Friday, December 17, 2010


BAD NEWS: for the last couple of weeks, this is what my life has looked like (drawn with my opposite hand...I've been practicing!)

Making may animatic while battling stymptoms of what may be CTS. SO. FRUSTRATING.

GOOD NEWS: Tomorrow I am going home for winter break!! YAY!

BAD NEWS: because of my stupid hand I wasn't able to complete my final project (10 page comic) for my graphic novel class. Now I'll have to work on it over break, provided my hand gets fixed up.... AUUUGH

GOOD NEWS: I'm really excited about my upcoming film project!


Since I haven't updated anything in a while....heres a few ugly drawings (AKA my storyboards)


  1. Based on your descriptions on FB, it definitely sounds like symptoms of CTS or Repetitive Stress Injury to me. Having had to deal with them myself for the last few years, here's what I'd suggest:

    - Do wrist stretches/exercises every morning, night, and at regular intervals while you work. CTS symptoms are caused by the tendons becoming swelled/inflamed and crushing your Median nerve. Stretches help to slim down the tendons. Wrist exercises will strengthen your wrist muscles and allow them to ease the amount of stress placed on your tendons. You can search the Internet for these stretches/exercises, then try them out and see which ones work best for you.

    - Try wearing wrist bracers, especially during sleep. This really did the trick for me. Be cautions about wearing the bracers while working, though, as bracers lightly compresses the wrist area and exacerbates the problem for some people instead of making it better.

    Some people curl their hands in towards their wrists while they are asleep, and this crushes the carpal area, meaning it has a harder time getting a chance to chill out during the most opportune time to do so! Using wrist bracers at night will force the wrist into a neutral position. It takes a few nights to get used to, but is totally worth it. Make sure you get a wrist bracer that has a splint that forces the hand into a very slight upward angle (the splint should be on the underside of the wrist). You can get these bracers pretty cheap at a Walmart or drug store.

    - Make sure your working area is ergonomic. I found out that my CTS was largely caused by my keyboard and mouse use. I got an ergonomic keyboard, adjusted my chair so that my arms were in the ideal position in relation to the keyboard, trained myself to put my wrists in the proper position, and got a large-sized mouse so my hand didn't have to be curled up so much during use.*

    - Take breaks! At least every hour, get up away from your work and walk around for 3-5 minutes. Do wrist stretches/exercises, or just let your wrists chill out.

    Some other things that worked for me when the going was really rough:

    - Take a washrag, get it wet, wring it out a bit, fold it so that it is a long strip instead of a square, then put it flat in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Take the semi-frozen washrag and wrap it around your wrist. Don't do this for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, though, as the extreme cold can be tough on body tissue if exposed to it for too long.

    - Get a large bowl and fill it with ice water. Dunk your hands in, but remove them before the cold becomes too discomforting. Repeat for a few minutes, again limiting yourself to 10-15 minute sessions. This and the above washrag trick can help reduce swelling.

    - Take Zinc supplements. I figured this one out by serendipity, only to find out later that lots of people take Zinc to help relieve aches. Zinc works as an anti-inflammatory, which may help out your tendons. It won't make the pain go away, but it will help some.

    *the mouse I use is Contour Perfit Mouse Optical NS, which I got as a gift. They are CRAZY expensive, but super effective! I've been using the mouse three years, and I love it to pieces. $100 is a lot to throw down for a mouse, though :/ I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives that work pretty well.

    It took me a while, but I was able to eventually get my CTS under control. I now rarely ever have problems, so long as I keep an eye on my habits. I don't have to take breaks much anymore, and typically only do stretches/exercises when I start having symptoms. The earlier you start trying to manage your symptoms, the easier and fast it's going to be to get yourself back to fully functional again.

    I hope this helps!

  2. Woah, AWESOME! Thanks for all the info Amy!! You rock

  3. dont worrry!!! u can do it i know how you feel, i think i overstressed my hand and now i need FULL rest it sucks cause i wanted to sketch but im aching so i must rest even though i dont want to lols

  4. aww man!! But yeah I think you're right....:/ HAVE A GOOD AND RESTFUL BREAK JANE!