the Arm Saga

Don’t feel like doing other stuff I should be doing for school. XD;

This is about my current bout with tendonitis/tennis elbow/stupid arms.

Let’s go back to the first weekend in the quarter. I’d gone back home (driven three hours) for Easter on Saturday. After dinner I played the Wii with cousins and bros, WarioWare and then Wii Sports. I could tell when swinging the bat in baseball and throwing the ball in bowling that my elbows were complaining; they felt sort of like my arms could be torn off, or that there was no strength in my elbows. But I kept playing because, hey, I’ve never had problems before, right?

(From maybe 2001 on I’ve had instances where my elbows would hurt while using the computer. I would just adjust my position or try not to rely on my arms so much. If my arms ever hurt when not on the computer, I just slept with them in a relaxed position, maybe 160° angle, and they would be fine the next day.)

Sunday night I drove back to school, three hours.

Monday morning I woke up, went to class fine. This class, though, was in the PC lab, where the drawers (??) that the mouse and keyboard sit on tend to roll back under the table on their own. So number one I might not have been sitting in the best position, and number two mostly I was using my right arm to hold down/out the drawer. That was the last straw and my elbow began aching in class. The rest of the day it hurt, and I tried not to overuse it. Tried not to use it at all but that wasn’t possible.

Monday night I kept waking up in pain, because I’d washed my face and applied all the facial products, yes using my right arm. Tuesday morning I was a bit better, but not by much.

From then I’ve just been keeping my right arm out of commission as much as possible. I try not to lean my head on my right hand while in class/in front of the computer. My dishwashing ability has gone down; I scrub less so I have to spend longer time going over the same thing. In labs I have to use the mouse with my left hand, and try to keep my right hand in my lap, relaxed. Also don’t use my right arm when I drive. I managed twice so far to drive home and back at 70 mph using mostly only my left arm. XD; My right arm I use more as dead weight to make right turns easier on my left arm, which can start to hurt while driving.

Even though I’m getting used to driving one-handed, I still don’t like to do it. I feel most secure with my hands at 10 and 2. Or probably more like 9 and 3. (I will ignore that article in Westways or whatever it was that suggested 8 and four to avoid getting wrists broken when the airbag deploys. If I were to encounter an accident I would rather have better control of my car and have more of a chance of avoiding collision than having less room to make quick movements resulting in a more likely impact and save just my arms from getting hurt.)

This whole thing has made me think a lot. I can’t play the Wii. ;-; I can barely play video games with a regular controller: I need a pillow to rest my arm on and have to remember to keep the elbow relaxed. Do I have to think of another career if my arm doesn’t get better? Should I get into a different line of work regardless? How the heck do you rest something that you end up using a durn lot more than you thought?

I have to be more careful from now on. Even though I’m not right now. My elbow is complaining but I’m ignoring it because I’m too lazy to pull the laptop closer, pull the chair under the desk more, raise the chair higher, sit with better posture.

I know I’m going to be using the computer a lot in my career, so all my arm use quota will be used up then. So what else can I do? I mean, can I go swimming? Just barely one hour of playing the Wii, six hours of driving, half an hour keeping my arm firm to hold out the drawer, has rendered my arm useless for the past seven weeks. Is a job worth that?

Will I even be able to work this summer? (I will probably just have to use my left hand with the mouse.)