Laptopping For Lefthanders

(A Cautionary Tale for Bloggers)

If you are anything like me, you have seen your hobbies and work/life activities move one-by-one to the realm of the PC (or laptop, or now iPad or Smartphone). Hand written letters turned into emails (except those to Grandma). Book and record store browsing relocated to Amazon. You got your first digital camera and slowly gave up developing prints and pasting them in photo albums. If you do anything at all with your pictures, it is probably a photobook created on the computer or a slideshow set to music (which by the way, you now download). You cancelled your morning newspaper subscription and now read the news online. You watch the news and other programs there too – meaning sometimes days and days go by when the TV never gets turned on. You slowly moved into various social networks and maybe went through or short phase of obsessive checking for updates and little red flags. A feeling of panic arose that first time you couldn’t find your cell and maybe you said to yourself “My whole life is in there!!” You realized you don’t know anyone’s telephone number by heart anymore – maybe not even your own. And then there’s work. For research and information, your go-to library is now called Google. Materials for coworkers and students are now uploaded rather than copied and distributed . . .

(And, somehow, despite that over-long paragraph, I don’t think I have even scratched the surface.)

If you are anything like me, you haven’t really compensated for all this increased computer time with any sensible physical exercise beyond dog walking – some things still can’t be done digitally, although I am sure there is some GPS Remote Dog Walk app in our futures. (You heard it here first! I call dibs on the patent and the millions!) You also haven’t gotten around to making your workplace ergonomic or improving your slouching postchin minure. You’ve noticed more back aches and stiff necks. Each time you treat them with some Chin Min balm and a resolution to take better care of yourself from now on.

If you are anything like me, you just learned your lesson the hard way. A painful eight-hour last-minute translating session combined with a cold virus and pre-existing repetitive stress irritations inflamed my right shoulder. It then REALLY flared up the next day while I was still at work, making the drive home (with a stick shift) excruciating painful as well as adventurous. As I could barely move my right arm, I had to reach over and shift with my left hand, each new gear change making me a bit more nauseous. Once home, I made an emergency call to my husband and an hour later we were in the doctor’s office where I had my very first expeiv driprience with an IV drip. I came home with a baggie full of goodies. Once the inflammation and pain are conquered and I regain the full use of my right arm, I will have my first date with a physical therapist – another new experience.

 

So that is the state of things now. I am officially on sick leave for as long as my doctor decides to keep me here (basically until I can drive again). I’m pumped full up with painkillers and learning how to type and use the mouse with my left hand. My posture is excellent.

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12 thoughts on “Laptopping For Lefthanders

  1. I am sorry to hear that. So that arm and shoulder acted up again. Hope, this gets ell soon, although I fear it will take a while. btw, everything you said above is soooo true and sounds just like me.

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    1. Yeah – that is the one bright side to this. I have never stayed in a hospital, had an operation or broken a bone – or given birth . . . so no IV’s. All my siblings joke about our freakishly good health, despite the abuse we put our bodies through – we think it has something to do with our pioneer genes.

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  2. Get well soon! You know, the left handed mousing is actually a very valuable skill to learn! And yes, I say learn because it’s horribly hard to “just switch” when your computer is your life. Mousing with the left hand is something I tell many people who are at-risk for or already have R shoulder repetitive stress injuries. So mouse on the left, number keypad on the right, and your body in the center of the letters. 🙂 I hope this experience helps you become proficient at it and that your pain goes away asap!

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