I began seeing a new doctor on Friday. As he manipulated my arms, legs, and finger joints, his brow creased in concern.
“Wow, your right hand is seriously overworked. I need you to switch to your left hand — 100% for a while, ok?”
“I’m an illustrator; that’s probably not going to happen.”
“As much left as you can manage, then. The back and leg pain is concerning, too. This doesn’t look like a back injury. I usually only see this in patients who are carrying way too much stress for way too long. You’re a little on the young side to be experiencing this kind of prolonged stress. What’s your job like? Tell me about the breaks you take from work. Tell me about your boss.”
“My boss is the worst. Long hours, few breaks. I spend most of my waking hours working. Sometimes I forget or am too busy to stop and eat. I rarely get out to exercise, but that’s a catch-22 of the back and leg issues.”
He looked at me for a long moment with piercing eyes, as if to say, you already know what the problem is, then.
“Well, the boss is me. I run a small business.” Sheepish grin. Ta-da.
There it is: I’ve done this to myself.