Okay, I went to the doctor yesterday to have my hand examined. Over the weekend, while my hand and wrist got a little better, the pain was spreading to my arm. Then on Sunday the pain in my hand turned into numbness in my fingers. I panicked. I’ve been reading up on carpal tunnel syndrome, and had been talking with other cartoonists about the issue, and convinced myself I’d injured myself pretty badly. I had a moment where my career literally flashed before my eyes.
So, it was time to see a professional. After describing my symptoms, and what I’ve been doing the past few months, the doctor gave me good news: it’s not carpal tunnel. Instead, it’s a nerve in my arm that is being pinched due to bad working posture and has become inflamed due to overuse for the last couple of months. The hand and wrist pain were secondary issues related to this main one. Basically, not only have I been working too hard (mostly on things you haven’t gotten to see yet), but I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and drawing on the couch. Turns out this has been terrible for my neck and back, and the symptoms in my arm are a direct result.
The bad news is I’m looking at a 6-8 week recovery and physical therapy to correct my posture. Luckily since I went in as soon as I noticed a change in the symptoms, we caught it early, so it should be relatively easy to treat. But, I’ve been ordered to take off work for the next week. So, no drawing, no significant writing. I’m making an exception to post this so you all know what to expect.
Considering my arm and hand are my livelihood, I’m taking this very seriously. So, I’m sorry to say, I must put PS on Medical Leave until my arm gets better. If all goes well, I will be back to drawing in a week or so, but I don’t know how much I will able to get done until my arm has had a chance to recover fully. I think the safest course of action is to cancel this month’s update. If all goes well, I’ll be back to posting next month.
In the meantime, I’m going to focus on healing, reconfiguring my work space to prevent future injuries, and writing once my hand and arm are up to it again. I will keep you posted. Keep an eye on my twitter feed for timely updates. I’ll post here again when there’s something significant to say.
I know this year hasn’t gone the way any of us would of hoped, but we work with what we’re given.
Thanks again for your patience.