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Long story short, I have painful carpal tunnel syndrome, and I'm scared that I may have permanent damage to my hand from doing so much art and general computer usage. I have a queue of icon commissions I need to finish, and the people have been really understanding about it, and I don't think I'll have any problems giving them a refund if I need to.

But I also have a person who won some icons from a FurBid auction several weeks ago. He has sent me refs, but he hasn't paid or given me any further information yet. I've yet to give him another email poke to ask again, but I'm wondering if I can cancel the commission at all due to my hand pain? FurBid states that since there wasn't a reserve on the auction or any other details in the description that would give me the right not to sell to him, I have to do his commissions.

I'm hoping he'll be understanding about it, too, and won't give me any grief, but what if he isn't? What do I do if I'm physically incapable of drawing for him? I assume at worst I can just expect a negative feedback, which isn't terrible, but it's still a concern. He hasn't paid me yet, and I did say in the auction I'd start drawing once I get payment, so I suppose I'm not yet obligated to draw his icons? I don't think that gives me the right to outright cancel his commission, though..

I haven't 100% decided I'm going to refund everyone yet, as I've stated I'm going to take a break to give my hand a rest and see if it improves at all first, but I'm just looking for advice in case that's what I end up having to do. :c

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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
The very first thing to do in this situation would be to contact your commissioner and find out if he's okay with canceling/indefinitely prolonging the commission. If he is, the problem's solved right there with no further issues.
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Mar. 6th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 6th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Was there something stating the time period in which you were to be paid? I would give up if it's been weeks without payment--I generally assume after a week that if I'm not paid the person's not interested and pass it to the next. It sounds like you have a dead-beat bidder, or one that didn't understand the terms. I would send an email explainign the transaction is canceled and leave it at that.

I can't see canceling a commission as that terrible--don't run off with the guys money (which you don't have anyways) and you're all set. Anyone that would pursue it further with bad feedback etc is not a reasonable individual imho. Things come up, I'm sure if you contacted a site admin about it they would be understanding, especially since it's been weeks without payment.

I have tendonitis myself, so I can totally sympathize. In your place I personally would start refunding--the best thing you can do with stress injuries is let them rest for twice as long as you feel is needed--it took months for my arm to come back the first time it broke down and the problems I have from starting work etc. too soon have really affected my life even now 3 years later- anything that sets it off can have me unable to use my arm in a real capacity for days at a time. It's not worth it to push it too soon--the damage can be permanent. Focus on recovering.

On an off-topic note I recommend LUSH's foot lotion--used on stress injuries the arnica in it soothes some of the pain and can be used in combo with OTC drugs. Someone recommended it to me and it's helped some. Not a miracle but I swear it stops swelling and feels good when things are acting up.

The other thing you can try is setting a timer and being disciplined about computer usage and art time. Cut your worktime into small chunks (think 20 minutes at a time) with 10-15 minute breaks in between. It sucks, but you'll find you can be more productive much longer and get more done than if you power through for 40 minutes and then can't work the rest of the day. This method is only applicable if your doctor says you can work--if he says to keep off it, listen to him/her.
Mar. 6th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
Adding to this good advice: If your mouse aggravates things too and you haven't already, grab a higher-DPI one in whatever style suits your wrist and turn the speed/sensitivity way up so you don't have to move much to move the pointer...or even switch to a completely different style of mouse. This made a big difference to me when I started having RSI issues in my right wrist, and I still regret not trying it sooner.

Good luck getting things sorted so you can rest things.
(no subject) - bladespark - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pointytilly - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zackfig - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zackfig - Mar. 6th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zackfig - Mar. 6th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormslegacy - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormslegacy - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - underthebed - Mar. 6th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - twoeyedcyclops - Mar. 7th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 7th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapesgirl34 - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 6th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the commission situation, but try getting acupuncture on your wrist and wear a brace at night. I used to have that problem and acupuncture would clear it up for weeks at a time. This was while I was in college, too, working on my illustration thesis for 12-14 hours a day when I didn't have classes.
Mar. 6th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
Ooh acupuncture, really? (Sorry for threadjacking, I have wrist issues constantly because I'm in a Graphic Communications class as well as commissions, so they never get a rest. xD) I may have to get over my fear of needles!
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teahound - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 6th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
I have pretty bad hand pain myself from overuse. My doctor perscribed me a brace and some naproxen (aleve) and i took a 2 week break from drawing.

I wear the brace when I sleep because I curl my hands, and that plus how I was using my comp was awful.

The brace is this standard kind: http://www.anactivelife.com/site_images/product_images/carpal_tunnel_brace_t242___t243_primary_73.gif

The metal underneath means i can rest that on the table instead of my poor nerve filled wrist.

