Working away from your usual desk setup: not ideal as you get older

The last time I came to Australia in December 2019, that was before I started getting tingling in my fingers and hands from mild carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome. Back then, I had no idea what “cubital tunnel” even meant and that it was supposed to be carpal tunnel’s lesser known cousin. Then when I came, I just brought my laptop for work, and that was it. I had no special need for an ergonomic keyboard or a vertical mouse. But now I do. The only issue is… while the vertical mouse may be easy to transport, it’s not that simple (or a space saver AT ALL) to carry around an ergonomic keyboard. So I packed my laptop and vertical mouse while leaving the keyboard behind.

It makes a world of a difference to have the right keyboard and also to use the correct mouse. Out of laziness this month, I’ve just used my track pad. But my fingers, hands, and elbows really feel the difference. Even with wearing wrist splits to bed each night, I can feel significantly more stiffness and numbness/tingling in my hands than before this month, and it’s all because of having an inappropriate work setup. And since I’m at a computer less, I’m also at my phone more. And we all know that phone use is really want drove my cubital tunnel syndrome over the edge.

Even though I am not particularly looking forward to going back to winter or New York for the daily grind, I am looking forward to being in less tingly/numbness/pain in my hands/arms. It also doesn’t help my arms that I have more childcare responsibilities while here, but hey, I signed up for this, so I get what I asked for.

I told Chris’s mom that the tradeoff to having kids a little older is that although we don’t worry about money as much, more things hurt. When you have kids younger, you have less money but are less likely to get injured as much. She insisted it didn’t matter: she had kids in her 20s, and everything ached before they were even born. What joy.

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