As of today, I’ve dyed, painted and typed 55,100 cards. And now my hands are going on strike. About 3 weeks ago, I realized I was having a hard time typing. And putting on my socks. And holding things. My handwriting started to look like I was a drunk 8 year old. When I texted, I couldn’t always get my fingers to type the right letters. The muscles in my hands and arms would spasm for no reason. And also, my hands really, really hurt.
Then on a Sunday, 3 weeks ago, I crawled into bed, and didn’t crawl out until Monday night. When I woke up from my 30 hour catnap, I realized that my hands hurt less.
But still not less enough for me to work. The pain starts in my in forearms, next to the elbow. and radiates down to the tips of my fingers, which sometimes go numb.
Apparently, this sort of thing happens all the time. My doctor says it’s compounded trauma from 5 years of hunching over my painting table; painting for 12-16 hours at a stretch, and 55,100 cards I’ve torn and dyed and painted and typed have taken their toll. I’ve started stretching them, every hour I’m awake and massaging weed cream into them for the pain. I’ve been seeing a physical therapist. And my chiropractor. Now that I’m shoring up these appointment with sleep, and stretching, and not stressing them out with more work, the pain is going down, and they’re numb less and less now.
So, I’m going to have to take a break. And I’m going to have to figure out how to make Snarky Cards without sacrificing any parts of my body.
I raised my prices. Because now any cards I make are going to take me a looooooong time. And I found a few friends who are working on making a Snarky Card App, so the cards will be textable, very, very soon. And I’ve started working on getting the cards printed.
In the meantime, I’m a nervous about money. Snarky Cards has always been a hand-to-mouth endeavor. I don’t have savings. And the last week, my groceries and doctors appointments were all paid for by my friends. If you can donate anything to the Bad Hands! fund, I’d really appreciate it. You can paypal donations to snarkycards at gmail.com. Donations will help me pay my bills for the next month, and print the cards.
I’ve seen some small improvements to my body since I started this new stretch, sleep regime. There are black pits under my eyes, where I used to keep all my despair, which appeared sometime last summer. I know, because the only present I bought myself for my birthday this July was Eye Cream for Old Women. Magically, after 55 extra hours of sleep, those pits of despair have turned vanished. In their place, the smudges of a tired 33 year old have appeared. I’ve lost a little bit of weight. And I’m starting to regain control of my digits. I can now paint for an hour, my handwriting is back up to that of a stoned 6th grader’s. And my text messages now make much more sense.
The worst part of this whole thing is that I have to sit still and relax. I can’t work. I can’t knit. I can’t write. I can’t play tetris or type. I have to figure out how to enjoy just doing nothing.
Which I’ve never really figured out how to do.
If you have any suggestions, or would like to send me any kind of help, I’m open. I know that The Universe has a plan. And I knew I couldn’t keeping being an Art Slave forever. This is a great way to make sure I start printing my cards. And get the App done. I’m sure that this will all lead to a better life in the end. I just need a little help getting there from here.