The prompt: When it comes to the stitching part of your life, what are you most thankful for?
At this juncture, I am thankful that I actually can stitch. Last year, I didn't think I was going to be physically able to.
I've had a rough couple of years. In the first two years of my marriage, I had two children. I also worked full time for T-Mobile as a tech rep. I used to work the normal 8 hour per day workweek but right before Adèle was born, I started working 4 10 hour shifts. It was nice because you get three days off but it does make for a long day. It was a call center so I was basically chained to a desk with a headset on (I always thought of it as a dog collar) and I was constantly typing and using my mouse because all the info on the phones is in the computer and I always had to document the account. The job sucked. I basically got verbally abused for 8-10 hours per day because most customers in tech support aren't happy because the phone is not working.
Early last fall, I started to have horrible pains in my hands. I was working on hand quilting a panel quilt for my daughter (which I haven't finished). I finally went to the doctor and had my fears confirmed: I had carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel is kinda the death knell for pianists. I had always been afraid of getting it. Being a pianist, I knew how to hold my hands properly at the keyboard but my doctor said it was probably a combo of typing so much and the two pregnancies where my weight was fluctuating up and down and I had had problems with my hands swelling. I got braces and took and anti-inflammatory for the pain. T-Mobile (who really is a nice employer despite the horrible job) got me an ergo keyboard and mousepad. But I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't stitch much at all (if you look back at my blog archives, there isn't much there for Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec). I tried to play piano but my hands felt so weak that I almost had a nervous breakdown. It was not a good time.
God answered my prayers on this one and with using the ergo keyboard, the pain gradually went away. I am pretty much pain free at this point. I was able to resume stitching in January. Since losing my job in June, I think that has improved things too as I'm not typing 10 hours a day anymore.
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