Today I was reminded of the motto of the Christopher Society, as I met to finalize some paperwork. When I thought I had reached a dead end, a good friend made a phone call to start another ball rolling, in a different direction. She did this, not out of some sense of obligation, but because she was a good friend. I am blessed to have MC in my life and look forward to the day I can thank her face-to-face for having my best interest at heart.
As I child I remember watching public service announcements, called “Christopher Closeup” that focused on inclusion, social justice, living a righteous life and being good to one another. Founded by Father James Keller, a Catholic priest from the Maryknoll order, I was drawn to their commitment to tolerance. While my beliefs have expanded to include Eastern religions, earth-based and pagan spiritual practices, secular and Catholic rituals, the message of The Christophers, Inc. resonates more each day.
I am blessed to have three amazing dogs as part of Hubby and my family. Zeke, (aka. “Buddy,” or “Big Guy”) our oldest and only boy, is a black lab/greyhound mix and the mildest, sweetest alpha. Hannah Bean, (aka. “Ms. Bean” or “Baby Girl”) our middle dog-daughter, is a black lab/pitbull mix and the dog I have bonded most closely with, in my entire life. Charlotte, (aka. “Checkpoint Charlie”, or “Charlie Barley”) our youngest and most energetic, is the only Belgian Malinois descended from K9, Schutzhund and French Ring lines who thinks she’s a mutt like her older brother and sister. They bring joy into our lives, keep us grounded and love us unconditionally.
Today, we took our last exam as Level IV student, and are waiting for the result. For many of us, our final grade hangs in the balance of the outcome of this exam. May we all pass the Level, our End of Program exam, Nursing Care Management and finally, the NCLEX. Namaste.
Having devoted time to reading books is a Summer ritual that I started in childhood. Mami would take me to the Library Museum, where I would choose as many books as I could carry, place them on the librarian’s desk and hand her my library card. It was my first completely independent act, as Mami never “censored” my choices. Her only requirement was, “if you can carry them, you may check them out.” I quickly learned to carry a book bag with me for each library visit. Thus, my love affair with Summer reading began. In fact, I may have been the only kid in school, at any level, who wanted to receive the dreaded Summer Reading List.
Go ahead. Gasp, in horror. Unless you’re an “I ❤ SRL” geek chick (or guy) like me. In that case, welcome, kick your feet up, popcorn’s on the coffee table and adjustable reading lights are available in the basket.
This Summer, I have spent a considerable amount of time on my Kindle. 90% of the time is reading books and the other 10% is reading my email, cruising the Internet or chatting on Facebook. I have also been on Lappy, my “small” Toshiba Ultrabook, because she is light to carry. She and I have perfected the knee-to-belly chunk prop, to ensure the optimal reading and typing angle. Toesh, my “big” Toshiba Satellite laptop, acts as my desktop. Toesh weighs over six pounds and forces me to sit upright at the table. I tried carrying Toesh through the house, once, to disastrous results. Fortunately, I had purchased the what-happens-when-Michelle-drops-Toesh-and-the-screen-shatters-rendering-her-FUBAR insurance. While it took three, long, agonizing weeks, until she was repaired, it was worth the wait to see her returned with a brand new screen. Lesson learned: do not parade Toesh around the house. She prefers the contemplative quiet of the kitchen table. Which is where I find myself writing this post.
I lost count after 25, at how many books I have read this Summer. But, in the past few days I felt that familiar “twinge” of discomfort and stiffness in my wrist. I do not suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, but as I have gotten older, I am finding more and more aches and pains that did not exist before. I first noticed the wrist stiffness and soreness when I was laid off. All of a sudden, my wrists felt “funny” and stiff. It was likely from lack of use, rather than overuse, because while I spent time on computers for my jobs, it was not the only physical task I did. I spent a few dollars at the drug store for a couple of wrist supports with removable metal plates, slipped those babies on, and I was back in business. When I bought Kindy, my first Kindle, I started reading exclusively on her. I noticed the “twinge” came back, but once I put my wrist support on my right “Kindle hand,” all was right with the world. The same thing happened when I upgraded to Fire K, my Kindle Fire, and finally with Lappy – although Lappy necessitated the use of both wrist supports.
Today, however, I am wearing both wrist supports and sitting on Toesh, in my superior ergonomically designed, yet affordable, Ikea office chair. And, dammit, I noticed the difference. I am sitting taller, typing faster and and more accurately, and haven’t had to reach for my bifocals to read the darn screen as I type. This leads me to my “discovery” of the day: Kindle Wrist. A condition for people who spend an exorbitant amount of time holding their electronic readers at odd angles for maximum reading comfort, leading to wrist and forearm discomfort and, sometimes, pain. I shall explore “Kindle Neck,” a co-condition, at a later date.
I am self-diagnosing myself with “Kindle Wrist,” and fully embracing the bitter with the sweet. Will it get worse, or improve with the use of wrist supports? Frankly, I don’t care. I refuse to give up my Kindle habit. I am deep in relationship with my Kindles and it is a codependency built in heaven. My next step will be to seek discomfort relief either by wearing my decidedly unsexy wrist supports, or by self-medicating with a lovely glass of Malbec, Merlot or the sweet delights of Moscato.