Writing Through Tendonitis

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Anyone who knows me well knows I have terrible tendinitis in my wrists. I type a lot for the day job, and on top of that my favorite hobbies are: playing piano, playing guitar and writing — of which I type about 120 words per minute or so, which is probably in no small part due to the piano playing. What does all this mean? It means I overexert my hands, wrists and forearms almost every day.  

I’m on a deadline for a novel that’s set to release next year, on top of my typical Doomtown: Reloaded writing duties, so I don’t have time to acquiesce to the pain which has been consistently getting worse as I get older. I’ve dealt with pretty much always having my hands and arms ache for years, but the past few months have seen it reach new levels where I’ve wanted to do ANYTHING but type.

I’ve been told to rest, but I can not type for a week and still find myself in pain the next time I do. I stretch my wrists daily, and often. I don’t want to get hooked on taking Advil daily, though I find myself doing it more often. So I need a solution.

For this current project, I’m taking the writing a little bit at a time. 500 or so words a session so I can take a break adequately and not overextend.  It’s a little harder to do that because I find it’s about 500 words when you “get in the zone” to that point where you can really get a lot of production out. But I’m trying to sit down and do that 3-4 times a day instead of just doing it all at once for now. We’ll see how it goes!

Four days ago I started a regiment I found on http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/  I don’t know the guy, and I’m not necessarily plugging him yet. But long story short, it’s been about 2 hours a day of icing, massaging and stretching, and taking vitamin supplements like echinacea, he says are good for tendon health. So far it’s helped a little day to day — in that I hurt a little bit less, but it hasn’t gone away. I’m supposed to continue this for around 2 weeks, so I will update soon with whether it works or not.  If it does, this is something every writer who deals with pain in their forearms should know about.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Through Tendonitis

  1. This worries me. Ice and rest iz good, but 99 out of 100 doctors and physical therapists will tell you that pushing through tendonitis is a sure way to aggravate the symptoms even more. Compared to muscles, those tendons have mediocre blood flow and take quite a while to heal up. But they *do* heal.

    Good luck with your regimen, Jon, but please consider not driving yourself in this direction quite so hard – you’ve got a lot of great years of writing and music ahead of you!!

  2. Hi John, I am a friend of Tricia Cooke’s. I also have tendinitis in my wrist. You need to try Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking Software( if you haven’t already). It will type what you speak to it. Once I learned the commands, I rarely needed to type anything. It really helped me and you can get through your projects so much faster too. Good luck to you , and tell Sammy that I said hello.

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