Despite my love of blogging, I’m really not on the computer all that much. Perhaps an hour or two a day (including my blogging time), although if I have actual work to do that requires the computer, it will be a little more. But almost always when I’m on the computer, my right arm hurts. It’s been going on for a long time now, years in fact, and lately it’s been bothering me quite a lot. My arm doesn’t really hurt, but it sometimes gets a bit numb and tight-feeling. I’ve been trying to massage it more myself, and it doesn’t take much to find plenty of sore spots in my arm.
(For the record, I’m currently typing in the way that least irritates my arm, which is on a living room chair with my feet up and my husband’s laptop on my lap.)
I think the problem stems from two areas. One is that I have never had a proper computer chair at my computer desk. I have made do with either folding chairs or kitchen chairs, and neither have been at the correct height for me.
Second is that my arm problem does not stem from the computer; it stems (I believe) from how I hold my babies. When Lyd was small, I noticed the beginnings of my arm problem, and I think it was from how I held her and lifted her and laid her down on her changing table. It got better when Lyd got older and especially once I was pregnant, but once I had Jujubee and again had a nursing baby, my arm started to bother me again, getting progressively worse the heavier she got. Add an incorrect computer setup and the starting of a blog, and it was a recipe for trouble.
I’m not sorry I started my blog. I love, love this little blog. As I’ve said numerous times before, it’s a part diary, a part record of my children’s milestones, and a part honest portrayal of myself that will hopefully be of value to my children someday in the future. But the time I spend blogging further aggravates my arm.
My husband is encouraging me to go out and buy an actual computer chair that will allow me to be at the proper height for my computer desk and that will support my arms while I type. That would help.
I am also trying to be conscious of how much tension I carry in my shoulders. I am trying to relax my shoulders, sit up straight, and keep myself physically relaxed as much as possible.
I’m considering going to a doctor, but I also know that if I would just take it upon myself to really massage the sore spots in my arm, it would get better. A few weekends ago, I took some time off from the computer and really worked on massaging my arm. While it hurt terribly the first day, it was markedly better the second day. So, I know that if I were to stick with that regime, it would probably get a lot better.
And, frankly, I could probably be on the computer less. I could sketch out my blog posts by hand, so that when I did sit down to type, it could be done as quickly as possible. And simply being on the computer less would force me to find other things to do with my time (because the internet can certainly be a time-wasting monster!) that would be more useful in the life of my family.
I know these arm problems of mine don’t stem entirely from my computer usage, but the pain is probably a good reminder to re-evaluate how I spend my computer time. I don’t want my kids thinking that sitting on the computer is what a Mom should do. To be completely honest, I feel quite guilty sometimes when I think about how much my kids see me on the computer. So, being on it a little less, even though I don’t think it’s truly too much, would probably assuage my conscience.
And it would help my arm out. It can be highly uncomfortable at times!