Thursday, January 30, 2014

Health Issue for Writers: Hand Arthritis

For the past few months, I've been struggling with arthritis settling in my hands, and particularly at the basal joint in both of my thumbs. This is making me completely insane. I'm a writer. I can't be bothered with arthritis in my hands of all places.

My arthritis is due to a combination of repetitive stress injury unrelated to typing or writing; being female and over 40, which puts me at increased risk anyway; and that my mom dealt with the same problem in her younger years, so there are some inherited issues in the mix.

After much consideration and research, one of the changes I made to my typing habits was to purchase an ergonomically correct mouse. Ergonomically anything sets my teeth on edge because of the price tag that goes along with the designation, and I’m not sold on the efficacy of ergonomics to begin with.

I’ve had my new mouse for a whopping two days, and since I’m a 'rather impatient sort' (to quote my doctor), I'd like to say it worked miracles and that my pain, joint swelling, and range of motion have already improved...but I can't.

With this new mouse, I'm holding my hand in an unfamiliar position, which has made my entire hand and arm ache. My thumb isn’t feeling so swell, either. Hopefully, this goes away or at least lessens as I use it. I'm ambidextrous, so I am comfortable with both right and left handed mice ('mouses' made me laugh), but a left-handed mouse is my preference. I mention this because this new mouse cost $99.00 (via, and it is made specifically for the left hand. I'd have to purchase another one for my right hand if I want to give my left hand a rest. :-( That’s a lot of money for a couple of pieces of molded plastic screwed together to hold in the electronic parts that I’m betting aren’t all that expensive. And, the thing looks like a stingray—ocean creature, not sports car.

This mouse comes in small, medium, and large sizes according to the length of your wrist to the tip of your ring finger. My length was right on the line between small and medium, and I chose medium. I'm thinking I should have ordered the small, but time will tell. Overall, the mouse is comfortable under my palm, maneuvers well, and doesn't require a mouse pad if the writing surface is smooth. My table isn't smooth enough, so I've ordered an XL mouse pad to accommodate the larger mouse size.

The brand name of this mouse is "Handshoe Mouse". This is the website for more information:

Since you won't hear from me in February, I'll let you know how the new mouse is working out in my next regularly scheduled blog post on March 30th. I'll have had it two months by then.

This is a picture of my two mice on a sheet of 8 x 11 paper.

Until next time,


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