My dad did a stint of a couple of months in the hospital starting on January 7, and my year has been one raging trash fire after another ever since. Dad is well and home and wonderful. I went down the diagnostic rabbit hole on not one but two issues I’ve been having.
So I finally have some answers.
One issue—which I’m not going into here—is going to require surgery in the next few months to correct. However, I’m still doing research as the success rate for that surgery is about 60%.
But I figured out why my hands have been hurting for the past year and change.
I have osteoarthritis in my hands, as well as a bone deformity in my wrists. The latter is congenital. Basically, my ulna (the bone that runs from your elbow to the "pinky" side of your wrist) is too short. Now, in the worksharing dance that is the relationship between your two arm bones, the radius (the thumb-side bone) is meant to take about 80% of the load, with the ulna making up the remainder. The length of the ulna can vary, and as it does, so too does its portion of the work load. For example, if your ulna is even 2mm too short, your radius becomes responsible for 95% of the work. Well, my ulna is 3mm too short in both wrists, and after nearly 40 years of doing all the things a Pajamazon has done with this set up, my wrists are tapping out.
Typing this? It's taken way more time than I would like and is causing me quite a bit of pain.
Now, osteoarthritis? No cure. You can slather non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams, and try all manner of avenues for pain relief, but it's not going away. It's a degenerative disease that gets worse with age and wear.
As for the wrist thing... there are surgeries available. However, they are controversial and may cause more complications. Similarly, joint repair/replacement is a possibility down the road, but that comes with another whole host of complications and issues that I would be dealing with for a very long time given my status of being UNDER FUCKING 40.
So I had a cortisone shot last week in my right wrist. The goal of this was to relieve pain/swelling, and to try to stave off surgery for a little bit, but so far I'm not seeing any difference. I told myself I'm going to give it to the end of next month before I make a call back to the doctor and say, "Dude, why no work?"
Since my hand/wrist pain started ramping up last year, I've been taking less and less on in terms of editorial work. I've been on writing hiatus as well, and even though the Cat Sharp characters are back in my head and I'm doing all the brain work of plotting C#4, it's just becoming harder to sit and type for long stretches of time. Or any stretch of time, really. (And yes, I know that speech-to-text programs exist, but I don’t work verbally.)
I'm going to be closing my Patreon soon, and reapplying for disability. I’ll still be open to editorial work as much as I am able, but I will be more picky about what projects I take on. (Former clients are grandfathered in. I love you guys.)
Thank you for hanging with me for as long as you have. I appreciate the investment in me, the support and the love. Writing and art will continue to happen but on my own time and my own terms.