Journal: News & Comment

Sunday, January 20, 2002
# 6:39:00 PM:

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Hand in glove

Last June, an intensive writing and editing contract that had me working long hours three days in a row gave me a repetitive strain injury in my right arm. By taking some careful precautions -- including wearing bicycle gloves to keep my hands and wrists warm and padded, maintaining proper workspace ergonomics, and alternating using a mouse with my right hand and a trackball with my left -- I was able to keep working at my subsequent contracts through the summer. I was also able to keep drumming.

Now I'm working on another big contract at home, but instead of my usual space in my basement office, where I've set up everything as comfortably as I can, I'm now sitting in our den upstairs, because this project needs to be done on a Windows PC and I have only a Mac in my office. Doing a bit of work on the PC the way it was gave me tingles in my arm again. So I've spent the last couple of days rearranging everything upstairs, buying a keyboard shelf -- and wearing those cycling gloves again. They look silly, but seem to help.

Ah, for the carefree days of youth, when I could abuse my body and it would come back for more.

Incidentally, over the years I've installed five or six keyboard shelves, and it's never been a pleasant experience. Maybe I should have tracked down one of these this time instead. Too late now.


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