Career Changing Fears

Business By SweetCakesbyAmy Updated 7 Apr 2011 , 8:53pm by CalhounsCakery

SweetCakesbyAmy Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 3:54pm
post #1 of 12

Hi, im new to Cake Central and have a odd question i havent found anwhere else.......

So i have been making cakes for my kids birthday Parties for over 10 years now. In the last 2 years I have started taking on clients and making more and more cakes. I now average 2-3 cakes a month--which is a lot for me considering i have a 50 hour regular job and 3 kids at home. I have been considering switching career paths and doing cakes full time. I am currently 31 years old and well my main concern is... when I was younger I fell and developed carpel tunnel in both my wrists. It usually doesnt bother me but this last weekend I made 2 cakes and after i had mixed all the fondant and piped all the royal icing my wrists were burning. Is this a wise move, is there any methods I can try to aleaviate the problem, etc.....I just need some solid advice! Thanks in advance!!!

11 replies
GGFan Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:12pm
post #2 of 12

Hi Amy,
I'm so sorry to hear about your wrist. I saw someone posted this topic about this 5-6 months ago on here. There were a few recomendation but I only remember one. Someone suggested using a decorating glove that you put on to help with the wrist.

But to be honest I think it would be really hard. I don't have the condition but I work on desk job so I used my wrist typing quite a bit and it hurts everytime I have to lift heavy cake in and out of the fridge, when frosting, rolling out fondant, extensive piping, etc. Maybe you should do an experiment and see if your wrist could really handle it because you have to do a lot more cake than you are doing now to make up for your full time job. HTH.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:16pm
post #3 of 12

You'll want to schedule an appointment ASAP with a doctor that specializes in orthopedics.

Aside from that, you should also make sure you are complying with state law, in some states you cannot legally sell cakes made in your home kitchen. Relevant information for KY can be found here:
http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food.htm

ycknits Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:39pm
post #4 of 12

Don't despair! Carpal tunnel can be treated and eliminated. After 25+ years on a computer, extensive and intensive gardening for 20+ years, and a year of cake decorating, I finally had carpal tunnel release surgery done on my right hand. The surgery was on Monday morning and I was knitting again on Wednesday evening (oh, I forgot to mention the knitting.)

I warned the surgeon that I had to do a cake with lots of piping on it a little more than a week after the surgery, and he said, "no problem." My hand (they make the incision in the palm) was still a little sore, but the cake turned out great. I only wish I'd had the surgery 10 years earlier. It's now been 10 months since the surgery and I've had absolutely no problems.

When I first went to see the surgeon, he also diagnosed tendonitis in two of my fingers and gave me cortisone injections in those. They healed up and I've had no more problems with them, either. I guess I just thought that all my hand problems were part of the carpal tunnel problem. Good luck to you!

Unlimited Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:36pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ycknits

Don't despair! Carpal tunnel can be treated and eliminated.




It can, in some cases, but no guarantees. I've always been afraid to have it done, because the surgery can leave you with no feeling in your hands altogether or you can lose the use of your thumb(s) and/or finger(s).

I'm so happy the surgery worked for you, and your recovery was quick!

My aunt just had the surgery on one hand, and the feeling never came back. Needless to say, she probably won't have the other hand done now, but she desperately needs something. It's sad, because she needs her hands to do EVERYTHING... her legs are crippled from Polio.

ycknits Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 6:34pm
post #6 of 12

When the surgeon reviewed the hazards of the surgery with me, he said that 1-2% of people have problems following the surgery. The major problem is infection. The second is numbness. He said that most problems occur in those individuals with chronic issues such as diabetes, immune disorders, etc. This guy was a plastic surgeon who specialized in hands.

I would also recommend that you talk with a good surgeon - maybe more than one, and make sure that you feel confident and comfortable befoe you do anything. I live in a large metropolitan area and had my choice of many great surgeons. No matter what you decide - good luck to you. I spent years in pain and not getting a good night's sleep because of severe pain. I truly hope you can find the relief that I have.

SweetCakesbyAmy Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 8:07pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ycknits

When the surgeon reviewed the hazards of the surgery with me, he said that 1-2% of people have problems following the surgery. The major problem is infection. The second is numbness. He said that most problems occur in those individuals with chronic issues such as diabetes, immune disorders, etc. This guy was a plastic surgeon who specialized in hands.

I would also recommend that you talk with a good surgeon - maybe more than one, and make sure that you feel confident and comfortable befoe you do anything. I live in a large metropolitan area and had my choice of many great surgeons. No matter what you decide - good luck to you. I spent years in pain and not getting a good night's sleep because of severe pain. I truly hope you can find the relief that I have.




Thanks for all your input! So far they arent to the point that i would consider surgery but my fear is that they will be. I have learned to have my kids help out as much as possible and knead my fondant etc. I tend to be able to "feel" when I have had enough and take a break. The biggest fear is stepping out of behind my desk and doing something completly different. Some one mentioned to me that her chiropractor "healed" her carpel Tunnel....might look into it....

ycknits Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 10:29pm
post #8 of 12

I believe in chiropractors and had my regular guy try... but I think I was too far gone. He gave me a supplement called "flex-eze," that I bought on-line or from him. It's a B supplement that is supposed to help ligaments/tendons. It might have helped a little? But I never really rested my hand like I should have to let it recover. Just too many things that had to be done.

It really did help when I wore my wrist brace at night to rest my wrist in a neutral position, and when I stopped frequently to stretch my hand when I was working. An ergonomist friend of mine told me that I should take ibuprofen BEFORE I used my hand and then ice it afterward. Of course, I mostly just forged ahead icon_smile.gif

MimiFix Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 11:02pm
post #9 of 12

Carpal tunnel surgery can relieve a certain amount of pain and discomfort. But if someone returns to the same activities, the activities that created the original problem, symptoms will return.

SweetCakesbyAmy - I understand your desire to change careers, but perhaps you can revise your plans. Instead of cakes with fondant or royal icing, do buttercream cakes instead. You are only asking for trouble when you move into a new career that demands a lot of physical strength.

After twenty five years as a baker and pastry chef, I developed a double dose of carpal tunnel. Later I developed tendonitis in all of my fingers. I've had five (f-i-v-e) hand surgeries. It's been a few years now and I'm doing much better, but I still have some issues. When I don't do much with my hands I feel great. When I begin baking more, I start having trouble again. Trust me, listen to your body.

Unlimited Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 11:25pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

do buttercream cakes instead. You are only asking for trouble when you move into a new career that demands a lot of physical strength.




I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from buttercream only cakes!

Typing doesn't demand a lot of physical strength, but you can get it from lots of non-physical tasks that are repetitious.

SweetCakesbyAmy Posted 7 Apr 2011 , 3:13pm
post #11 of 12

I am so grateful I found Cake Central! You all have been so amazing in helping me with this decision! I think I have decided to drop my "real" job down to part time and increase my cake orders as sort of a "trial period". This way if I tend to start hurting more I can always bump back up to full time at my "real" job and do my cakes as i have been for friends and family as I have time. icon_cool.gif

CalhounsCakery Posted 7 Apr 2011 , 8:53pm
post #12 of 12

I developed this while pregnant, and still have issues sometimes. I have a brace that I wear when my wrists hurts, and it really helps. Perhaps you could try that.

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