Over the summer, with regular painkillers, exercises and a whole chunk of rest, I was hoping that the trapped nerve + multiple RSI issue in my right arm would have improved, if not have cleared up by now.
It didn't. Largely in part to a change in sleeping habits and the damp; and if anything, the pain and lack of movement got worse (I was also quite ill, thanks to a restaurant essentially poisoning me by serving me food I'm allergic too, which then led to a kidney infection and more). I'm feeling more painful electrifying spasms in my arm to the extent that it can take half an hour or more to regain control of my hand. And that can happen if my arm gets knocked, or I twist ever so slightly the wrong way whilst trying to get dressed. If the cat gets under my feet I tense up and bingo, I'll be rolling on the floor in tears.
I am working on a better exercise schedule, better diet and postponing all non-urgent work. I'd like to out-source more of it but that takes time and lots of extra emails, both of which I can't afford at the moment, but I am working on it.
The next few months are the busiest of my whole year. I am mostly prepared, thanks to extra work put in earlier in the year (which no doubt contributed to the mess), but if I'm going to make it through the season I have to make some big changes.
This means emails, and in particular pattern support.
Going forward, I'll only be able to manage help with any of my patterns via the Ravelry group. Up until now I've only directed help for the free patterns there, and have been happy to offer help via email for my paid patterns. Admittedly I don't get a lot of questions, and a lot of those are seeking reassurance, which I can understand if you're trying a new technique or yarn weight.
This will now change, and I will need to be strict about this. Time at this laptop is painful, simply put. I can pop over to the forum from my tablet (which isn't much good for my neck but does at least help my arm!) and the forum is full of helpful, enthusiastic Hat knitters who have worked so many of my patterns that they're all WW experts in their own right.
This means no questions via other channels, too, including Ravelry PMs. The forum is the place to be.
Similarly, I'm going to start setting up some auto responses, as some areas are easy to manage this way (wholesale, for instance). Auto responses are less personal but they do the job and after the initial set-up, it's less work and less pain for me. I know I keep re-iterating this pain point, but even writing this post means I'll need an hour or so of rest, which pulls me away from other tasks.
All non-urgent releases have been rescheduled. Besides the new book (which is now with the editors for it's final, final check!) the other releases that we can look forward to are the Mystery Hat-a-Long in November and a very special KAL in December, which I hope to talk about more later. These are things I'm excited about and want to make happen.
I've one article to finish and a set of workshop notes to tidy up, and then I'll be in shape for all the brilliant teaching that's been lined up for this season.
I mean, that's what it boils down to, really - what I have to do is less than a week's work, 2 at the most - yet everything is taking 4 or 5 times longer as I have to factor in rest. If I don't rest and do my exercises then it'll mean the fun stuff, like the MKAL and workshops, won't happen. And I won't get better. And I'd hate to not do those things because my time gets eaten up elsewhere or worse, end up with permanent damage to my shoulder and neck.
It's been almost 6 months since I aggravated an old injury and although my work load has been light, it's going to have to get lighter. A few months off is not a luxury I can afford - if I don't work, we don't eat - we have no other source of income. I'd rather not have the pressure of trying to keep on trying, but it is what it is and we'll make it work somehow.
Now, if I could get some sleep instead of waking up in pain, that'd help too! Heading into the autumn and winter season feeling this frustrated and dependant and sleep deprived won't be good for my head. If I can manage my physical health, I'm hoping my mental health will be less of a bumpy ride.
Thanks for your understanding :)
(and if a non-urgent email comes in, please understand if I don't reply - the contact form has all the links and info you need)