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February 27, 2015, 04:41:08 PM *
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1  Other Realms / Writer's Guild / Re: History Lesson on: February 25, 2015, 11:23:13 PM
Amusing little short!  Definitely interested in reading more about this fellow!
2  Other Realms / Writer's Guild / Re: Selena's Short Stories on: February 25, 2015, 11:15:08 PM
Well, that's what you get for messing with that musical ice stuff!  TREES.

In all honesty, it was kind of depressing (even though you obviously deserved it).  I would think a constant battle between summer and winter with the losing side rejuvenating and then defeating the other to symbolize the changing of seasons all in the guise of a family dispute would be interesting though.

Post more stuff!
3  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: Arm updates on: February 22, 2015, 11:04:30 PM
Right arm--no real improvement.  Although on the plus side I have been slowly increasing the exercises I've been doing from physical therapy (I had stopped completely for a few months to see if they were actually causing pain, but that was a mistake as the arm got incredibly weak during that time) and apart from squeezing the ball (which still causes significant pain if done more than just marginally), the arm is a little stronger now and not getting worse.

Left arm--perhaps some slight improvement, although really only the past week and there continue to be ups and downs, so too early to see.

The current plan is to continue as I've been doing throughout March except I'm going to start scheduling 30 to 60 minute drawing sessions for each arm once per week because it's not good to go too long without drawing and I don't think such short sessions spaced out like that will affect healing time much.

Actually when I do my exercise sessions every other day, at the end I've been slapping on a strict 5 minute drawing session with my left hand only (the right is not ready yet).  During the past two months I've almost got page 337 sketched!
4  Other Realms / Game Room / Re: What are you playing? on: February 17, 2015, 10:57:10 PM
I knew somewhat where to go based on previous knowledge, but did look up where to go in the later stages.  It does somewhat ruin the effect, as that really was what the game was designed around.  It's quite fascinating reading the lore and game play hints in old issues of Nintendo Power from the eighties.
5  Other Realms / Game Room / Re: What are you playing? on: February 10, 2015, 12:11:18 AM
As probably expected, Odin Sphere came to a full halt in June when arm issues developed.  Will pick that up later! (like in two years)

After several months of not doing anything arm related, I recently beat Dragon Warrior on the NES using only my feet and an NES Advantage joystick.  I'm currently playing Dragon Warrior 3 the same way.  Most definitely having Dragon Warrior 7 flashbacks with this one, although it is quite fun!
6  Other Realms / Art Gallery / Re: Halloween-Sketch-a-thon 5 on: February 07, 2015, 10:48:26 PM
Hate it when that happens.  (Get killed via dismemberment and have to be reanimated by mad fennecs.)
7  Other Realms / Art Gallery / Re: Crimson Flag Super Smash Bros. (Closed) on: February 01, 2015, 10:57:33 PM
Eeeeeeee~! Yaaaaaay!
8  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: RIP Supper Mini Keyboard on: January 31, 2015, 10:14:10 PM
Hong Kong electronics is like playing roulette.  Exciting!
9  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: Arm updates on: January 29, 2015, 10:34:56 PM
Seems to mostly be info I've found already, but I'll give this a read and see if there's anything new here.  Happy Gray Fox
10  Other Realms / Art Gallery / Re: Crimson Flag Super Smash Bros. (Closed) on: January 28, 2015, 10:36:22 PM
YAAAAAAAY, late addition permission.

Virmir attacking with hammer.  Of the above selection, I'd rather hammer Featherfall the most, but I'm not terribly particular.

http://art.by.virmir.com/art/virmir_reference_2012
http://art.by.virmir.com/art/antennae-hair_facts_1
11  Other Realms / Art Gallery / Re: Crimson Flag Super Smash Bros. (Closed) on: January 28, 2015, 12:02:40 AM
BLAST.  This is what I get for taking a weekend off.  I'll be sure to jump into the next one. Gray Fox Wink
12  Other Realms / Art Gallery / Re: Halloween-Sketch-a-thon 5 on: January 28, 2015, 12:00:22 AM
Five?  I think you are on number one!

