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Simon (89)

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Busy Man.

Journal of Simon (89)

Monday April 15, 2002
03:42 PM


[ #4213 ]
Last night, I noticed that I had developed some really horrible pains in the joints of the fingers on my left hand. By lunchtime today, both hands were in pain. But I have too much to do to stop typing. By now, I have stabbing paints in the finger joints, wrists and forearms of both arms.

This sucks. I know I ought to stop typing, but I keep thinking "I have to do this, I have to do that". I should just have a beer or two and go to bed and read, see how I feel tomorrow.

Maybe it's the keyboard; I haven't been using the TiBook keyboard that long, so maybe the wrist position doesn't work for me. I'll try using the HHKB at work tomorrow, since that's never given me any problems in the past.

Isn't it scary, though - what would you do if you could no longer type? For many of us, that would take away our livelihood at a stroke. I'm suddenly very glad I'm doing a lot of classroom teaching this term.

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  • RSI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gnat (29) on 2002.04.15 17:23 (#7021) Journal
    Stop typing now, go see a doctor. If you don't deal with it now, the chances are you will be crippled.

    I had chronic pain around 1994. I couldn't type properly for a month. It was hell--I'd slowly hunt and peck with one finger to avoid aggravating the condition. It was caused by bad posture--typing on the laptop in the evenings, slouched on the couch.

    The cure was three-fold: stop doing what aggravated it, get a better setup for future work because now my hands are very sensitive to even minor desk/chair misconfigurations, and get massage and exercises to regain strength and undo as much of the damage as possible.

    To this day it still bothers me. I have pins and needles occasionally, and I know to stop and stretch. It takes me forever to get a comfy setup in a new location. But I'm aware of what I have to do to prevent my livelihood from vanishing. My mother got RSI from quilting and had next to no strength in her hands by the time she was 45--taking something from her is as easy as from a baby.

    Blah blah, so much to do. You're not so important you can't use the phone to communicate and suspend work on your projects for a month. If you think otherwise, it's just ego. Pull your head out of your hole and get yourself to a doctor, on the double.


    • I have to second Nat, STRONGLY. Seek help now before it's too late(run don't walk). I was fairly lucky, my tendonitis was caught early enough not to require surgery, but late enough that it still bothers me from time to time if I'm not careful(read this to mean I did not seek help immediately, I honestly can't stress this enough). Also, I happen to know a former programmer who had to retire at age 46 because he could no longer type. Yes, it does happen.

      Posture is going to be the major change. I would

    • A note of Brian Eno's (in Year with Swollen Appendices) on how to achieve good typing posture:

      "The computer [he was using some Mac and presumably MacOS] crashes so regularly, taking with it all the work since the last crash, that I have to find a way of reminding myself to save all the time. I do this by balancing a book on my head while I'm working. It falls off so often that I remember to save. Interesting spin-off – in order to keep the book there at all I have to sit well, and move

  • Get grip exercisers (I don't know the right name for them - but you know the sprung things that you squeeze together in one hand). They strengthened my hands up nicely and take the aches away. I don't know if that's a scientific way of fixing it or not, but anything that works eh?

    I also hear rock climbing is incredibly good for it. Maybe time to dump "Go" for something more energetic? ;-)
  • []

    Some of the books are very good.

  • I always had these problems, but I am (almost) sure the origin of my pain was the Mouse and trackpad. Since I mainly use vi I got painfree. Emacs wasn't an option because it allowed me to use a mouse. I found a natural way to do typing but your milleage may vary.
  • this book is really really good:

    it's not carpal tunnel syndrome []. [].

    Just stopping typing won't do any good. Your doctor might not do any good either. Get some of the books and get informed.

      - ask

    -- ask bjoern hansen [], !try; do();

  • [].

    His own experience, with more information and links.

    Esli epei eto cumprenan, shris soa Sfaha.
    Aettot ibrec epesecoth, spakhea scrifeteis.