The Law of Conservation of Hit Points.
I've been active online a lot more in recent months, far moreso than shortly before I graduated from college back in 2003. Somewhen late in 2001 or early in 2002 I began developing symptoms of repeditive stress trauma in both wrists. The most commonly reported symptom is throbbing pain in one or both hands, which I had in spades, followed by a loss of mobility in the digits I use the most. I'm sorry to report that it's started all over again. More specifically, the symptoms began to reappear about a month ago, and within the last few days they've gotten to the point where the pain's been keeping me up at night. I've been logging about four hours of sleep a night since I got home from ContactCon, not all of it due to the weird barrage of viruses and effluvia often referred to as con crud that'd been driving me like a rental car. I'm also starting to lose some dexterity in my fingers, and the pain is also beginning to radiate up into my biceps. Now it's time to do something about it.
The only thing that really helps RST is minimizing use of one's hands as much as possible to give the inflamed muscles and tendons a chance to rest and re-contract to normal dimensions. That takes the pressure off of the nerve trunks and eventually (usually within a few weeks) everything more or less goes back to normal. So I need to go through my daily routine and cut out a few things.
There are some things that I can give up and some that I can't. I can't give up my day job as a BOFH. As the saying goes, I gots needs and paying rent is one of them. I'm also not going to give up on Project Byzantium. You may as well degauss my cortical backups and give me a 9mm retirement plan if it comes to that. It looks like, once the essentials are off the list I'm going to have to stop hanging out on IRC and save what I've got for more important stuff. I'm not pleased by this turn of events because I have a lot of friends scattered across a half-dozen IRC networks and I'd really like to keep in touch with them, but if I continue to do so at some point my hands are going to degenerate into such a state that drastic measures may be necessary, and I really want to avoid that if at all possible.
I am well aware of the irony in announcing another period of ABSEND on my website, but sometimes that's the best way to get the word out. I love you all - I really do - and it's been a pleasure to work with you these last few months, but I need to take care of myself if I'm going to be able to do anything in the medium- to long-term.
You have my PGP key. You have my e-mail address. If you are willing to be patient I'll get back to you. Be seeing you.