In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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The world's turned upside down

Holy crap! I've fallen into a perceptually and motor rabbit hole. It all started like this....

Years back when I was still in chicago, I had had a desktop for all of my computing needs and it was set up at a nice large wooden desk where I would sit. Eventually when I moved back to Joisey, the desktop came with me and I had a desk put in my room where the computer went. After a harddrive failure the desktop went poof. At that time, I had a decision to make. I had never owned a laptop before but it seemed like it would be a good idea. My medical condition made sitting for long periods increasingly problematic. If I had a laptop, then I wouldn't be chained to a desk. I could instead put the laptop on my bed and then with the help of a stack of pillows, kneel and tap-tap-tap away. It seemed like a great idea and so I went with it. In the years since I've started to spend more time using my computer while lying on my side and with the computer slanted on a pillow. The endless kneeling had started to become hard on my knees and I needed some way to alternate positions.

Over the years, I've gotten very used to using the computer on my right side. The bed I have is a queen size which barely accommodates my height. I've since used some of the space for storage of odds and ends and ended up having to sleep diagonally because there wasn't enough room. This and the repeated pressure of being on my right side led to joint and muscle aches as well as exacerbating some right shoulder problems I had due to a surgery 10 years ago. Also, because of the diagonal sleeping, I've spent years now sleeping without fully extending my left leg, often having my knee elevated which has recently resulted in joint pain and weakness.

So, today, I finally decided to switch the computer to the other side of the bed, lying now on my left side and having the laptop slanted (for obvious reasons) in the other direction. It's like I've entered some psychedelic wonderland where nothing works right. I think my eyes got used to reading text at a certain angle over the years, either straight on or at a right slant for when I was lying on my side. Forced to deal with a left slant, it's like they're confused about how the letters are supposed to look and are blurring my vision a smidge. Everything just looks vaguely wrong though I can still read with a little more effort, especially going from line to line during 'carriage returns'. It just feels off. Add this to the fact that I'm now typing at a different angle which also makes it difficult and just feels strange.

I know this story probably sounds at least mildly pathetic, but it's just another one of those odd side-effects of the issues I'm dealing with. You don't realize just how much strain you're putting on your body when you stick to the same sort of positions and don't/can't move around as much. Repeated pressure on certain body parts begins to wear them down and has left me with an (even greater) bum shoulder and knee issues. I wonder if this 'flip' will end up helping in the end and whether I should just get in the habit of swapping every few weeks so I can spread around the damage. My knees certainly couldn't take the endless kneeling and now my right shoulder/left knee has given out. If I keep with the new system and don't end up changing it for months I'll probably find that my left shoulder/right knee will suffer the same fate.
Tags: chronic pain, computers, sleep

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