I've been struggling with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for 6 or 8 months now.
I don't quite remember when it started. I've had bouts of muscle tension on and off throughout my life. After all, I've pretty much spent every other waking hour in front of a computer for the last 18 years or so (total of 22 years programming but during my early years I did not have a computer at home). But recently I started noticing different symptoms.
- Numbness and tingling are now commonplace occurrences.
- It does not go away after a night's rest.
- It does not go away after a day or two of not using the computer.
- It has invaded other aspects of my life including cooking, recreation, sleep and sex.
- I find myself searching for ways to work differently and to avoid sustained typing or mousing.
- I find myself wishing for an eye-tracker and decent voice recognition to help out around the edges.
- It's made me cry...
I have already made many adjustments to my ergonomics and home life style.
- I use a keyboard tray tilted at a negative angle.
- I use a Microsoft Natural Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse combo.
- I wear elbow braces during the day.
- I wear write braces during the night.
- I try to sit properly.
- My wife opens jars for me.
But it's still getting worse.
Today I installed Workrave to help remind me to take breaks, do my exercises and quit after working a long day.
I am now taking more active leadership roles. I am a Lead Software Engineer at the office and the MbUnit / Gallio Lead on the side.
There's just so much cool stuff to build out there! And I know all sorts of smart people that I can set to the task of building it. :-)