Sunday, November 4, 2007

dangerous occupation, cartooning is...

So, I also wanted to let you know why my output has slowed down in the past buncha months.
In August I had another arm injury that really threw me off kilter. It seems I have (big breath) a torn supraspinatus muscle with tendonitis of the tendon of the same name, bursitis and a sprinkling of arthritis in my right shoulder...oh, and my joint was leaking fluid ( where it went I do not know)(Oh...wherever it was- it hurt like burning) I found all this out one morning when I woke up and could not move my right arm. After multiple trips to the doctors, xrays and MRIs, I was diagnosed with the previously described bag of woe. SO, it took an ultrasound assisted cortisone shot (and a few days) to make the swelling reduce enough that I could move my arm. It took two hydrocodone just to fall asleep at night.
I've been doing physical therapy and acupuncture to fix the underlying problems of pain and shoulder instability.

And- it turns out that the motion of reaching from my paint tray to my drawing table to my water container (to clean my brush) was slowly shredding through my rotator cuff muscle. Interesting. It seems implausible, but we figured out that I do that same motion a thousand times a day. And, over the course of hundreds of pages, I can see how that would happen. Like a rope rubbing on the edge of something. I had to move all of my drawing and painting stuff from over by my right side to my left side. (a brilliant idea from my brother, Steven, who has had to deal with injuries and casts and pain and awkwardness from his football days)
That way I load up my brush with color, or clean it off, then I trade over to my right hand and do the painting. I avoid the motion that does the tearing. And, by strengthening the other muscles, I should avoid more problems in the future. ( ihopeihopeihope)
But I think this is something I will have to always be careful about. No more days of heavy lifting or benchpressing for me! I think a good yoga class sounds appropriate.
Although, it has slowed my daily progress. the work is looking good and there is no pain when I move it and I almost have my full range of motion back.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea you were still having problems. That's terrible!

I can only advise not killing yourself. We're not worth it :-)

Alafosca said...

I second that.
I'm glad you're feeling better, but behave and take care!

Jill Thompson said...

Over the years, I think my arm has compounded injuries because when one part has problems, another set of muscles or tendons or whatever starts picking up the slack to aid the injured part, or do it's job. and then somewhere down the line-THAT part gets injured because it's doing to much, or overcompensating for something else. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

It's an argument for being ambidexterous. And taking breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.

smoky man said...

Hi Jill, great to find you on the blogosphere! :) I've just read yr intro for the Italian edition of Crilley's gorgeous Akiko series.
Hope things are going better for you.
I can't wait to see something news by you on the shelves.

a big 100% italian ciao
From Sardinia, Italy
smoky man

Dan Guy said...

Oh my! Please do continue to take care of yourself. I would hate to lose the joy of your future work. While I'm sure you could learn to paint with your other hand, and then with each foot, that's only, what, a few hundred thousand more strokes of the pen or brush -- and that's just not going to be sufficient. ^_^

So nice to see you blogging!