Carpal Tunnel :-(

Decorating By BarbaraM0809 Updated 7 Jun 2012 , 2:03am by BarbaraM0809

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BarbaraM0809 Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 8:23pm
post #1 of 8

Well, it's official I have to give up decorating cakes until I can afford surgery. I went to my dr today and he told me to lay off until I have decent insurance to afford surgery...I have had carpal tunnel in both wrists for years now but it never was really bad until I started decorating cakes in January. Now I can't do anything that requires squeezing, pinching or gripping for more than a minute before I'm in pain...This is just very frustrating for me since I've finally found something that I enjoyed doing and could earn a little money doing it. No real point to this post but to vent a little, you guys have always been a great help and support to me and I'll still be around stalking and asking question lol...Have a blessed day everyone!

7 replies
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icer101 Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 8:39pm
post #2 of 8

Hi, i am so sorry about this. I hope you can have it fixed soon. I got it last year after breaking my arm. The surgery was a cinch. Had to wait 6 wks. before squeezing a bag. I,m not as strong as i was before the broken arm and carpal tunnel, but i do everything i use to do. I love decorating cakes, also. but in don,t do as many as i use to. I had to cancel a few , when i broke my arm and then the carpal tunnel thing, so i don,t hear from those, good luck with getting it all fixed.

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DeniseNH Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 8:45pm
post #3 of 8

Oh no, we're all so scared that this could happen to us, you can feel it in your wrists after a night of rolling and blending fondant. Hope you can get right back to decorating after the operation...........the urge to decorate really never leaves you.. Fingers crossed.

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AmyCakes84 Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:12pm
post #4 of 8

Hi Barbara, I'm really sorry to hear your news. I really hope you are able to get the surgery and get back to making your beautiful cakes - I had a quick look at your gallery and they are fabulous!! In the mean time make sure you pamper yourself and try to keep positive.

Lots of love and hugs


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carmijok Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:22pm
post #5 of 8

I have a suggestion. Instead of covering your cakes with fondant that would require lots of wrist action...why not learn to smooth buttercream? Yes, you could still use fondant for decor, but working in small batches wouldn't be as grueling as what you have been doing.

I do not have carpal tunnel so I don't know if this is a valid suggestion or not, but if you love doing something so much, I would be thinking of ways to do it differently. You don't even have to squeeze a piping bag if you don't want to...all your decor...including borders can be fondant using molds and cutters and other techniques. Heck...what about a Cricut?

I never cover my cakes with fondant and my piping skills suck...but I can make a pretty cake.

The point is...take care of yourself, but assess what you do in caking that really causes you pain and maybe figure out an alternative way to do it!

Good luck and hang in there! thumbs_up.gif

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carmijok Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:24pm
post #6 of 8

Oh...and I forgot to mention. The Makins green clay extruder is perfect for those with carpal tunnel. It has a turn handle instead of a squeeze trigger. You can make lots of cool stuff with it !

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MimiFix Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 10:10pm
post #7 of 8

Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear this. But carmijok got it right, you don't have to stop all aspects of baking/decorating. There are ways to compensate for the actions that cause pain. You're going through a bad time now, but eventually things will get better.

Several years ago while working as a pastry chef I got severe carpal tunnel in each hand and then had surgery on each hand. While my left hand was healing I had an accident which resulted in two more carpal tunnel surgeries. And then, oh crap, I got trigger finger (sort of like tendonitis) in all ten of my fingers. Life as I knew it was over. It took me a while but I figured out how to stay in the food world, just going down a different path. My heart goes out to you, but know that there's good days ahead.

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BarbaraM0809 Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 2:03am
post #8 of 8

Thanks everyone for the support. I'm just going to finish the last 2 cakes for this month and then take a break to re evaluate my technique and learn to smooth frost dr also said to start sleeping with my braces on and wear them as much as I can (They're big and bulky and drive me crazy but I guess I'll deal with it lol) and one of those clay guns will be awesome too lol. Thanks again for all the ideas on how to hopefully keep doing this!

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