Just when I finished the big draft of the new novel and sent it off to the editor, out of the blue, BOOM, repetitive stress injury! I think this devil had been waiting in the wings, biding its time before slamming my little twig-wrists like twin bolts of fire shooting up my arms. Dangit. At least it was nice enough to let me finish the draft. But yeah, it’s become quickly apparent that my days of sitting curled up in my bed with my laptop are over.
What to do? There’s writing, yes, but also surfing, Japanese, blogging, publishing, paying the bills—you know, how we use the computer for… just about everything these days. Hey computer, go wash the dishes for me, would ya?
So, I spent a couple of days reading about ergonomics and carpel tunnel while icing my wrists and taking ibuprofen and just generally feeling like an idiot. Because it turns out typing while curled up in bed is about the worst possible position for wrists, not to mention my neck, which has chronically hurt for years.
But I emerged from my research with A Plan. Which I quickly enacted. Because I can’t Not Write. That’s just…not happening.
Here it is:
Standing desk! That’s an old oak dresser I’ve had since I was a little tiny girl, as in, a toddler. I think my dad built it. Or maybe refinished it? Add a milk crate—very DIY—topped with a leather desktop that SuperCoolHubby has had around forever, and wa la! The adjustable laptop stand lets me dial in just the right monitor height for when I am wearing my around-the-yurt clogs, and the dresser/milk-crate combo seems to be the right height for my keyboard by sheer magic. Add to this a split keyboard and a wireless vertical mouse and BAM. I’m in business.
Once the acute inflammation stage of my injury passed and my wrists weren’t on fire anymore, I tried it out.
#1 Right away, results: the neck pain and stiffness, which I had just taken as a given of life, is GONE. Worth the price of admission right there, baby. Huge win.
#2 The hands and wrists are better, for sure, as in NO PAIN. But I also haven’t put in any long sessions because…
#3 My feet hurt.
Why does something always have to hurt!?
It isn’t bad and I think it is more building up muscle sort of hurt than damage hurt. I think my feet will get used to it.
I find I shift and stretch a lot as I work at this desk, which has got to be better than sitting there like a lump, solidifying in my bed, no matter how cozy the bed is. Plus I tend to surf less at the stand up desk, which is good for my time management. I buzz over, get some work done, then move the heck on.
Big test: I’m going to start trying to write on it in the next few days. Fingers crossed.
But now I’m thinking…treadmill desk.
AmIright? Sitting is the new smoking! Treadmill desks are IN. I just need an old craigslist treadmill I can DIY mod and stick under this stand. Maybe…? Cardio while I work! This is soooo happening….