Here we go guys, we’re getting serious in here!
Please, if there’s any advice you take from me, be it this – LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!
In early January 2020, I, like so many people made a few New Year’s Resolutions… one of which was to start creating different styles of work using other mediums so I could branch out of my comfort zone. My first series was floral letters in micron pen, A-Z and an ‘&’ for good measure!
I absolutely adored drawing them but at one point I was so focused on getting through them all I was non-stop drawing. After a week my hand was really starting to cramp up but I was so determined to complete the set, I did not slow down, rest or stop!
I pushed through until I’d completed all 27 intricate drawings and my palm was actually swollen, and I was waking up everyday with dull pain all around my thumb and up my wrist. It went on and on and never really got any better, I spent 6 weeks alternating between heat pads and ice, drawing went out the window completely. I ended up making an appointment at my GP, got myself a steroid injection into my thumb (which didn’t really help) and eventually got sent for an ultrasound and X-ray as the swelling never went down.
My diagnosis? From tendonitis, to repetitive strain, to being told I had an “extra muscle” in my palm! Eventually the consensus was I’d “worked out” the muscle in my palm and it wasn’t actually swollen – but bigger! I have a pop-eye palm!! It’s now July 2023 and still the same, I have a constant dull ache in my hand – and my palm still looks swollen.
When you feel pain, STOP.
Since then I’ve had to be a lot more aware, I stop at the slightest twinge and my pieces take longer to create as I’m taking frequent breaks to rest and stretch! I’ve even started using different mediums and materials which involve using less pressure.
I’ve had physio and a spate of acupuncture which I wasn’t overly confident would help – but let me tell you! When I say I was struggling to brush my teeth at one point because of the pain… one session of acupuncture down my arm and I felt the relief immediately. Magic! Highly recommend it.
Take care of yourselves, and especially your hands!