochet (mainly, there was a good bit of knitting in there, too) was the genesis of my hand surgery for trigger finger last summer. Never has a surgery been so delightful. My hand felt better immediately!

Mary Lou said...

Came upon your site while looking for a tea cosy pattern...thanks!!! I hope you are putting ice on your wrist to east the pain and inflammation of your tendonitis...this may help :)

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Thank you, Mary Lou! It's much better but my thumb still isn't as mobile as it was. I've bought rubber pencil grips for my hooks and that really helps. I probably shouldn't do anything at all ... but honestly, I don't know when I last did nothing at all ... I'm a tad hyperactive :-)

Alana said...

I too found your site looking for a tea cozy pattern. Love yours. I had the same problem last year, except it was tennis elbow. I used to think that people who complained of this were just a bunch wussies - boy was I wrong. Hurt it so bad that I had to take physical therapy once a week for 3 months! Doesn't help that I'm an Exec. Assistant and I type all day! Couldn't pick up my crocheting for nearly 6 months - talk about withdrawal! I'm back at it again, but I've leaned to take it easy and know when to stop. Some days I need to wear a brace near the elbow.