#3

Virmir undergoing a transformation into a were-fox-fox under the light of the half Moon.  That is to say, half fox and half even more fox-- or buff, hunched over snarly thing with extra big claws and cape that has ripped for no reason. (I don't really like my old drawings of this and plan to revisit some time, he he he)

http://art.by.virmir.com/art/virmir_reference_2012
13  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: Arm updates on: January 27, 2015, 11:05:19 PM
Anti-inflammatories possibly help a little.  I've been taking some prescription stuff for the past couple of months.
14  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: Arm updates on: January 24, 2015, 11:50:03 PM
No pain in the shoulder or neck.  More of a dull pain when its in the elbow.  Can be tingly in the fingers.

Have been wearing braces on both elbows for nearly the whole time now.  They do help a little.  Unfortunately I'm now dependent on them as the pain gets much worse if I leave them off for a period of time.  Fortunately they are not a big deal to wear.

Going to get some robotic tentacles too while I'm at it.
15  Other Realms / Random Topics / Re: Arm updates on: January 23, 2015, 12:30:59 AM
I figure I should make a fact post to cover all the things I went over in chat the other day and elaborate some more.

What I definitely have

I've always had radioulnar synostosis, which means my radius and ulna are fused.  This means I can't rotate my wrists from palm down to palm up.  This has never really caused any pain or problems for me before besides it being awkward accepting change.

My current symptoms

Right arm-- This is my drawing arm and where it started.  Primarily pain in the elbow on the inside, occasionally moving up the arm to the wrist (although the wrist has not been bothering me lately) and very often the middle and ring fingers.  Doing pretty much anything at all with these fingers, sometimes also involving the pointer finger, causes pain in these fingers and/or the elbow.  Elbow and wrist movement also aggravate it.  Pain also comes and goes randomly.  I've taken to taping my pointer, middle, and ring fingers together often to avoid provoking them.  Fortunately the thumb does not seem to be affected, so I can still grasp things somewhat.

Left arm-- Not as bad as the right, but gives me trouble as well.  This one has pain randomly on both the outside and inside of the elbow.  I'm sure the pain on the outside is from straining it back in July overcompensating for the right.  Unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to completely rest this arm since I have to live somehow.  Recently it started showing symptoms similar to the right, including the finger pain, which is when I decided to put the full stop on drawing.  If you don't see me in chat on any particular day, it's because the left arm is bothering me too much despite the foot pedals and voice recognition, since I don't touch the computer with the right hand at all.

What the specialist thinks

Most doctors that I've seen admit to having no clue what is going on.  MRIs and EMG (nerve tests) have come up normal.  The specialist I most recently saw thinks that the pain is from gradual wear because of the synostosis and is something I'm going to have to live with.  I'm not terribly convinced by this because doing some research on this does not suggest pain is a common thing.  Plus he was doing things like grabbing my right arm and saying "I'll bet this has been causing you pain on the outside of your elbow" and I was like "noooooo, that one is the inside."

What I think

Except for the finger pain, the right arm displays a lot of characteristics similar to what I've read about medial epicondylitis, or "golfer's elbow".  The left arm additionally seems like both this and lateral epicondylitis, or "tennis elbow".  Reading accounts of these, it's not uncommon for these conditions to take up to 12 to 18 months to heal.  I also see some similar reports of doctors not knowing what to do when confronted by these symptoms.  There is probably something additional going on with the fingers, especially since many videos of stretching exercises I've seen involve a wrist stretch where the wrist is pulled back by grabbing the fingers with the other hand.  Trying this caused significant pain for me way back in June, so definitely won't be trying this again.  It's possible that because of the synostosis, some tendons are weaker than normal or something.  Another problem is that many of the exercises out there to help treat these elbow problems require rotating the wrist, which I can't do.

The current plan

It has been seven months since I was first afflicted with these problems.  I've taken a few several week long breaks, but have been mostly continuing to lightly draw during that time.  I've stopped drawing completely for the past month, however, and to be honest have not been pleased with the results (although to be fair, the recent bump in the road was probably caused by stepping up the drawing too quickly in December).  However, I plan on taking at least another full month off before making any decisions.  In the worst case scenario, I'm going to just grin and bear it and draw anyway, but that would be several months of no improvement first.

Really, I just need one arm to completely heal and I'll be fine!
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