I also switched over to the couch instead of my desk which really helped as well, but i got lonely and moved my computer back so i could be with my husband and the nerves got reaggrivated after an 8 hour drawing session...so yeah I try to take more breaks, rely on my brace whenever i'm not drawing or eating or taking a shower, and i move to different positions to draw whenever possible.

Also, contact the commissioner and ask if you could postpone. I'd suggest not cancelling though, so you dont get in trouble with furbid
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
^^^^ This, I came here to suggest the exact same brace. I keep them around and use them when I'll be working on something for a long time because they really do help.

I had a pamphlet about changing your sitting position at the computer can help with carpal tunnel, what I remember from is is that tilting your keyboard and tablet up can help, make sure you're sitting high enough/the surface is low enough so that your elbows bend just a little, your wrists should stay straight and shoulders relaxed... I've had run ins with it, and that + my RA = hell. If yours swells up like mine does when it's irritated, keep it raised above your heart while you sleep. Helped me a lot. Good luck with it. :)
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
I have a similar brace I wear to bed, except mine goes all the way up to my elbow. For the most part it's comfy but it kinda rubs where my thumb bends, like right where that nerve is :[ I started putting a cotton ball in between so it doesn't do that so much. I have tiny hands and this is a size small brace..
I have some naproxen I've been taking when the pain acts up, though I guess I should be taking it more often?
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - viron - Mar. 6th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Mar. 6th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Mar. 6th, 2010 09:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Mar. 6th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
I'm not intimately familiar with Furbid's policies, but on FurBuy the bidder only has 2 weeks (by default) to contact the seller and make payment. If they fail that, the seller is not obligated to complete the contract and entitled to leave negative feedback, if deemed necessary. Furbid should have a policy regarding that though, check their ToS/ToU documents.
Mar. 6th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
You just need to send the furbid buyer a mail saying you cannot do the commission due to health issues, but thank him for his interest. Your health > someone else's icon. I'm pretty sure the furbid stuff also mentions that the winner has to respond within 2 weeks anyway.
Mar. 6th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
So far as the auction situation goes, I'd email and just explain that because you have not received payment in a timely manner other issues have come up and you have to cancel. It's up to you whether or not you outright tell them that your hands are in a bad way. I don't know if you explicitly state in your auctions that you much receive payment is X number days after auction close, but given the time frame, even if you don't have that I think you are justified in canceling. If they leave negative feedback, you can leave some right back citing their lack of payment after weeks of waiting.

So far as the hand itself goes, I am in a position to offer some advice there too. Almost two years ago I ended up with a repetitive strain workplace injury that was a fun mix of carpel tunnel, tendonitis and tenosynovitis according to my medical caregivers. The following is what I used during my recovery.

First, if there's any inflammation (and there probably is, since it's carpel tunnel), take Advil if you can't get stronger NSAID's from your doctor. Just don't do anything that might injure yourself further, as they also serve as pain-blockers. Second, get a stiff wrist brace, like everybody else has mentioned. You can wear it while you sleep too, so you don't accidentally lie on your wrist in a bad way. You might want to look into a pair of arthritis gloves/support gloves/whatever else they're marketed under. Once you've recovered, they're a nice lightweight support to use while drawing. I also second Tiger Balm or anything similar. Myself, I have Badger Balm - they've got warm and cool versions with a different mix of oils for muscle aches that seemed to help with my hand issues. Both smell very strong, so fair warning.

Lastly, there are a couple things you can get that will be the same things I used during physical therapy. Personal home-sized hot wax baths are available for about $30. The heat can be very soothing. Second, assuming your doctor says you are at the point where you need to be exercising your hands to aid in recovery, look into ordering some theraputty. It's basically the same stuff as silly putty, but comes in several levels of hardness - the idea is you start playing with the softest and work your way up to the stiffest to help build hand strength.

Whew. Sorry, I did not mean for this to get this wordy.

Mar. 6th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I have motor dysgraphia, which means I have horrific handwriting and writing/drawing with a pen or pencil for over 10 minutes is very painful. Would Tiger or Badger Balm ease the pain from that? I haven't even looked into anything to treat the pain until I started a class where I can't get away with typing everything.
(no subject) - loregryph - Mar. 6th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormslegacy - Mar. 6th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
If it's been weeks with no payment imo it's fairly safe to assume he has no intention of paying you.
Mar. 12th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
I feel your pain, I have DeQuervain's disease in my right and I could hardly draw for an entire year DX
( 46 comments — Leave a comment )


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