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Weekend Update

January 6, 2012

We interrupt this meme with an apology. Remember that crazy deadline I was trying to meet a few weeks ago that we had to postpone? Well the revised deadline is Wednesday and we’ve been scrambling to get things finished. This time, though, we’re not in a total panic. We still have a lot of loose ends to pull together, but things are much, much better. I am confident we’ll make it, although I still think it’s possible that we’ll be working late Monday and Tuesday.

Sunday, I fly back to New York for the first time in three weeks. It’s been really nice to be home for three whole weeks in a row. But I’m also looking forward to getting back (although I’m not looking forward to the carton of milk I forgot to throw out of the refrigerator before I left the last time). It will be busy. In addition to the big deadline, I’m involved in a film being made about my corner of the Toy Factory. Fortunately, it looks like my role is going to be primarily behind the scenes.But filming begins a few hours after my big meeting for my big project. No rest for the wicked.

Complicating matters is the fact that I am now operating with only one opposable thumb. Why, I’m not sure, but the thumb on my right hand has been slowly deteriorating and now will not bend at all except with bone-shattering pain. Seriously, it’s worse than when I broke the other thumb. Much worse. I suspect a combination of hours of overtime spent clicking around spreadsheets the last few weeks on top of mandolin picking. “You should go with that last one,” one of my coworkers said when I had to explain my sudden cursing while we were talking on the phone. “Less nerdy.” “Who are we kidding?” I replied. “They’re both nerdy.”

So, I have a nerdy injury and have to lay off the mandolin playing for a while. I am also having trouble with twist ties, opening jars, and buttons. And I have to hold my pencil differently, so my writing is both excruciatingly slow and even less legible than usual. I feel like I’m back in kindergarten. Maybe I’d do better with crayon.

Mr. Spy was trying to read my grocery list. “dizzy water?”


“I kind of like dizzy. Is that lentils?”


“I think we have lemons.”

“Maybe, but I couldn’t open the drawer.”

I also have trouble with the crisper. Next week living solo should be interesting and may involve more takeout than usual.

“Why don’t you go to the urgent care center tomorrow?” asks Mr. Spy and I laugh at him before I realize he’s serious. He is of the crazy opinion that when you are sick or injure yourself, you go to the doctor, whereas I tend to work from the assumption that doctors are for the weak. I fully expect that if I ignore medical problems, they will go away. It’s mostly worked for me so far. And it doesn’t help that I blame my current problem on my last trip to the doctor. I mean, do I really need that thumb to bed? I’ve got another one. On the other hand, as a musician, I’m easily spooked by hand injuries. I can finger pick on guitar and mando, but I can’t hold a pick and I can’t strum mando at all (the strings are much tenser than on guitar, so strumming is more stressful to the hand). And I’m certain I can’t hold a violin bow. I haven’t even tried.

I did, however, manage to pay a visit to School of Rock yesterday and ran into one of my former students heading in to take a lesson with the guy who took over my students, who’s actually also one of my former students. It was nice to see him (the one heading in — the one who was teaching I see fairly regularly), but I had to sit on my hands while I listened to the lesson. It’s hard to listen to someone else teach your students. But I need to let it go.

What I also need to let go is my work, but I can’t. I carry it with me everywhere, day and night. I need to learn how, because last time I got this way, I was on the brink of burnout. Balance is not my natural state of equilibrium. But I did knock off tonight in time to watch Columbo with Mr. Spy (AJ is at a sleepover) and take down some Christmas decorations while listening to Christmas music. Tomorrow will bring, I hope TinTin and the untreeing, always a bit of a ceremony around her. And packing. Because it’s time for that to begin again too.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2012 11:25 am

    1) Your handwriting can’t get worse.
    B. We are old. Injuries accumulate and take forever to get better at “our age.”
    Last: Balance is over rated. All your focus on one thing at a time actually is better than trying to multi-task lots. However taking turns between tasks- the work/play balance- does matter.

  2. January 7, 2012 2:28 pm

    Any pain that can be described as “bone-shattering” and which impedes everyday activities needs to be looked at by a doctor. You don’t have to do what the doctor says, but you need to see one. Listen, because this is the Voice Of Experience.

  3. freshhell permalink
    January 7, 2012 7:41 pm

    Go see a doctor. As someone with semi-functioning hands, I am telling you: go. You might also benefit from a massage therapist. Mine makes my parts keep working.

    The work thing will balance itself in time but should not overshadow “real life”. It’s all new and very stressful, esp in light of the recent major project. I think, also, once you’re not living in two places, things will calm down.

  4. January 9, 2012 11:13 am

    Um remember that career ending bout of tendonitis I had and still have? Yeah I ignored it too.

    Go see your doctor.

  5. January 9, 2012 12:28 pm

    Be glad that you are not at the mercy of socialised medicine and that you don’t have to wait three weeks just to see a GP, who will then — maybe, after giving you basically aspirin and telling you to stop doing what causes the pain — refer you to a specialist that will see you in six month’s time.

    Then hope the appointment isn’t cancelled BY THEM for a reason they won’t reveal and you wait another four months.

    If you can go to the doctor, go to the frackin’ doctor!!!

  6. Harriet M. Welsch permalink
    January 9, 2012 1:33 pm

    I don’t think it’s any better here, IWOM. I went to a walk in clinic. They sent me home with a prescription for muscle relaxants (not, I think, what I need), and saI’d I needed to see a hand surgeon. She tried to get me a referral, but said, “most surgeons don’t take insurance.” Really? What on earth do we pay all this money for, then?

  7. freshhell permalink
    January 10, 2012 2:59 pm

    What? Surgeons that want to stay in business take insurance. I’d get another opinion on that.

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