26 April 2021

Arm improvements!

My arms had clearly been getting better. After the initial stage when pretty much everything hurt, I had already made so much progress I could drive without any pain, and later even ride my bike without any pain. I generally was able again to do things that rely heavier on raw strength than on fine motoric skills. So after not having been able to do things like paint a fence or rip a tree out of the ground in the time when I was off on sick leave, I was now on a roll and doing all these things that needed doing in the house and the garden. But I was still entirely dependent on my voice when working my computer.

I remember that back in the days, when I was writing up my PhD and had RSI as well, I would often go kayaking in a nearby park, as back then I never lost the ability to do activities that require strength. And I figured it was probably good to get some blood circulation going on in my arms. I still think it might have helped! But this time, of course, my RSI was much worse, so I was much more restricted.

Initially, any use of mouse, keyboard or graphic tablet would hurt, and will keep hurting for a long time. Then in spring things were going so well (after some physiotherapy) that I noticed I was starting to use my mouse again now and then. And that was clearly a bad idea! That quickly got me back into 24 hour pain. I decided to physically remove my mouse from my desk, so even if the working the computer by voice was cumbersome, I would not be tempted to use it. And that helped; soon I was not having pain in my mouse arm again. It did make me wonder, though, if I would ever recover. I've been trying to recover now since November! Shouldn't there be some progress by now?

I just kept on with the exercises, though. And then it started to pay off! Finally! My setup is that I have a mouse on the left and my graphic tablet on the right. I still avoid the mouse. But I noticed I could use the tablet a bit without repercussions. And that is such a help! That makes it so easy to get your cursor to where it needs to be. So now my working speed has seriously improved! And my optimism about whether I will ever be back to normal as well! So many months in, but I am seeing progress. I can now even use software that is a bit clunky by voice recognition software. I will keep doing my exercises and I hope one day I can even use the mouse again! That would be the day!

And increasingly common sight

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