Alright, so this isn’t totally back to school related, but I wanted to share some tips and tricks for all those hard workin’ teacher bloggers and other classroom curriculum creators out there. After all . . . it is the season of working like mad on that trusty electronic box. With this said, I bring you a post dedicated to ways to avoid what I like to call . . . Bloggy Boo-Boos.
Here’s a little background on this whole thing. I hit my creative stride in February and early March of last year. You know, that time where you are working like an insane person – the ideas are flowing, you are on Power Point from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow, and your husband forgets what you look like. Well, this over the top work ethic was great for my classroom kiddos and my TPT shop, but it wasn’t so great for me. It started out as a “tingle” in the right wrist. It felt tired and ached a bit, but I pushed through. Next, that little tingle turned into a burn and it inched up my forearm. I kept working. Finally, my whole arm from my fingers to my upper arm went numb. I finally stopped working that day. However, the damage was done . . . epic fail 🙁
I went to the doctor and he discovered that I had developed a cranky case of tendonitis. #TpTneedsworkerscomp
He put me on high powered anti-inflamatories that didn’t really work and caused OTHER problems. My eye twitched for weeks and I got a nice little rash all over my stomach (it left a scar too . . . grrrrr). Um, thanks doc!??! The only thing that seemed to help was NOT working on the computer. I was forced to take a 2.5 month break and was a total sad sack. When I finally felt good enough to jump back in the game, I quickly noticed that my hands, wrists, and forearms were not the same. They now both ache and burn if I work too long. Sigh. At that moment, I realized that it was time to get serious and try some new things to try and save my beloved side gig – creating resources. Below you will find a few things that could prevent injury or help keep it at bay (if you are lucky enough to already have problems . . . boo).
Hands down (pun intended) . . . this one has helped me the most. I went in to get my massage therapist to work on my upper back and mentioned that my wrist hurt. Well, this amazing lady found the source of the pain. The tendon gets the most inflamed about an inch from my elbow – in my forearm. Say what?? Yup. Check it out. If your wrist hurts trace it up to the spot highlighted below. You might be surprised to find that it REALLY hurts here.
If it does hurt in this spot on your arm, I would suggest rubbing it periodically when you work. It really does help. And, get your bum into a masseuse ASAP. With my “injury” my hubs looks the other way when I go in for a rub down every other week . . . #smallvictories
So, some people will tell you to go with heat and I do from time to time. However, this girl loves to ICE her arm owies. Cold seems to numb the inflammation and gets it to back off for a bit. I was using a dumpy gel pack, but that amazing massage therapist of mine suggested something so much better – ICE CUPS. You can actually massage your arm while you ice. It’s life saving I tell ya. They look like this . . .
You can make these by filling a Dixie cup and putting it in the freezer. When you are ready to use, trim the top of the cup off so the ice is exposed. Make sure the paper is away from the edge . . . when your arm is numb, you won’t feel the cup tearing your skin up (lesson learned).
In other words . . . find an Icy Hot type product. I have an aloe-based bottle that I purchased from my acuppuncture gal. When working for long periods of time, I rub globs of this all over my arm. Wash your hands EXTRA good before you touch your eyes (another lesson learned).
Speaking of the sweet acupuncture lady . . . this one helped me out a bit too. I always fall asleep on the table with all those little pins in me. So . . . maybe it was the snooze that made me feel better, but it could be worth a try. I have found acupuncture to be a great way too unwind/de-stress (is that a word) and it has helped me with other health problems. Could be something to look into.
Let’s be honest . . . these are dippy as all get out. However, they really do help. I was told to wear these when I sleep as you cock your wrists in all sorts of horrid postitions when you care catching up on those important zzzzz’s. I will admit that I was very skeptical at first, but surprisingly, I always seem to wake up feeling better than when I went to sleep. I started sleeping with just one on the right wrist. Now I wear one on both hands. #dollingisbringingsexyback
LIFE CHANGING EQUIPMENT
I also highly suggest using wrist rests around your keyboard and mouse. I may sound old as the hills here, but I don’t care. These little padded things make a world of difference — especially when working for long periods of time.