LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
There’s a hidden price to pay for obnoxious space-bar slapping and digit-jamming upon my computer’s keyboard, and it’s becoming too costly for my well-being.
My generation is the computer generation. We were the first to be raised on the newest advancements in technology and taught to type 90 miles per-hour. In high school, typing classes were mandatory and in order to be at the top of my class, I practiced incessantly for hours at home. Eventually, my classmates began to pick up on how nimble my fingers were and had me type up their assignments — great practice for college in my opinion.
Years later, I was a typing machine! Twenty-page reports were diligently done in a couple hours and my secretarial work at the university’s publications department was a cinch. Upon entering the professional job world, I completed my first assignment on-deadline as soon as I walked in the door.
Although I’m not much for pessimism, there’s always valleys within peaks of success. I woke up the other day with achy hands, thinking that perhaps I just laid on them funny. Throughout the work day, the dull achey feeling throughout my fingers began to worsen. I wasn’t able to grip items as firmly and on occasion they would nubmly freeze-up.
Five typed articles later, I realized I had a real problem. I felt like a hypochondriac logging onto WebMD.com and rapidly clicking through the symptoms checker like I was on a shopping spree at Macy’s.com. My diagnosis was definitely nowhere near as good as a new wardrobe but it was revealed as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Come to find out, my highly repetitive work has caused an irreversible problem, but I’m not alone. It affects five percent of the U.S. working population, amounting to eight million Americans. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 23 percent of all carpal tunnel syndrome patients returned to their previous professions following surgery.
Through further investigation, if I continued my rapid work productivity that I adore so much I’d have to receive surgery. A surgery that carries a 57 percent failure rate. So in conclusion, I’ve decided my nimble fingers are more important than my words typed per-minute. When the aches and pains get too tough for the money, we all have to take a break for once.
As much as I preach my workaholism to friends and family, I’ve got to learn to take it easy once in a while. If not for the sake of my mentality, I’ll take a needed break for the sake of my joints.
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
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