Monday, August 1, 2011

Crafting Pains

My back hurts. My fingers ache. My eyes are strained. No, I did not just get back from a vigorous fight or running a marathon. I simply crafted yesterday.

This is not a new development of course, I have been crafting for years and have always had the aches and pains that come along with it. I constantly complain of joint pain, sciatica, scoliosis and just about anything else I can diagnose myself with. My boyfriend begs me to get it checked out, assuming anyone who so incessantly complains of pain must have something seriously wrong with them. But what is wrong with me cannot be fixed. I am a crafter through and through, bold and proud, and nothing is stopping that any time soon. I guess I just wanted to vent to a larger audience (probably three people) with this post.

When I work with clay, my fingers tense up to the point where they no longer listen to my commands. My hands form a rebellious claw, confidently illustrating why I should craft no further. Of course, it only takes a few cracks to get them back into fighting shape so I ignore their warning and soldier on. But I crack them back into place so often that they have swelled permanently. I jokingly call them my pregnant fingers and secretly pray they make rings big enough to fit over the biggest humps. Like my fingers, my nails also crack often. They break and bend and no matter what I do, they can't seem to stay more than stubs for any extended period of time. The constant breakage leads to hangnails and loose skin around the anails that I just can't ignore. I pull at them and bite at them until my nails bleed. My finger tips look like a horror movie. Ashamed at the thought of what first impression such gnarled hands make, I have ben trying to improve my nails. I slap myself when I pick at them, I curse myself when I bite them. So far, this self hatred has been improving the overall health of my nails, but we'll see how far I actually take it.

When sewing or beading or animating or clay-ing - basically general crafting - my body is in a hunched position for hours at a time. I like tp picture myself as an evil scientist working in a dank basement somewhere, avoiding detection from my nemeses until my world-dominating creation is complete. Though my illusions of granduer are entertaining, they are obviously not true. And while I have crafted some darker things (weapons, most recently), my actions do not justify the posture of an evil scientist. But what am I to do? Crafting with a stick-straight back is virtually impossible. So the hunchback of crafter fame (another illusion of granduer, but I couldn't resist the loose pun) I will remain, sore neck, sore back, acute scoliosis and terrible posture be damned.

Any crafting position will have you sitting directly on your ass, mostly unmoving, for a good few hours at a time. Sitting for prolonged periods has seemingly given rise to an overly sensitive tailbone. Any time I sit of a hard surface (ie, not my couch or bed), I need to viciously readjust until my tailbone has found some ass fat to protect it from the elements. I sometimes wonder if I have started to devolve and my sensitive tailbone is really just the beginnings of a tail. Though I highly doubt that, I do check on it periodically. The sitting has also given rise to sporaddic and painful bouts of sciatica. Shooting pains down my back and legs so bad they literally bring me to tears. For this, I have used icy hot patches to dull the worst of the pains. I have bought an ergonmic pillow for my chair at work which doesn't do much but make me look like an old ninny. Some cases are so bad, I am relegated to my bed until the pain subsides.

I guess what I'm getting at is that crafters suffer for their art. They sit in the same positions for hours, reeking havoc on their bodies, all to make cute stuffed animals or neat storage devices. While I do love to complain to anyone who listens, I would not change my grandma joint status if it meant giving up crafting.

1 comment: