Overworking My Middle Finger

There is this ache deep in my left forearm that radiates from just below the elbow all the way to the middle finger. It has been bugging me for the past couple of years. It aches every time I move my forearm. Massaging has not worked.

I thought it was age-related. At my age, body aches are nothing out of the ordinary. My shoulders and right knee occasionally ache too, usually a day or two before a rainstorm. I am that accurate when it comes to predicting when rain will fall!

The discomfort is especially bad today. Although it does not restrict the already limited function of my hand, the constant aching is disconcerting. I have to stop every now and then to massage the spot although I know that will not bring any relief at all. And then realisation struck when I saw how I was handling the mouse.

Using the mouse with my left hand
Using the mouse with the left hand.

My right hand is clawed. None of the fingers have the dexterity to depress the mouse buttons. My left hand is more functional. I use it more than my right hand although I am right handed. I have been using my left hand to operate the mouse since I got a PC that ran on Windows 3.1 back in 1993.

I click the mouse buttons with the middle finger of my left hand. That finger has a limited range of movement but that is the only finger I can use on the mouse because I have most control over it. Even then, it takes a some wrist movements and a little more effort from the finger to depress the buttons. Using the scroll wheel is easier. I place my finger on the wheel and flex or extend my wrist to roll it.

After 17 years of the same movements day in and day out, I guess something has to give. I must have caused repetitive strain injury (RSI) to the flexor muscle of the left arm. Come to think of it, the constant twitching of the thumb, index and little fingers could be related to RSI also. They twitch non-stop whenever my hands are relaxed.

Perhaps I should revert to the touchpad instead. I seldom use it because I needed two hands for functions like dragging a file from one folder to another when I could accomplish that with just one hand using the mouse.

Or maybe I should rub some of my Ah Mah’s hong eu to the ache. The reasons that are holding me back are the greasiness, the stains and the odour it leaves behind on anything it comes into contact with. Otherwise, I swear by its efficacy to relieve bodily aches and pains from the effects of hong sip (rheumatism), strained muscles and minor sprains.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.