Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Writing and hand update

Back in early April, I posted about my plans to write every day during the month. And I succeeded, making progress on both my historical romance novella and my historical fantasy. Some days I only wrote a paragraph or two, but that was enough to keep my mind in the story. Insofar as I can, I mean to keep writing every day no matter what in the future.

That being said, I didn't write a single word yesterday. My hand and shoulder pain came back with a vengeance, and I barely made it through the day at work, so when I came home all I did was rest.

As it happens, I'd just seen my hand specialist last week, and she advised me to make plans to have carpal tunnel surgery. I was all set to do so but I had this gut feeling that something wasn't right. It seemed that everyone who was advising me, but especially the hand specialist, was all but ignoring my complaints of shoulder, back, and neck pain. I could tell that my hand got worse when my shoulder got worse. I couldn't believe they were unconnected. I didn't want to sign up to have my wrist slit open if that was only going to fix part, or maybe even none, of my real problem. So I talked to my primary care provider and asked if she'd refer me to someone who could evaluate and treat a possible pinched nerve. My first physical therapy appointment is this Friday.

During yesterday's bad flareup, I looked up the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the shoulder, and I'm shocked and not a little angry that my hand doctor didn't consider the possibility. It sounds like if anything I have a classic case. The nurses I work with and the massage therapist who was able to fit me in for an appointment this afternoon agree. They also said that they don't think I've done any permanent damage yet, because my muscle tone is still good, if hellaciously tight in spots, and the massage therapist gave me good advice on what to do between now and my first meeting with the physical therapist.

Still, I'm very frustrated. If I'd been treated for a pinched nerve back in December, I might be all better now. I might have finished my novella and submitted it to Carina in, oh, February. Assuming my editor and the rest of the acquisitions team liked it, I might even have my next release date.

But I know it could be a lot worse. A pinched nerve is hardly life-threatening. I'll get through this. I'll do what I'm doing right now and use Dragon software until I'm better–something I couldn't do during most of April because of a bad cold threatening to wreck my voice. One way or another, I'll keep writing.


  1. Susanna,

    Have you considered buying some sort of voice recognition software such as Dragon?

    I know those things can take time to train up or something and aren't the best, but it may be a way to at least take off some of the heavy lifting off your wrists.

  2. I've got Dragon, and used it to write the above post, in fact. It does fine for blog posts, emails, and the like, but gets frustrating for fiction, at least historical and fantasy stuff like mine--the vocabulary is more esoteric, and I tend to slip into, not my characters' accents, exactly, but their Scottish and English inflections, because the rhythm and sentence structure is different, not quite American...and I end up having to do a maddening number of corrections. It's better than not writing at all, but I hope it doesn't come to that.