Update below —
When I say War in Context is handmade, that’s not a figure of speech. Typing and cutting-and-pasting involve all sorts of precise flexions, animated by action potentials rippling at high speed down the median nerve which extends from the cervical spine to the hand.
For the last two months the root of my own right median nerve has been held in a vice grip — a high grade central canal stenosis, to be precise.
With physical therapy and narcotics, I’ve tried to ward off the evil effects of curse-inducing pain coursing through my arm — even though the pain kept repeating the same message. If there’s one thing that with absolute consistency aggravates this condition, it’s stretching my hand over a keyboard. The message is: stop typing.
A friendly neurosurgeon who I talked to for all of fifteen minutes, glanced over my MRI results and told me he’d be happy to slit my neck open and go to work with sharp instruments and power tools operating in close proximity to every major vessel that keeps me alive.
Afterwards he wrote (in reference to me):
I talked to him about the nature of the procedure, as well as the risks of bleeding, infection, injury to the trachea, esophagus, or carotid requiring repair, laryngeal nerve injury with hoarseness, spinal cord injury with weakness, CSF leak, and failure of bony union. We talked about the need for reoperation if this occurs. All questions were answered and no guarantees were given as the the outcome of surgery.
It’s true — he did mention the risk of hoarseness.
I’ll be sure to exhaust all my other options before I get this intimate with a virtual stranger — but that means I have to take a break from intensive blogging.
There are all sorts of things worth giving up your right arm for — except your right arm.
Meanwhile, I strongly encourage regular readers who haven’t already done so, to subscribe to War in Context by email so that I can alert you when this site and its creator are back at full strength. Prior to that, I will continue to post videos and probably the occasional must-read.
Update 4/15/11: Many thanks for all the expressions of support in comments and messages I’ve received over the last week. With the help of a naturapathic physician and regular restorative yoga and a prednisone jumpstart, I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to escape the knife. But after having done over 23,000 posts on this site over the last nine years, I’ll also need to cut back on the repetitive stress for a while.