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On the Days When My Hands Hurt Too Much to Write

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I’m a writer. It’s not just a hobby, it’s what I do. This absolutely requires the use of my hands. Without my hands, I can’t hold a pen. I can’t type. I can’t help. I become a body that is, professionally speaking, useless… or so it seems.

Today is one of the days wherein my hands are not functioning properly. The pain and weakness in them is too much to bear. I can almost hear the thought bouncing around in your head: But, how are you writing this now if your hands aren’t working?


I have already utilized the backspace key more times in these few short lines and taken more time to write this than you know. My normal typing speed is 97 WPM. Little or no error. Right now, I’m typing about 25 WPM.. with lots of errors. Today is a bad day for my hands.

It doesn’t just extend to my writing. My ability to do basic things is drastically affected. I had a hard time pulling up my pajama pants this morning. Holding my coffee cup is excruciating. Taking my medicine requires effort I’m not sure I have. Holding my hand on the freezing keyboard feels like I’m sticking a frozen glass into a pot of boiling water. My hands literally feel like they are going to shatter. The pain extends into my forearms as well.

I have friends who want to talk to me and who I want to talk to. But, right now, I can’t do that very well. This is one of those days when my voice recognition software on my phone is going to be a dear friend. But, in order to prevent horrific autocorrect fails, I’m going to have to use my hands.

Normally, I would try rubbing my hands to ease the pain, but when both of my hands hurt this bad, it’s hard to fathom rubbing them. This is a time when I relate to the Rockbiter from “The Neverending Story.”

“They look like big, strong hands, don’t they?”

Yes, they do. During these times, the only thing I know to do is wait. Underutilization of my hands is the only thing I can do.

If you have a friend who struggles with this pain, please be patient with them. Please understand it’s not that they don’t want to talk or type. It’s that it is so painful that the thought of writing makes them want to sob openly. If you are someone who struggles with this type of pain, please don’t beat yourself up. I know it’s hard not to, especially if your job is contingent upon your use of your hands. But, understand your worth is not contingent upon your ability to do stuff.

I am valued. You are valued. We are valued because of who we are, not what we can do.

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Originally published: July 25, 2017
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