Archive for the ‘health’ Category

In a Funk

It’s just past six o’clock on Tuesday. My wrist hasn’t stopped hurting since last night and it now hurts not only to type but to move it.

Yesterday I made it to fifty thousand words, and I’m not sure I can continue this novel. I need to take a break, to breathe, to decide if what I’m writing is really my best. If this is the novel I need to be working on right now. If I have the time or energy to reach the 100k goal I had in mind at the beginning of the month.

I have a month left of my undergraduate experience. I am still unemployed outside the university, and am trying to complete and send out applications on a regular basis. Finding a job that pays more than minimum wage is going to be a bit tricky, especially around here.

I have a month left to complete my schoolwork. I have at least a dozen stories left to read and respond to in writing class. I have a 10 to 20 page research paper due in my religion class, along with a 15 minute presentation. I have another presentation in my other religion class, which will require substantial amounts of group work. I have to construct a final project in my history class which will require a lot of artistic work.

I can’t help but feel like I”m going to have trouble pounding out 3k a day and do all these things and maintain my sanity. I’m already slipping.

I just need to take a break. Decide if I want to keep this novel going, scrap it and start again, pick a different one and work on that. Maybe go for my minimum goal of 75k so I can work at a slower pace and have a more manageable month.

I just seem to repeatedly have great ideas, but lack the ability to express them to my satisfaction.

Maybe I just need to sleep for a week. Or at this point, just find something to eat. I’m going to a concert in an hour or two, and that should be fun.

I guess we’ll see how things go. Tonight though, tonight the writing just isn’t going to happen. It hurts too much to type.


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It’s now almost 8:00pm in Lincoln. I’m sitting comfortably at about 34k. I’m about 2-3k away from my recommended goal of 36.6k, even further away from my desired 40k.

My blog from this morning ended up being overly ambitious, because life got in the way:

My RSI is acting up, and with a vengeance. I’ve been in a constant mild state of pain since waking up this morning, and while the brace helps (as do painkillers when it gets bad), I’m still feeling the aches and pains every time I sit down to type. Needless to say this is cutting into my typing pretty hardcore.

As well as this, a very dear friend of mine is still dealing with some pretty tough stuff. I love my friends dearly, and while words need to be written, I know that they will always need to be written. My friends needing help? That’s a priority, even if the only help I can offer is providing a distraction.

So, sorry 40k. Unless my wrist stops yelling at me with pain, I’ll see you tomorrow. My goal now is to finish my chapter and write another, which’ll get me more than on track for today. If I’m feeling better later I’ll keep it up, but it’s whatever really. It’s not the wordcount I’m worried about, it’s the motivation. I WILL finish this novel. Nothing’s going to stop that.

Sorry for the bold excitements of my earlier post. Life, as usual, decided to grab me and say ‘hey, I’m what happens when you make plans. Suck it.’

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Some days it’s rough to write, and this was one day that I anticipated it being as such. As well as being the beginning of Week Two, I had a lot working against me.

I spent an hour of my afternoon lying back in the dentist’s chair having a tooth filled, and since I have such a problem with dental procedures (psychologically: past trauma combined with anxiety, long story) I spent the rest of that time leading up to work resting and spending time with my Dad looking over the family genealogy, his current project and hobby.

I spent work reading through short stories for tomorrow’s fiction class, which left me pretty exhausted. I managed to bang out 1400 or so words after getting done, and I broke 25k (yay! a quarter of the way there!), but for now I’m done despite being a bit behind my daily wordcount. Time to curl up and prepare for tomorrow, which will involve more Freud (ugh), catching up with my wordcount, another trip to the dentist and writing class. Wish me luck!

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So yesterday was Tuesday, otherwise known as Lora’s night off from work. Normally I spend this late afternoon / early evening time studying (i.e. goofing around on the internet), catching up with TV, pestering a friend or two around campus, or going on expeditions to my favourite coffee shop to get delicious tea and muffins.

However, yesterday was different. Yesterday I was on a mission. See, I’m a sedentary creature, a writer by nature and therefore a big fan of what boils down to sitting on my ass and staring at computer screens all day. I’m far from athletic, even though I’m definitely on the thin side (the result of malnutrition, vegetarianism and a freakish metabolism). I love to walk, and I try to do as much of that as I possibly can when I’m on campus, but that doesn’t really count as strenuous exercise.

It counts as looking at pretty nature though. UNL Campus is gorgeous pretty much all year round.

(Picture I took of Love Library last spring, pretty flowers in bloom).

So I talked to Jeff, and he works at the climbing wall at the YMCA on the south side of town. He spends most of his time there hauling small children around, and has been listening to me whine about being out of shape for so long that when I suggested I come visit him and re-learn the basics of climbing the wall, he encouraged me to stop by Tuesday night before he got off work at 8pm.

When I got there I was directed towards the climbing wall in the back section of the main hall, and was mildly intimidated by what I saw: a very high, very lumpy wall covered in multicoloured bumps. I’ve seen climbing walls before, but I haven’t been on one since I was in fifth grade and I went on an adventure weekend with my classmates.

Now, I’m pretty strongly afraid of heights. I hate being in airplanes, hate being up much higher than the third story of a building, you get the idea. But this didn’t seem so bad to me. Harnesses and ropes and other strange devices are involved in this indoor climbing business, right? And I was going to be spotted the entire time by Jeff, one of the few people I count on my hand as a person I trust with my life.

So that wasn’t a big deal. I got in the harness (definitely not the most comfortable thing in the world), was secured with a rope, and directed towards what was apparently the ‘easy’ part of the wall.

‘Easy’ apparently translates to ‘sheer hard plastic surface with little coloured tumours you’re supposed to grab’.

Swallowing my fear and embarrassment I grabbed onto the first two coloured handholds I saw at eye-level and began figuring out where to put my feet.

And it wasn’t so bad. Jeff was encouraging, pointing out possible next places for me to move my hands and feet, and so I climbed, slowly but surely, towards the top.

Not a couple minutes in and I was already feeling like I was getting that work-out I was looking for. I was breathing slightly heavy, my arms were starting to ache, and I was beginning to work up a sweat.

Yeah, I know. I’m out of shape. I’m in the failboat. Go me. *captains the failboat*

Things started to become worrisome as I rapidly approached the top of the wall. The little tumour-y coloured wedges were becoming few and far-between and I was starting to become confused and at a loss as to how to progress. And as I sat there in my harness, dangling like a worm on a hook, my hands jammed into two little rock pieces, my right wrist started to hurt.

A lot.


I tried to ignore it, figuring it was just my muscles freaking out from getting some use for the first time in who knows when. I continued searching for a way to keep climbing, determined that I wouldn’t be showed up by the little girl who Jeff had been teaching to climb before I had showed up. Seriously, that kid was a fucking ninja, climbing up and down the wall like some sort of terrifying spider monkey child.

Then my wrists started going numb. And I couldn’t grip the nubby rocks properly, my fingers feeling as if they were permanently stuck in that sad, curved, ‘I’m a barbie girl’ position they have on plastic dolls’ hands. Not a good sign. I flailed around a little, and then insisted on being returned to the ground that I might inspect the damage I had managed to do to myself.


Let me explain:

I have RSI: Repetitive Strain Injury. I’ve had it in both my wrists since the Spring of 2007 when my doctor first informed me of what I have apparently been doing to myself for years as a frequent writer and typer. There’s not much that can be done for me as it’s not too severe, but I’ve been prescribed strong pain meds, wrist braces, and ice packs before along with insistence that I adopt a better posture while I am typing.

Clearly it’s been going on for a while, so I know how to deal with it, but it’s been fairly dormant for the last few months, my typing activities being less strenuous over the summer thanks to a lack of papers to write and such.

Then, just from climbing the rock wall at the YMCA for less than ten minutes, I’m in horrible pain and with wrists that barely work. They’re better today, fear not, but I still feel an unpleasant ache whenever I stretch my arms or reach out to grab something.

Disconcerting to me. Especially since the mother of all wrist-straining activities is about to hit in the next week: NaNoWriMo 2010.

I love NaNoWriMo. I love writing. It’s my calling in life, my passion and my sad nerdy daydream of success (to be able to live off my writing and be a novelist). But there’s next to nothing I can do about the condition of my wrists, except fight through the pain and hope it doesn’t get worse.

