Monday, June 16, 2014

Fear and Other Stupid Things

A few months ago, my wrist started hurting. I got sent to a doctor on worker's comp, but it was really inconclusive... I have a brace, and I try to always wear it when I'm sewing. But it still hurts, and I'm slightly terrified. I'm only 23, and I'd like to be sewing when I'm an old woman. Frankly, I can't imagine doing anything else. Historical clothing is my passion. I've done a lot of things in life, but this is the one thing that stuck and really consumed me. Of course, realistically, I can give you a list of other hobbies I can do... But my blood runs cold when I think about not being able to sew. (I should add that I literally sew for a living right now. So I'd have to quit my job--which I love-- and find something else...)

I'm not really sure what this means exactly for me. Probably less sewing... less blogging... So yeah, that's where I am right now... :-/

14 comments:

Trystan L. Bass said...

I'm currently typing this with a wrist brace on, thanks to on & off again RSI injuries from a lifetime of computer use & sewing, plus a liberal dose of post-cancer lymphadema, all in my right arm. I'm 45. It does suck, BUT you've gone to a doctor & you can take preventative measures NOW :) Learn good techniques, like correct posture & alignment when sitting at a computer (ditch the laptop/tablet, use a real keyboard & monitor on an ergonomically adjusted desk) & when sewing (use a pillow to keep handwork up in your lap, use a 'sewing bird' so your hands don't have to provide tension). Take breaks & stretch. Plan so you don't have to do sewing marathons - no last-minute sewing! There's lots more... geez, I really should write a blog post about this! You've inspired me :)

Cassidy said...

I'm so sorry. I'm having the same issue you described before - something in the tendon below the thumb, painful when grasping/pinching - and it's so frustrating. It doesn't seem to be caused by overuse, just ... being. It's my left, and holding the fabric is almost impossible. (I haven't been to the doctor yet, but I'm not optimistic that I'll get any advice other than to rest it.) So I'm very sympathetic! I hope things look up for you soon.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry, that is awful! I have really bad tendinitis in my wrist from sewing, typing, and playing musical instruments. My hand will often get tingly then go numb. I don't wear a brace or anything but I'm lucky that when it gets bad enough I can just stop whatever I'm doing. And I'm only 29.

I REALLY hope your wrist gets better!

Gina said...

Samantha, I will be keeping you in my prayers. Fear is such a crippling thing...sometimes more so than the injury itself. But fear is not from God, healing and health is! Be blessed my lovely friend!
Gina

lahbluebonnet said...

Oh no! If this is at all ergonomic related, then perhaps this will help. I saw her on tv one time and it all made a lot of sense. Now I try to be careful ergonomically and get up and stretch and move around...even by keeping my iron and ironing board in the basement to force me to move, move, move when sewing.
Rx for Quilters:Stitcher Friendly Advice for Every Body by Susan Delaney Mech, MD
I hope you feel better soon!
Laurie

Lumikettu said...

You probably have thought of this already, but have you considered going to a masseuse to treat your hand? Sometimes when the muscles on the arm are really tightened, they pull the bones in the wrist into a wrong position/lock them and it causes pain. Also, tight muscles cause pressure in the wrist canal and that means pain because blood veins and nerves are under pressure. It can cause occasional numbing and your hand might feel cold.

And going to a masseuse is not horribly expensive.

Get better soon!

Anonymous said...

I hope your wrist gets better, but I'am sure you have other interesting things in your life to blog about, not just sewing.

An Historical Lady said...

