Yes, I’ve been missing in action, without saying why. Nothing serious. A bit of idea drought, RSI, and happy moments that involve friends that are not comfortable with being blogged about. About that latter, I will merely say that I made a new friend on my trip to Trondheim this summer.
About the RSI (repetitive strain injury): My mouse arm (which sounds terribly dirty in Norwegian because, well, where in American one refers to a certain female body part as something akin to Tom, in Norwegian it is akin to Jerry) has been acting up. For quite a while, actually, and now so badly that I finally realized it was time to seek help. And it turns out that my company has a new health plan (actually, a medical treatment plan) and a new physical therapist with office hours in my building on Mondays (as far as I know). So last Thursday, while discussing the matter with my boss (every time I said “mouse arm” we both tried not to giggle – sheesh), it occurred to me to call the company doctor’s office. I got a hold of the chief physical therapist there and she told me about the new guy and got me an appointment for Monday at 10 am.
He was a pleasant man whom I found I could relax with right away. We both agreed that I was quite self-aware and knew what had put me in my current state as well as what would likely fix it. But, I said, it’s not enough, which is why I’m here, hoping you can give me some exercises that will help. He nodded and took me downstairs to the company’s exercise room, and demonstrated a few core-strengthening exercises with straps and pullies. Sort of like pilates. The point was to strengthen the core muscles around the spine to help support and stabilize the large muscle groups supporting my arms.
Now, just being in an exercise room with mirrors along the wall and weights and mats and his and hers showers disheartens me because I never learned to enjoy exercising while I was in school. But, my arm matters (I do love my job) and I did ask for help. One of my co-workers likes to use the rowing machine every Tuesday at 2:30 pm so I asked if I could join him and if he could show me how to set the exercise bike (for warming up). He helped me rig the straps and set the bike and then he started rowing across some imaginary fjord, while I biked some imaginary Norwegian road complete with hills. Goodness! My legs really hated that and it was so b-o-r-i-n-g. So to heck with 15 minutes of peddling; I was warmed up after 6 and went to do my stabilizing exercises.
I enjoyed those because they remind me of yoga, of being able to concentrate on the moment, feel your own body and its responses, and adjust. Afterwards I did do an amputated yoga routine, mainly to stretch out, and when it was all over (even had the shower to myself – yay!), I felt pretty darned good. I’m even thinking about doing it all again Thursday! (Will miracles never cease…)
I go back to see the PT on Monday for half an hour of massaging (which he gave me the first visit, too) and progress report.
I was just helping a friend figure out how to use her new Mac without the mouse because she didn’t want a repeat of RSI, only to find myself dealing with my own. Thing is, it’s not necessarily the mouse use itself. It is how you use the mouse. From what I’ve learned on the internet, clicking fast is more harmful that pressing hard, and my PT confirms that, stating that speed prevents those muscles from getting a rest. I do everything fast, including typing and mousing. I have to learn to slow down [she typed at 80 wpm].
It’s a matter of awareness, of being conscious, of bringing the yogic centering into the office, at the desk. I have something new to learn. I have to tell myself there’s time enough and to take that time.
In the meantime, I have tomorrow off. Nice! And I intend to greet the morning bleary-eyed but hopefully grinning from ear to ear: Our main TV station will be broadcasting live from the election in the US and everybody is hoping Obama will win, including me, because I voted for him.
And even if I should decide to get to bed at a decent hour, come tomorrow, no matter who won, the world will be different.
PS: I intend to post more frequently. I just need to find a routine that will spare my “mouse arm”.