It’s all in the wrist


all-in-the-wristTo paraphrase an old adage, health is wasted on the healthy.

I mentioned yesterday that I nearly broke myself constructing my Dead Thing Pen for Halloween this year. That’s not entirely accurate, as I actually did indeed break myself.

Physical damage is sometimes not always noticed at the time of incidence. For example, during my extensive lugging and lifting and whatevering with the edging stones and 50 lb. bags of mulch, I was mostly focused on the back pain I felt at the time.

Apparently, that masked some serious strain I put on my wrists. Perhaps it would never have gone further if not compounded by a heavy week on the computer following that momentous decorating effort.

Being a confirmed lefty (rough estimate, I’d say 99.876%…roughly), I use the mouse with my left hand. I’m guessing the intense mouse usage that week created a “perfect storm” for the wrist, adding some carpal tunnel-type strain on the already tired muscles, tendons and nerves.

But wait, there’s more!

Last Friday, in the same week as all of that fun, I started in my first bowling league in probably 20 years. My wrist was sore going in and I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to bowl, but it turned out to be not that big a problem (certainly not as big as my terrible bowling).

By midway through the second game, I had forgotten about the wrist. I even gave a pass to my normally hyper-competitive nature and just plain had fun. It probably helped that we (my friends made up the team) joined 6 weeks into the season, so we were listed as 0-42.

Late in the second game, after a particularly awful first ball that never hooked and got all of three pins, I managed to pick up the spare by changing my entire alignment and mark on the alley. The best bowler on the other team joked I should use that ball on my first roll.

So I did, finishing the game with a couple of strikes and then starting the third game with four in a row. My opponent looked at me and said I wasn’t actually supposed to take his advice.

Of course, the next ball was a 4-7-10 split (particularly devilish for us lefties) but I came within a whisker of converting it. Something odd was happening here.

Then, in the seventh frame, as I lifted the ball from the return, my wrist shouted at me in a way that was impossible to refuse. I put the ball down, massaged the wrist, took a little walk and then did a weird juggling act to set the ball on my fingers so I could bowl.

The wrist pained me for the remaining 3 frames, but I ended up with a surprising 223. I had no answer for the score or the wrist.

Later, in the wee hours of the morning, I was brought fully awake by shooting pains. It felt like rivulets of fire running from my left wrist into my forearm. Quite disturbing, truth to tell.

I spent much of Saturday with an ice bag on the wrist and eventually the pain waned to soreness with an occasional spark. I tried to use the right hand for as much as my hard-wired brain would allow.

The timing, of course, could not be much worse. I have all the cooking and cleaning to do in advance of the Halloween BBQ this weekend.

Cutting the chunk cheese alone should be a challenge and then all the fruits and vegetables after that. No chance of me doing that right-handed, both from a strength and coordination standpoint.

Oh, and, obviously, there’s another week of bowling on Friday, too. Waddya gonna do.

Writing and typing are okay for a short while and then the left wrist begins to bark at me and I stop. Unfortunately, probably due to its limited use, the right wrist is starting to ache from compensation.

Ah well, it’s really just an annoyance, taken as a whole. Once Halloween is over, I’ll be able to give the wrist plenty of rest. Except for post BBQ clean-up. And taking down all the decorations. And shoveling ten bags of mulch off my driveway. And putting away all those concrete edging stones. And packing up the tables and chairs from the patio to the storage room.

Health is surely wasted on the healthy.

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