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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Listen to Your Body

I've been out of commission. On Saturday, I was working some 14g wire and I ignored the little twinges of pain. By Sunday morning, I was regretting that oversight.

About 5 years ago, I had a nerve induction study done (I forget what it's called) and found that I have moderate carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists. It was part of a larger group of tests I was having done that didn't relate to CTS, but I wasn't a bit surprised.

The first time it bothered me was when I was pregnant, many moons ago. It dissipated after my daughter was born and I didn't think of it again for years.

I took a part time, seasonable job about 20 years ago. Within days of using a pallet jack, I had full blown, painful symptoms. I saw a doc for it, who knew right away what it was. After talking about it to some people at work, I learned it was common to many people, mostly with the women I spoke with, though. It seemed it was really popular to get the surgery for it. Well, I'm not fond of surgery, especially the thought of having a mistake made on my hands, so I looked into other things.

The doc recommended exercises which really helped. But, what helped the most was a wrist brace that he gave me to wear at night. Whenever the CTS bothers me, I sleep with the brace for several nights and the symptoms begin to dissipate. I was told that the body is real good at healing itself given the chance and that the brace allowed that to happen while I was sleeping. It really works for me and I still have and use that same brace when needed.

I've have never had to use the brace while working. I try to be careful and listen to my body. I am usually pretty good about it- except for when I work with large gauge wire. For some reason, maybe because I get creative tunnel vision, I seldom pay attention to the rare times when wire work bothers me.


When I am working, I take breaks to flex my hands and I usually stop if my hands get sore. But, on rare occasions when I'm in the zone and ignoring it, I pay the price, as I did Saturday.  I didn't touch any wire till Wednesday and I wear the brace at night. I'm on the mend now.

I know for some people, CTS is much worse and can be devastating. I count myself lucky that I only have moderate nerve damage, which is still considerable, yet, manageable.

I had intended for this blog post to be very informative, but I'm not a doctor and if you have CTS then there isn't much I can tell you that you can't find online already. So, maybe this is just an excuse for my being absent. :)

On the plus side, I went hiking on Monday and didn't think about wire. On Tuesday, I also evaded wire and the temptation and spent the day with my grandson and his school graduation ceremony. By yesterday, I managed a few easy pieces. Wonder what I'll get done today? Whatever it is, it won't be involving 14g wire!

The following examples are what I was able to accomplish yesterday. They were pretty easy on the hands. 

4 comments:

  1. What a coincidence - I also just rediscovered the black rubber tube, bracelets are the idea.

    I love the earrings, in particular the first pair. It is so... bauhaus baroque. ;-)

    More coincidence, just two days ago I came to the conclusion that wireworking with higher gauges than 0,6mm or maybe 0,8mm is not for me, because of pain in my hands. I will have to do whatever I want to with the thinner wire. Will be an interesting challenge, though.

    Get well soon, Tela! Be careful with those most precious tools, your hands.

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  2. The material looks like tubing but it really resembles leather more. It is solid extruded pvc. I like to use it instead of leather because it wears better and longer, the color doesn't come off, it doesn't stretch out from wearing it and I can poke holes in it. :) I'm going to make a few more today and take it easy on the hands because you are right, they are my most precious tools.

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  3. Hey Tea, I have missed you. Please listen to your body and especially your hands. Be gentle with your self.

    Cool earrings!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice blog dear I like the way as you present your view among the all visitors. I would like to join you again on this blog it’s a very nice visit on this blog. It’s very attractive and effective for visitors. copper wire suppliers, copper wire suppliers in India

    ReplyDelete

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