When Your Health Interferes with Writing

I’m “terribly temper tantrum” mad. OK, I’m not really that mad, but I’ve always wanted to write that after reading Art Spiegelman’s Open Me… I’m a Dog. The book’s words sung to me and stuck with me all these years since I first read it to my oldest when she was younger — shes’ now 16-years-old. Nonetheless, I’m frustrated. Before going further, please know this isn’t a complaining post. Instead, it’s about adapting when things get in the way of your writing or work like my thumb injury.
I’m also not looking for a cure. It’s most likely a side effect of medicine that is helping me get over bad allergies and an infection. I have faith all will be fine soon enough.
My eyes ache. They’ve been aching for a few weeks, and I could get through the day without any problems. I stopped using the computer in the evenings — sacrificing Twitter chat time — and it helped the eyes. Everything stayed under control and I completed my work.
Then last week, the eyes hurt almost all day. It’s no problem to write this post without looking at the screen. It doesn’t call for researching, reading resources or anything else. But much of my work does.
To adapt, I write my articles without looking at the screen and fill in the gaps later so I’m not staring at the screen for too long. I take more breaks that take me away from the computer.
You’d think a career in writing would not encounter barriers that keep you from writing other than illnesses like the flu or severe vertigo, which I had after my cochlear implant surgery. (I couldn’t even handle watching TV.) I can work through a cold — just in shorter sittings. Writing is not a physically demanding job beyond the frequent use of our digits and eyes.
Good news: I took the entire weekend off from the computer plus most of Thursday and Friday due to the snow, yet my eyes still hurt. This tells me it’s not a problem related to the monitors.
How did you adapt to a situation that interfered with your daily activities?

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7 thoughts on “When Your Health Interferes with Writing”

  1. We are pretty resourceful aren’t we? And… determined you are to manage this, that’s for sure. Hang in there!
    I suffered a herniated disk about 8 years ago and was off work for a while. When I went back (to proofreading) I had to do my work standing up as it was still too painful to sit for long periods of time.

  2. I’m impressed with how resilient you are, Meryl. I’d have used that thumb as an excuse, then the eyes, then….
    I’d seen some nerdy glasses somewhere that’s supposed to relieve monitor-induced eye strain. If I come across them again, I’ll send the link.
    .-= Lori’s blog …Flipping Off Our Favorite Excuses =-.

  3. @Brad, of course. Just wanted to share my experience — not bring folks down.
    @Davina, that is a difficult condition. Glad it’s over. I’d love a standing desk that can switch between standing and sitting.
    @Mover, your dad is a smart man.
    @George, I consider myself lucky. I know many folks in worst situations.
    @Lori, staying away from the monitor all weekend told me the monitors aren’t responsible. Not sure glasses will help.
    And to think I debated not posting this thinking it’d be too negative. Thanks for all your comments!


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