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Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

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Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby jeffnevins » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:29 am

Hope you don't mind the topic, but hey- it could be useful to others as well.

Actually haven't done any drawing on paper or on the Cintiq for at least a month, but mostly level-building for the upcoming game nearing completion.

I jammed the right thumb three weeks ago on a wood headboard, and it swelled up & hurt to the point of some nausea. Iced it, ibuprofin, and tried not using it as much as possible. Thursday, the index finger starts to swell, and now the other fingers a bit as well.

Maybe an infection spread? Anyone else ever get this? I'm actually glad not to be drawing right now. But even moving/clicking the mouse w/the thumb & middle finger for level building- hmm.

Well, thanks for insights. Drawing hand/mouse hand problems are a bit of a concern. :|
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby Charles » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:23 am

Jeff, if you're having that kind of a problem with your hand, the best thing to do is to see a doctor about it. Maybe you have a severe sprain, or a hairline fracture. If it's that bad and you're in that much pain, especially if it's not getting any better, you should seek medical attention. That's the best advice I or anyone else can give you at this point.
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby jeffnevins » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:48 pm

Charles,

Thanks for the reply. Most of the pain is thankfully gone, but the swelling is still there for some reason. The joints move, but they're a bit stiff.

I might be getting a bit more income soon, maybe even insurance. In the meantime, there's always the advice desk at the CVS store.

Makes me wonder how long people can draw seriously before their hand gives out. Guess it varies from person to person.
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:09 pm

I agree, if this persists, go see a doctor...with that said, there is a great chinese root I use to eat. One of Charles buddies turned me onto it when I broke my hand and didn't have insurance. Its pronounced SUE-Tee..but I don't know how to spell it in Chinese. you can get it raw, which I did, or pills. it promotes healthy blood flow, bone and ligament growth. I took it and meditated...but then people made me feel silly for not seeing a doctor after a few weeks..so I went in for them to exray, tell me it was broken, boxers split, and put it in cast...I kept taking root though...I split my bone in a way where it was suppose to take 10 weeks to heal...took 4 total...and the only problem afterwards? the way the western doctor cast my hand. it was the wrong way for this type of break.. SO I had to do physical therapy to get proper movement again..but I did it on my own time. Grew up with athletic father who broke many a bone and had many operations so I knew what physical therapy meant.

Disclaimer, I'm not a doctor nor should you follow my advice without talking with somone more qualified.

Just sharing...good luck!
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby Charles » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:25 pm

That stuff Bite's talking about, Su Tee, is also called Black Root. A friend would go into Chinatown in LA and buy a few bags of it. He'd hook me up and I'd eat it like candy. It's in the form of round patties and tastes like licorice. It's very potent and you should do some research on it before taking any. They say it's great for your bones, ligaments and blood and promotes healing.

I also grew up drinking milk and still drink it to this day. I also recommend drinking green tea every day and eating food that's high in calcium.

I've taken a lot of hits, but my injuries never included any broken bones. Maybe that's one reason why I'm hard headed.

You need to exercise your hand as well. Not enough to aggravate your injury, but keep it moving and do different things with it like dribble a basketball instead of holding a pencil.

When I was working on Where's Waldo in the early 90s I had to sketch and then draw a clean up line of scenes that would have as many as 100 characters or more in them, all very small with a lot of detail. I would up wrapping my arm from my wrist all the way up to my elbow. It physically affected me for a long time and turned me off to doing fine line work.

Part of the perils of the biz, Jeff. My long term recommendation to you would be to learn illustrator if you don't know it by now and use it for line instead of pencil on paper. You'll spare your hand and you'll be able to do much more far faster.

Good luck and get better.
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby sorryguyz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:12 pm

hand injuries are the scariest and worst kind for an artist. I've had wrist problems, a ganglion cyst that swells up if i bend my wrist too far back. I would recommend what the others have mentioned, also if you want try to temporarily modifying your diet to anti-inflammatory foods. If you think it's infected you can do that old thing where you soak it in some warm saline water. That draws out the infection. Obvious but sometimes people don't do it, to reduce the swelling keep it elevated. When you sleep prop it up on a small pillow. I would definitely see a doctor if it's gets worse and if possible try to research a good one (lots of them have reviews online) instead of going in blindly. I've gone to doctors without insurance. It isn't fun dropping the cash, but you have to really weigh the importance of the issue. Your health, etc. is worth the money (assuming it's not an outrageous fee). I would normally go in for the tests or stuff i couldn't do myself, hear the diagnosis and then the lame expensive suggestions the doctor wanted to try (normally involving lots of pricey prescription drugs and multiple check-in visits) then going home and researching alternative medicines/approaches online. Luckily on the internet there are a lot of people that post how they dealt with common injuries you just have to sift through the fake ones. :? good luck!
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby jeffnevins » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:51 pm

Thanks for the latest tips & encouragement.
And stories of what you have been through.

Got to exercise extreme caution, especially as I get older. Taking it somewhat easy & trying out as much as I can of what you've shared-

Jeff
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby JDC » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:18 am

If you have no insurance and have to see a doctor, try to find an Urgent Care facility. They won't charge you astronomical bucks and give good care. I strained my back and Urgent Care took care of me pretty well. Consultation, medicine, even an injection of a muscle relaxer and it only cost me 100 bucks.
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Re: Drawing hand- swollen thumb & forefinger

Postby Charles » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm

The ancient Spartans would sleep naked on stone floors. I know this guy who makes it a point to sleep on hard surfaces now and then, with clothes, and he's got ribs like the surface he sleeps on. He says it makes him feel like he had a workout while he sleeps and when he wakes up he feels strong, and that it strengthens his bones. Maybe there's something to that.
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