Monday, May 5, 2008

occupational hazards

I am tapped. I had to wind down (my admittedly short) workday early today. I was all out of pluck. I tried shifting from reading, reading, reading to writing and I stared at the screen for half an hour. I've been reading newspapers - ten years worth of newspapers - and the last two years are killing me. I'm overwhelmed with information. My head is literally spinning - that is, as I sit here typing my head feels like a top wobbling on my neck right before it topples to the side.

I won't go into the psychosis I'm developing as a result of my isolated and focused occupation, but I should mention that I think I'm developing a vulture neck. I bow my head to read books, photocopies, and my laptop; I rarely look straight ahead. I can feel this in the base of my neck. Beware. I'll look different when next you see me.*

I'm also developing a condition I call "dissertator's elbow." Most of the day, my left elbow sits on the desk or is pinned under my forearm which supports my chin (as I amble on to something or other). It is becoming nicely red and inflamed.

While I think I was prepared for this phase of professionalization, I didn't anticipate the injuries that go along with it.

*yeah, that's the neck.

TOTALLY UNRELATED ADDENDUM: Have you been following the Democratic primary? Check out this great story by Betsy Reed (at The Nation).


SuperJew said...

Sounds like we're gonna have to get you some elbow pads and a neck brace to get you through this whole research mess! Sounds scary, but not entirely surprising. I say that because I was pretty much in physical therapy the whole time I was prepping for prelims because my arms, neck, wrists were all messed up from the reading and typing notes. I literally had both heat and ice packs on my most days. So much for picking a profession with minimal occupational injuries huh? Uggh, hang in there!

Trust in Steel said...

I relate in how this occupation is very bad for one's health. I feel worse than ever.

Cabiria said...

It is ridiculous that we injure ourselves reading books isn't it? But I totally feel you on the vulture neck and dissertator's elbow.