I really can’t stop writing, or typing. I want to write, and it’s simple as that. While the straining of my wrists at the climbing wall (and the slight bruising of my dignity at not being able to make it to the top. Sad pasta) was just an unfortunate accident, I know that in a couple of weeks I’ll be back in a brace, popping Ibuprofen until the pain goes away, since I can’t write novels without making use of my typing abilities.

Guess I’ll have to find another way to exercise. The pain is just part of the process. That and all the usual remedies of pain medication, braces, better typing posture and ice packs. It’s true that you have to suffer for your art, despite how melodramatic that sounds.

Just another one of my upcoming challenges this November. The results will be totally worth it.

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I absolutely loathe being sick. I have enough issue functioning in reality with my full health, let alone when I’m under the weather.

So, here’s my breakdown of today (Wednesday September 15th), timestamped for your pleasure and up-to-the-minute convenience.

9:00am – alarm goes off for the first time. I wake with a splitting headache, groan and roll over. Jeff attempts to rouse me, but gives up when I mumble curses.

9:30am – Jeff gets ready to leave for class and asks me if I’m going to make it to my one class of the day. I mumble in the negatory and text Kelsey, telling her to inform our professor that I will not be attending class due to being royally dead. Jeff tells me he set the alarm clock for about noon, and gives me ibuprofen to make the headache go away. I declare him god and fall back to sleep.

1.25pm – I wake up and realize that I’ve overslept by over an hour and the alarm Jeff set me has failed to go off since he set the numbers, but didn’t turn the clock back on. Shit. Fling myself out of bed in a panic and into the shower. Am relieved to discover that my head is better despite my panicked state.

1.45pm – stumble out of the door with a poptart and my bags, muttering to myself that I’m gonna be late for work, shit, I’m gonna be late, I’m not gonna get a parking spot in the lot near the library, fuck my life, awesome, things couldn’t be better.

1.56pm – find a parking space in the lot near the library. Believe in god again for a few moments.

2.05pm – cease believing in god when my stomach reacts poorly to the poptart and I’m in excruciating pain for ten straight minutes while at work and trying to be civil to patrons.

2.30pm – remember that I have to write my first short story for fiction class tonight. Curse the universe and continue to feel nauseated.

3:00pm – nausea dies down. Decide to try some of the mac and cheese I brought with me to work.

4:00pm – finish first shift at work. Feel relieved the mac and cheese is sitting without reacting poorly in my stomach. Decide to go forage for food that may also sit well so that I don’t starve to death.

4:1opm – run into friends Paul and Stevi outside the union. Sit and talk about politics, philosophy, and the internet, especially 4Chan. Drink a bottle of water in the hopes that it will appease my stomach.

5:10pm – Go to Bison Witches and eat an order of their amazing mushroom soup and drink a coke. Believe in god again, briefly.

6:00pm – return to work, and remember that I need to write my short story. Curse the universe and my body for its ill-timed revolt.

6:30pm – realize attempts to write current story idea are failing. Curse, flail, and beat head against the desk. Alarm coworker Ian slightly. reassure him it’s all part of the writing process and he goes back to work.

7.00pm – Text Jeff bemoaning my creative block. Much whining occurs in textual format.

7.30pm – give up on writing and decide to watch Skins.

7:45pm – have brilliant idea while watching Skins. Begin writing frantically while listening to Nine Inch Nails. Become convinced The Fragile is the album I want to listen to right before I die.

9:25pm – Finish writing short story. Do a small victory dance and amuse Ian. Feel mildly nauseated again and curse the universe once more.

10:00pm – get off work, resolve to do nothing for the rest of the evening despite needing to read Shaw’s play Saint Joan for History tomorrow.

10:20pm – do another victory dance at Jeff’s place, and seclude myself in his room with the TV while he does logic homework. Hope tomorrow will be better for my body and my brain. Feel mildly amused at my writing process when feeling ill. Hope my story isn’t a tremendous pile of shit. Make a note to make Jeff read it later when he’s done with his homework.

11:00pm – blog. Like a cool kid. Remember that no-one’s emailed me Thursday’s assignment for Religion in Late Antiquity. Hate people more than I normally do. Decide things could be worse though. Return to TV.  Feel glad tomorrow is on the way. Look forward to the weekend and my stomach calming down so I can drink beer and vodka like a normal person.

The end. By me.

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