Saturday, April 27, 2013

X-Rays, Thumbs, and Writer’s Wrist

About two years ago, I dislocated my left thumb. It was really silly actually. Just a friendly game of soccer where the ball hit me on the base of the thumb and popped it out of joint. Admittedly, the recovery wasn’t very fun, and it was more than a month later when I finally had full use of my hand again. The doctor who x-rayed my hand to make sure I hadn’t broken anything thought I was pretty silly to have done that, and probably I was.

But it healed, and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

Almost a year later, I took part in my first ever NaNoWriMo. Halfway through the month, my left wrist suddenly became a little painful. It’s nothing too bad. Nothing I can’t handle. And it goes away pretty quickly too.

But it comes back. Over and over again it comes back, normally right when I need a good wrist the most. Which is generally around the time I’m working on a novel. It’s annoying, and painful, but, until a certain point, not too bad.

And then NaNoWriMo last year came around and silly me wrote too much too fast. Hundreds of thousands of words later and my wrist hurt like I redislocated the thumb. Though I knew I haven’t done that at least.

A doctors trip later, and I head for an x-ray again, as well as an ultrasound. The x-ray is easy. Move my hand around into three painful positions and that’s it. Done. However the ultrasound took forever. The doctor watched the images on a screen, making notes and taking pictures. I stared up at them, anxious. Was there something badly wrong? What was she looking at? If only I knew how to translate the black and white pictures.

“You have writer’s wrist,” one doctor told me. “Lots of typing brings it one, though having it in the left hand is unusual for a right handed person. A shot of steroids will fix you up though.”

Writer’s wrist. I never heard of that one before. Does getting writer’s wrist make you into a proper writer? Does getting a steroid shot in your wrist make it big and strong and muscular? I wonder.

Well, the steroid shot didn’t give me a massively muscular wrist. But it did fix it. No longer plagued by writer’s wrist, I’m back to typing, just a little more carefully than before. Maybe writing so much in a month isn’t the best thing for me. So for all your writers, be careful. Or you might end up with writer’s wrist like me!


  1. I'm also right handed and my left hand also starts to ache when I type too much. Especially when I haven't typed a lot in a while.

    Wonder if it's the same problem...

  2. Writer's wrist doesn't sound fun--especially to writers.

  3. I've never heard of it either. I know to watch for it now though.

  4. whoops. I get writing wrist too, but only when I write by hand... So I type everything. Really slowly. If writing did make your wrist muscles huge, you could show it off and be like "You're not a real writer till your wrist is this big." :D

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