Knitting with an injury:

Crafting while injured

I’m wincing as I type this: in a bid to remind my of my inescapable, fleshy mortality, my left wrist has betrayed me.

I’m a victim of bad joints. When I was pretending to be athletic as a middle schooler on the basketball team (playing the illustrious position of “bench warmer”), I wrenched my knee and had to wear a brace for three months. I epically sprained my ankle playing freeze dance with a four-year-old and couldn’t walk for two weeks. I regularly have weird pains in my hips, shoulders, and knees.

I am no athlete, my friends. I’ll probably be one of those people who needs a knee replacement at age 35.

So last weekend when my left wrist twinged out of nowhere, I wasn’t shocked. It was business as usual: the business of having an uncooperative body and weak joints. I was surprised, however, when I woke up the next morning in considerable pain with a very stiff wrist. I had plans for last weekend: to finish a new design I’m working on, to dye more cotton yarns for next week’s massive shop update, and to swatch some new ideas.

Me being me, I decided to “push through the pain” and try to get some dyeing done anyway. (Don’t be like me, friends, I’m not very smart and make bad decisions.) Would you believe that it hurt worse after trying to lift several kilos of wet yarn with my bum wrist? You would? Oh, okay.

My wife, seeing that I was being a stubborn beast, practically had to bury me in the couch to get me to stop trying to work on things.

“Oh,” I thought, “crochet will be okay, I won’t use my wrist much with that.”

I’m apparently the queen of bad decisions.

Suffice it to say, it hurt. A lot.

And do you know what, it didn’t matter what hooks, needles, or aids I used: nothing helped. Everything hurt. The pain from the tendons in my wrist traveled up my arm to my elbow. I couldn’t sleep, either: I kept rolling over onto my wrist and waking up angry.

I felt really bereft without craft last weekend: a true emptiness in my heart. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true: I struggle to stay still and craft is how I deal with that and quiet myself. I spent all Saturday and Sunday in an epic funk, unable to do anything except sit on the couch and passively absorb television. I couldn’t even play video games, and books were too heavy (and I lost my kindle charger 6 months ago).

It made me think: what am I going to do if this is a chronic condition, like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome? How am I going to cope with having to ration knitting and crochet to avoid pain and further injury? The more I thought about it, the more depressed I got.

Knitting with an injury:

As of today, almost a week after it happened, my wrist is still not back to normal. I can only knit or crochet for about 20 minutes before pain sets in, and I’ve needed to rely on my wife for help with dyeing this week. I still don’t know what set it off, and if it doesn’t improve by early next week I’ll have to seek professional opinions.

So, crafters: does anyone have any experience with this kind of injury or condition that can give me some tips? Thank you in advance <3

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(Want to know the big secret project I’m working on? I announced the big news in last week’s Cottage Notebook podcast!)

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