I call it mouse shoulder. Doctors and physical therapists talk about ulnar nerves. Whatever the technical term, it means I’ve been spending way too much time at my computer than is good for my body. My little finger tingles all the time. My shoulder hurts.
The good news is that I caught this early and it’s treatable, but not with pills. Pills can help, but they aren’t the answer. If I just take pills and power on through, it will continue to get worse. The bad news is that along with exercises, massage, and so forth, the treatment involves severely curtailing my time at the keyboard. That means cutting way back on blogging, Facebook, Forums, email, and all those things that have come to seem such necessary aspects of daily life.
Sometimes, wise people tell us, our bodies send us signals when change is needed. Those wise people urge us to pull out pen and paper and begin to dialogue with our affected parts. Oddly enough, writing by hand on a lap desk is still okay. This seems a clear message to spend extra time with my journal.
It’s a good time to plan, to make lists, to outline and organize, to do the creative parts of writing that are easy to overlook. It’s time to get out of a rut that’s beginning to wear deep. Raking leaves is good therapy. Painting walls. Going to the gym. Reading books.
So I’m taking a break for a week or few, and shall return when the time and shoulder feel write. Please get in touch with questions. I will check comments and email now and then.
Write now: pull out your journal and spend twenty minutes or more writing, by hand, on paper, about some physical symptom that annoys you. Let your body dictate the words as they flow freely onto the page. You may shift into dialogue. But don’t try to talk down the messages. These are jewels, as powerful as dreams. Listen and heed.
Image credit: Gray’s Anatomy via Wikipedia.