I had a very interesting experience with children at the beginning of June: my Spanish sister-in-law asked me to accompany her to Spain, to help her with her two children, aged five months and two years, while she looked for a house to buy. Of course, I was delighted to go particularly as it was all expenses paid and a chance for me to spend a fortnight with my nieces. On the other hand, I was really worried about being able to cope with the demands of looking after young children. Amazingly, despite going out there in the middle of a “bad patch”, things went really well: the constant activity, variety of positions, spot of swimming, lack of computer and television to slump in front of all seemed to combine to make me feel better than I ever have since getting RSI.
I carried the toddler around for bit, wore a rucksack on my back, pushed the pushchair, did all the cooking and other bits and pieces and kept waiting for something awful to happen. I did feel it a bit in my arms and other muscles that I hadn’t used in ages, and one wrist would get a bit sore when I had to carry the baby a lot, but it generally wore off the next day. I experienced one symptom that I hadn’t had in a long time — a sensation of a light tickle running down my left upper arm and I did wonder whether it was to do with nerves being stimulated in a new way. IMO, a lot of my problem is to do with my upper spine stiffening-up, poor posture, and a job that required me to sit in front of a computer all day long. Verdict: I must have lots of babies, live in Spain and chuck away the computer! Of course, it all depends on exactly what kind of condition you have, what triggered it in the first place, and what sort of things make you feel better. Could you have a test run, as I did, and borrow someone’s kids for a couple of days?