Monday, September 17, 2007

Bloghopping goes on + computing pain remedies

Who knew there was this much poetry news? And why doesn't the San Francisco Chronicle carry it anymore? Thank heavens (Part 3,128) for the Internet, for providing po-bloggers to relieve my fingers from doing all that keyboard walking:

Dumbfoundry (check the extensive links -- divided by country and individual or group blogs)
Books, Inq. - always readable, link-through-able, quippy, provocative

In continuing computer-related issues, I'm on the trail of a setup to relieve symptoms of incipient carpal tunnel -- a disaster for a writer. I've investigated keyboard commands (a very good thing), the fully articulated keyboard tray arm, the Rollermouse (using it as I speak), and various other ergonomic considerations = beaucoup bucks (fancy chairs, keyboards, input devices, etc.)

But one of the very best two devices I've discovered I bought at my local drugstore for under $10 for both. A wrist supporter with a built-in palm pad, and one of those silly squishy balls you squeeze while doing something besides computing.

In two days, significant relief. Anyone have any other ideas?


  1. I've worked a couple jobs where I had to do beaucoup data entry. My right forearm will gradually tighten up and it's gotten to a constant ache.

    A few things have helped:

    -- stretching -- if you don't do yoga, there are still easy stretches you can do. Not just stretching the arm. Full body stretches. Regularly through the day. Not big workouts. 30-60 seconds can do it.

    -- weights at the gym ... the flexing & fresh blood flow into the stressed muscles seemed to do almost as much as the stretching.

    -- ergonomic desk set up. A chair that has you in a good posture, monitor and keyboard at appropriate levels (there are sites that have diagrams or descriptions, like this one) ... I could tell immediately when my set up was improved. I liked the keyboard that angles each half toward the using hand, the keyboard doing the angling rather than your wrists.

    -- I would change up frequently ... switching the mouse to my left hand (I am not ambidextrous), use the numbers keypad (& its enter key) to lessen the use of my pinkie, hold pens in my fists to hunt-n-peck with a stabbing motion ... don't keep doing what is hurting you!!!

  2. Wrist braces for when you sleep, or when the cp is acting up...and my brother the programmer swears by regular-old pushups (he tells me to practice with against-the-wall pushups before attempting the regular kind)

  3. Glenn & Jeannine -- many thanks for excellent suggestions. I've tried some and they're already giving me relief. I found this funny wrist thing with a mouse pad attached to the bottom, so it lifts your hand. Very useful. As is the idea of using your left hand, though that's a brain-teaser. Where do you find the wrist braces? I'll have to try the push-ups.

    I've already tried several alternate input devices, including a Rollermouse, which I think actually made things worse. A touchpad on a laptop seems to help, though I don't know why. I'm also trying to learn keyboard commands.

    Thanks much!