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Second RSI
April 30, 2016

I am wearing two heavy-duty wrist splints as I type this that prevent my wrists from bending in any direction (up, down, even left-and-right). In early August of 2015, I started getting sharp twinges and pain in the pinky side of both wrists while I was typing at work like normal. I type all the time as part of my job as a server administrator (SysAdmin), and I never seemed to have any issues before. It was so weird how it was suddenly giving me problems, but all RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries) are known for creeping up on the one afflicted by it. They also have the tendency to become chronic and long-term. The technical medical term for this is tendinitis (or perhaps progressing to tendonosis) of the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris. I've probably learned more about hand anatomy and other medical info than I would have ever liked to, haha!

Perhaps surprisingly, this is the second time I have had an RSI. The first time I got it was when I was 19 and going to technical school. This was also the time in which I was an active professional Super Smash Brothers Melee player. I was also working part time at a call center doing technical support. Back in those days, I was going to school full-time, working part time, smashing when I wasn't doing the last two aforementioned activities, and maybe sleeping somewhere in there too, lol! I started getting a dull ache in the pinky side of the right wrist, and it even affected my Smash game. Yes, I was one of the first to get injured playing Smash Brothers, all you young whippersnappers!

It was actually just last weekend I read the sad story of the current Smash pro "Hax", who suddenly had to pull out of "Smash Summit II" just before it started due to hand pain. Even worse, because the issue seems to be worsening for him, he may even have to retire. "Hax" is only 21, and was having quite a lucrative professional gaming career up to this point. Unfortunately, when such an issue starts to affect your day-to-day quality of life, it obviously isn't sustainable. It must be all these Fox players with their insane technical skills, abilities, and APMs that are getting injured, but I was a Bowser pro and I still somehow got injured, lol. I have played against current pro Smash Brothers player Mew2King before, and even he is having a recurring finger pain issue. This seems to be becoming more and more of a problem for the professional Smash Brothers community as the skills and demands to compete at this level grow and grow.

About a year ago, I made a "Hiatus" update saying that my chronic eye strain problem was getting really bad, and I would have to take it easy for a while until it settled down and stabilized for a while. About 2 months later around "Bowser Day", I returned to updating as normal. What's kinda funny is that it was around this time where I was surfing for days viewing all the new Bowser artwork for Bowser Day 2015 when I suddenly started having issues. Coincidence?

As you may have noticed though, it's been 9 months since then, and there have been small and quick updates inbetween now and then. This time, instead of declaring that I may be taking a planned break for an unknown amount of time, I just want to disclose that I'm dealing with the problem, and that it is one of the prime reasons why updates have remained slow or non-existent for 2016. I'm currently attending regular physiotherapy to try to fix the issue, and trying to rest up when I can. The last time I had this 10 years ago, it sort of went away on its own after enough rest and buying a split keyboard (the same keyboard I still use). I'm hopeful that this will be a similar story this time around with enough patience.

This might be yet another wake-up call that my body is pretty unhappy with me spending basically all of my waking hours on computers (work & personal). I do stay active and do at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week, but I still spend a lot of time sitting and using a PC. What's interesting is that I can't see how this current wrist issue can be linked to my eye issues directly. The common factor amongst those two issues is the excessive use of computers. This is likely to become more of a problem as the digital era continues to expand and evolve. More people are spending more time in front of digital devices than they used to. All I can advise is, if something starts to hurt after doing something for a while, stop doing it! If your eyes hurt reading your phone, give them a rest. Same goes for your hands if you're playing video games or typing and what not. This is a type of problem you absolutely do not want.

I probably should have revealed that I was battling this issue many months ago, but like the previous problems I have had to deal with, I was overly optimistic that I could resolve the issues quickly or even just work through them. Now I've bascially settled for a "I'll do what I can" plan. If nothing else, I'll try to aim to have some sort of written update at a minimum of once a month. I still have so much work to do on this website, and it's so frustrating to have these issues - combined with an overall lack of free time - that keep me from being able to work on it.


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