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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Today I'm going to explain why I needed to change my direction (and my website) along the way.
As I'm writing, I'm wearing this rigid wrist splint. Many moons have passed since I last wore it before the neurosurgery that relieved me of the pain due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand. If you don't know about this disease, go and have a look. Especially, if you are a woman and you are young. I wish I had someone warning me when I was younger... PLEASE BE GENTLE WITH YOUR HANDS!!!!!!!! This will spare you both physical and emotional pain. Trust me.
Rigid splints can prevent the problem limiting wrist flexion, but I suggest you ask your doctor about prevention and cure.

This splint is ambidextrous, so you can use it on both hands. Because, if you had the CTS in one hand, you probably will develop it also in the other one. I'm developing it on the left hand too.

But my right hand, even after neurosurgery, is still hurting at times. Thank goodness it is not countinuous as it was before the surgery, but sometimes it lasts some days (like now) and in any case I cannot do many things I did before... a simple handwritten letter causes me cramps and pain. I have been warned by the surgeon about the use of my hands in the future. Unfortunately, I've used them indiscriminately for too many years, and I early developed (it started in my middle 20s) a severe syndrome. I wanted to sum up in this post what I did with my hands- hundreds  and hundreds of crafts and artworks, thousands of wedding favors when I worked in the Wedding Industry, I sanded and painted big and small pieces of furniture, re-upholstered, completely covered in stucco all the walls of 3 houses (our first and second, my parents'), gardened extensively, and on and on... I couldn't find any picture to describe the ginormous amount of work I've forced my poor hands to do. They have now decided to rebel, and not to cooperate with my craziness anymore, for my well- being.
That's why, after life made me slow down last year, and reconnect with my inner soul at a deep level, I now finally decided to stop making things to sell. I mean, I'm grateful I still can paint and I can take photographs (and these are my greatest passions!), but I MUST let the rest go! I want to keep doing things for my nest (in modest amount), for those I love, to enjoy life at its full, continue creating things to be shared on magazines and on my blog, so, first of all, I need to abandon the stuffing tool as much as I can- keeping it handy for a very few special bears or dolls... 

Before my surgery I wasn't able to sew a single button, to drive, hold the phone with my right hand  or dry my hair by myself anymore... Now I cannot clean my window panes or wash the carpets as I used to do every summer (my DH is so sweet to help me doing these things!)... and, sadly, I cannot sew that much... This is the only pair of hands I've been given, and I struggled with myself for a long time, but then necessarily came to the hard decision to stop making things to sell, and dedicate my efforts to a different kind of business.
I firmly believe that things happen for a reason, I'd have countless examples in my own life to share with you... but surely the reason for this happened is that I had to listen to that small voice that was whispering first, and screaming loud then, her message to me. That I was meant to fly elsewhere. To the life that is just perfect for me. This is scary at times, but I am brave and won't give up.  I want to dedicate the rest of my life to make my dreams (and of my DH) come true, so I will put all my heart and energies in a few project I have in mind. 
I think I will keep something handmade by me in my etsy shop (I need time to update it) at least for some time, to honor those sweet people who believed in me and bought a thing or more from my former shops or those who were saving money for a future purchase because they liked what I create. 
I am so grateful!
Warmly,
Monica x.