I am a professional Research Fellow - I have ten chapters of a textbook to edit and update, 2 grant proposals to complete, and 150 emails to send and respond to...and those are just the things at the top of my list!!
But I also have RA in my hands, De Quervain's tenosynovitis in my right hand, and extra pain in my left hand for the slack it has been picking up by trying to rest my right hand.
Even though my hands seem to become more useless by the day, almost my entire job depends on my ability to use the computer. And, even though I am only half time (meaning I ought to have plenty of time to rest my hands) my leisure activities - like updating this blog and oh, say, planning my wedding from out of state - also require the use of the computer.
The computer is quickly becoming my biggest hurdle.
So today I came to work prepared with an armory of "tools" to try to help my hands get through the day - compression gloves, a thumb brace, a wrist brace, and cut-off gloves for extra warmth. None of these tools make a very good fashion statement (or look particularly professional, for that matter). In my purse I also have aleve, prednisone, vicodin, and topical anti-inflammatory.
But I'm still not accomplishing as much as I would like to. Which is frustrating.
I feel like I've really worked hard on adjusting what I expect from myself since my RA diagnosis, but sometimes it's still really hard for me. Not to mention that resting your hands is basically equivalent to literally doing nothing. And, as anyone who knows me personally will tell you, I am not good at doing nothing - I always like to be productive.
However, the more I use my hands, the less productive I become - even with all the support tools I can think of. Somehow I have to convince myself that it is actually productive to spend some time laying on the couch and watching TV so that I don't go crazy while I rest my hands, even if it results in be getting behind in my work.
But I haven't yet figured out how to convince myself.