Dear Sam,
I feel so badly for you, but try not to worry, and see another doctor if you can. For the past 5 years the top of my foot across my upper big toe was hurting, getting worse and worse. At first I thought I had injured it when I dropped a big rock on it 5 years ago---(I know, lol!)
Finally, recently I could not wear 'normal' shoes and walk around the pain was so bad, and it would also swell. I finally went to a doctor. It turns out to be a couple of bone spurs. The doctors of course offer you temp, not-good-for-you options of cortisone shots and RX drugs---most of which are later recalled months later for causing some wildly serious complications. Surgery would correct the problem permanently. The surgery in my case will be done next week, without general anesth.---local only, and I can then go home. I requested this since ANY general anesthetic makes me vomit uncontrollably and is more miserable than any operation. The other 'band aid' options were not for me. I don't look forward to the whole rest of the summer wearing that lame shoe-bandage they give you, (and the recovery for this takes some time), but the pain had become unbearable, and after it heals it will be as good as new!! (YAY!)
What I am saying is that maybe your problem is something that can be corrected permanently. I would definitely see a orthopedic doctor as I did, NOT a GP. Both my brother and son had wrist problems that sound similar to yours. They both had surgery that corrected the problems permanently.
By the way, my hubby and I are in the middle of constructing an 18thc. beehive cob bakeoven in our back garden, digging the clay from our property and doing everything by hand ourselves. After the surgery I intend to hobble out there and make the sand form, and start slapping clay cob onto it while hubby stomps on the batches of sand/clay mortar we're making on a tarp!!
Sam, most of all, try not to worry---SEE THE RIGHT KIND OF DOCTOR. The odds are that this is something fixable.
By the way, you are a genius seamstress!
Sending all good thoughts,
Mary

McCredie Champions said...

You inspire me with all your creations! ...healing to that wrist I say :)
Rose

Anne said...

When I was seventeen I started having a lot of trouble with my wrist. I went to a doctor, was diagnosed with tendonitus, sent to a PT and told to stop playing the cello for three months. The symptoms cleared up until I did anything, and I mean anything. I couldn't wash the dishes without reinjuring myself, and it was just feeling worse all the time.

After three years I finally found a chiropractor who adjusted my pelvis/hips which I had realigned by falling down the stairs with something heavy in one hand, and catching myself on the railing with the other, so I was basically crooked to one side which was pulling on the other. It has taken me a while, but now pain is something that happens once in a blue moon if I really do a lot of twisting of the wrist, and that is after three solid years of actively doing some damage to all my tendons and muscles on the right side. I have played concerts, done sewing marathons, painted, sanded...all the things that used to really hurt to do.

I don't know what your particular problem is, but I'd HIGHLY recommend finding a good chiropractor who is a good problem solver, not just a text book follower! Or a Physical Therapist who knows to look and not just keep treating symptoms. In fact, anyone who knows how to deal with muscles, and is good at looking.

I really hope you find out what is wrong, and can fix it. It got very discouraging to me to have my wrist constantly hurting, but have courage and you can DO this!!! Don't waste your time like I did feeling sorry, but look for a solution. :)

You can't see them, but here are some e-pom-poms rooting for you. :D

-BethT from the sewing academy

Anonymous said...

Dearest Friend,

I will keep you in my prayers. Please see the right doctor and if they don't answer your questions, fire them. Remember they are providing you with a service. My dear girl, please know that you are not alone and can reach out to any of us for support.

~ Audrey Trussell

kittycalash.com said...

After sewing a regimental in a week, I had something that sounds similar to what you are experiencing. I see a massage therapist who managed to resolve the issue and keep me sewing.(It did take months, but started to improve once she started working on it.)Physical therapy might also help-- PTs can help you modify your movements to keep you doing the things you love.

Rowenna said...

How crummy! I agree with many here that finding the right ergonomic balance for yourself might be key. Even things you may not think about, like how your computer is set up or how you sit when you sew, could really affect you in the long-term. I had a boss whose hand started going numb--turned out she had a habit of holding her mouse far off to the side and it put strain on her wrist and hand.

And I second considering a chiropractor. My dad's a chiro, so I'm lucky in that I get free care, lol, but it does make a huge difference. It might seem unrelated, but if you're out of alignment at your spine, it can cause issues all the way down your limbs. I *know* when I'm out, and it can give me wrist problems.

Good luck!!

cammy said...

I cross stitch and write a lot. I have carpal tunnel a shot in the both wrist helped so much. I thought I had arthritics or tendinitis but it was carpal tunnel. It sounds like carpal tunnel to me and there are several thing that can be done to fully relieve the pain and tingling.
Do not trust Worker Comp doctors. I had a friend who fell hard on her knee at work. Worker Comp said it was a sprain. She went to her doctor who sent her to a specialist to find out she had torn though both ligaments in her knee. Had she had followed the Workers Comp doctor she would have had to have surgery and probably loss some movement in her knee. So be careful.