Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Little Hiatus

Be forewarned: this post is a little sobering. But it's something I need to get off of my chest.

Out of the blue, I started to experience pain in my wrists and forearms. Having never experienced pain like this before, I wrote it off as a temporary inconvenience. When the pain and discomfort started to escalate, however, I began to consider the reasons why: well, I type like a madman at work, I type like a madman when I get home because I want to write, and I play golf like a madman on the weekends, which can only add stress to my wrists and forearms.

Then came the research on the Internet, speaking with friends, and coming to my own disastrous conclusions...could I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

On June 16th, I decided to finally use my health insurance and visit an orthopedist to determine what the hell was wrong with me. After a few x-rays and other tests, the doctor concluded that I had tendinitis in both wrists, and that my current job was the culprit. Not as bad as carpal tunnel, and it's not like surgery is required, but it still scared the living crap out of me. That, and I realized the irony of the situation: that the work and people who caused the problem are the same people I turned to for health insurance coverage. Personally, I think that's a waste of health insurance. Your health insurance should be for more important things--like cancer or surgery--and not just to keep you healthy enough to work.

On that day, my doctor informed me not to play golf for at least four weeks. I also needed to take two weeks off from work, taking it easy and ingesting a lot of anti-inflammatory pills to quell the pain and swelling.

To be honest, those two weeks were just exactly what I needed-- a wake-up call. There I was busting my ass, saving up what little money I could to play golf on the weekends and pursue my passions part-time. The result: my full-time job-- the very thing that was taking up the majority of my time-- threatened to take away my two main passions. Namely: writing and golf. You can imagine the kind of conclusions I came to about life and about what I feel is important to me.

On Friday, July 17th, I had a follow-up appointment to see how I was progressing. Fortunately, I've healed up enough to begin physical therapy, but I haven't quite reached the point where I can play golf again. I was told I have to wait another six weeks. Six weeks? Really? I know it's necessary-- but come on man.

So I hope all is well with the rest of you, and I'll certainly be working on my articles for Universal Golf and watching the Open Championship (which, by the time I’m posting this, my heart is aching for Tom Watson). And I will most certainly update everyone when I begin my practice routines and rounds once again. But for now, know this: I am doing everything in my power to pursue my passions full-time, and leave the rest of those "secure pursuits" -- like a full-time corporate job-- in my dust, as I am living proof of what can happen when you lose sight of your priorities.

3 comments:

English Dave said...

Tom!

What you, have, old pal, is known technically as a case of "Wanker's Cramp". As I'm sure Kiwi will back me up on this, the only cure is to stop taking yourself in hand quite so often ... say dial it down to twice a day (mornings and evenings, preferably) to avoid so much wear and tear. Other parts of your body will thank you quickly, too.

If work is causing you to do this, what I want to know is .. what is it, exactly, that you do and how do I go about applying to stand in for you, at least temporarily? I'm sure I could resist my baser urges at least until I got home.

I watched The Open with my Dad - we had a barbecue for lunch and watched all of the action in the afternoon. I really wanted Tom Watson to win (who didn't?) but it just wasn't meant to be, clearly. It will go down in history as Watson's Open, though, just as Carnoustie '99 was Van de Velde's. Didn't Turnberry look beautiful? That, my friend, is a real golf course. It's on my bucket list.

Get well soon, old pal. Leave yourself alone. Hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,

David

Tom Collins said...

Great to hear from you Dave. Yes, I really wanted Tom Watson to win, too. And Turnberry looks like one hell of a golf course.

By the way-- the job you're alluding to is exactly what I do all day from nine to five. I'd quit, but it's hard to find anybody else who will pay me to be that productive, you know? Especially when they provide me WITH health benefits (aside from the adverse affects to my wrists).

Always love the tangents, Dave. Take care.

Kiwi said...

Dude, is the hand that bad it's fallen off and you can't type. Wish something like that had happened to me, give me an excuse for having such a crap golf game at the moment. Post there buddy, it give's me an excuse to sledge a yank (you) and a Pom at the same time.

Later