Tuesday Talk – When Too Much is Too Much

I spent all day Sunday knitting. No, not the above, mine is a secret for a friend, that’s just a picture gakked from here. Really, when I say I spent all day knitting, I mean I spent about six or seven hours knitting, with a break for dinner. It’s my own fault… I act as if my friends’ birthdays sneak up on me or hide when they are from me, when really every year I have a year to prepare… and I don’t.

I ended up really pleased with the knitting I got done, but I also ended up freaking out when I finally put the knitting down and went to bed.

Why, you ask?

Because both of my ring fingers had gone dead numb. Actually, it was worse than numb. They were simultaneously numb and feeling ultra-bruised. I shook my hands out and rubbed my fingers and stretched my hands and arms, but by the time I fell asleep, my ring fingers were still both numb. I had a pretty good idea what was wrong with me, but that didn’t stop me from being scared to death of it. Everything I do—everything I do—I do with my hands. I actually said to my husband that I can’t lose my hands.

I looked it up the next morning, and as I’d feared, it looks like I’m starting to develop RSS—Repetitive Stress Syndrome. Basically this means that if I don’t slow down and take breaks when I’m doing a lot of knitting—or typing, or doing anything repetitive—I could develop carpel tunnel syndrome like that.

I’m frustrated, because I don’t even knit that much. It’s just that when I do, I like to do it for hours. And now I can’t, really.

So my plan is to a fairly basic one. Firstly, pay more attention to my hands. They do a lot for me, these lovely little things, and I need to treat them better, notice when they start hurting, etc. Secondly, I need to actually plan my crafting out in advance. This knitting project is simple and can be finished in a matter of hours… but if I plan things out, I can make something a lot nicer, and actually have it done on time (this one will still be late!).

I’m also realizing that knitting is by far not my only problem. Typing and handwriting are two big things that I do all the time. All. The. Time.

So I have to figure out my writing time a little better, too. I have to be more economical with my time, for one thing, and with what I do with my hands.

And I’m going to try and do the dishes more. Like, after every meal instead of after a day and a half. Because soaking my hands in warm water is something that all my research has suggested, and I can’t just sit still and do nothing.

What I can do, though, is take more reading and meditation breaks, though. Who knows… maybe this might help me out with getting more out of both my knitting and my writing than I ever have.

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk – When Too Much is Too Much

  1. Take care with the RSI!!! I developed RSI/Tennis Elbow due to a combo of my job and endless knitting I had to actually STOP knitting altogether for 6+ month. I only just started again and it’s still not quiet right. So take it easy and allow a lot of rest

    • Thank you! Yeah, I’m definitely going to take it easy, and do schedule my gift knitting so I can do it in small, manageable chunks.

  2. I hope you’re not developing carpal tunnel. It’s something I’ve had in both hands since the early 90’s. It’s not something you want. However much you love knitting hours on hand, it’s not worth the damage to your body. It’s not worth the pain. When mine acts up now, it effects my whole arm, fingertips to shoulder blade.

    Workout regularly, and stay away from things that aggravate your hands / wrists. Let them rest and heal.

    • I hope so too. Hopefully I can be smart about this and not let it get that bad.

      Thanks so much for the insight and the advice. I will keep them in mind.

    • So sorry Marilyn, it’s up now! My hands hurt with crochet, but only if I’m doing something very small or working with something like cotton. I don’t know how to knit Continental… but really I think if I just limit the length of time I knit I should be okay… I just have to pay attention to my hands. (Because I love it too!)

  3. Pingback: On Vacation… « Lisa Asanuma

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