Today’s post will be some self-indulgent stuff that I am learning from this experience of chronic pain in my right arm. I will try to write it up in an interesting manner so as to practice my writing skills. I will also preview my proof-of-concept about using MS Excel for making cityscapes.
Me and my illness, my illness and me…
In the scheme of things, having some sort of temporary (I hope) nerve damage in one’s writing arm is not a disaster. To begin with I thought the arm and hand were unusable because of the pain when I used them. But I was wrong. They work perfectly and there is no weakness. Yippee. Just pain. Damn! With sufficient pain-killers I can use it normally, albeit in a drowsy manner. More than about 30 minutes of computer use, however, pushes the tolerance of the pain-killers.
So I underwent a nerve study. Me being me, I used my left hand and MS Word to create a diagram to provide the doctor with facts for their diagnosis, Here it is:
My wife Nicole rolled her eyes at me doing this. “Typical” I could see her thinking. (Note to self: wouldn’t the world be interesting if we did actually have thought bubbles appear from our heads. I would constantly be in trouble!)
The doctor who performed the Nerve Study was pretty cool and looked like he should have been on television. He was also so thorough. The Nerve Study involved connecting me up with wires to a computer and then sending electric shocks up and down the arm to trigger my muscles. Graphs on the computer monitor leaped around and the doctor muttered to the technician in the way that only medical practitioners and parents can. Did it hurt? Not really. It was akin to someone flicking you with their finger. Then he started pricking me with a pin and asking whether I felt it.
End result: he believes that the pain is a combination of something nerve related and something rheumatoid. Now I need an MRI scan.
Meanwhile I am learning to use the mouse with my left hand. In fact, just generally trying to use my left-hand for most things and ignore the right one. That is what I am doing in writing this.
Notes on characters suffering chronic pain
- They can get angry fast
- Constant rubbing of the effected area (conscious or unconscious)
- Occasional squeezing of eyes or looking down or deep sighs
- Some people revel in telling everyone (attention seeking?) while others feel really uncomfortable speaking about it (makes me feel incapable and I resent that and am embarrassed)
- People who would normally want something from people who are now in pain expect the latter to constantly demonstrate their pain and look at them suspiciously if they manage to maintain normal composure.
Preview of my Excel Cityscape proof-of-concept
The following image is pretty average, but it proves a point: Microsoft Excel can be used by amateur artists to create a simple 3D cityscape background. I used some free textures and Paint.NET to put it together with a figure from DAZ Studio. Once my left hand is up to speed I will try to finish the post on how I did this.