Don’t know how much of my hand usage it is going to take

Question: I am moving office today and tomorrow, have to do a hand intensive deadline by Friday and do another hand intensive deadline of submitting returns by next Wednesday which was only made known to me today. Help! I am already having a flare-up from earlier in the week. I am thinking of coming in on Saturday rather than doing too much on any other day. Don’t know how much of my hand usage it is going to take. Everything is so frantic here. Any tips gratefully accepted.

Answer 1: I don’t know what your employers would think about this, but what about asking a friend or relative to help you out, while you sit over them – maybe offer to buy them a beer or do something for them in return – or pay them – as a last resort!! 🙂  Or what about your colleagues – can they help?

If these aren’t viable propositions, then I recommend you work at whatever pace you can – even if it is slower than you might like – and simply work steadily towards your goal without getting up-tight about it (as this will aggravate the condition).Maybe talk to your boss and explain the situation – are they deadlines that can be ‘stretched’, perhaps?

Answer 2: My RSI started with a small pulled muscle while packing a box file for a move in April 1992. It wasn’t even a heavy box file, the pain wasn’t too bad, so I ignored it. A very heavy schedule of typing, lifting & shifting over the next few months landed me in my current intractable position. Be VERY careful. Moving is dangerous, especially if you already have problems.  You MUST work at your own pace, following the suggestions made by Steve and others.

My small injury led to chronic bilateral problems, etc.. You may just have to explain to your boss, colleagues… that pushing yourself may lead to permanent damage and much LESS work being done by you. You do have rights, especially if your employer is aware of your disability. There is the DDA, after all!  At any rate, it will do your colleagues well to follow your example and pace themselves; incidence of WRULDs keeps increasing, after all & prevention is way better than attempted cures!

Answer 3: In follow-up to the various responses, employers have a responsibility to ensure any lifting you do is done correctly. Basically they should provide some manual handling training.  Unfortunately it is quite common for employers to expect people to move even small boxes without providing appropriate training. This was certainly the case with me when I had to move office. This is especially the case when they don’t normally believe you do any handling of packages etc…

In reality it is quite amazing how much lifting we all do!  If possible try and get others to do the moving – the porters at my workplace have been given training and they refuse to lift or move certain loads!

Answer 4: Don’t forget to take the time to make sure that your new workstation is properly set up, however much typing you end up having to do. And don’t underestimate the stress that moving causes, which can hang around for a while even after the physical relocation has been completed. Even for someone who is 100% healthy to have to move and continue working to tight deadlines seems fairly unreasonable. My advice would be to try to keep a sense of your health being as important as the deadlines.

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