Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Note from Dr. Lit

I have discovered a new kind of reading related injury. Having never met another person who has suffered an injury of this kind, I have taken it upon myself to name the phenomena. I have called it: GoneWiththeWind-Arm. It is somewhat like Ulysses Strain Injury, but manifests itself in a somewhat less pretentious manner.

Symptoms include a soreness in the left arm (or less predominent arm/ both arms should one be ambidextrous), distinct lack of swelling or bruising and occassionaly random throbbing.

At first, one may mistake this injury for another kind of injury. One will think: now when exactly did I hit my arm? One may consider that this was done lifting boxes at work, but will then wait for the accompanying swelling and bruising. One will be disappointed in this regard. Then, seeing as it is one's left arm, the thought may cross one's mind that one may be about to have a heart attack. Subsequently, this will be dismissed as utter stupidity as heart attacks do not affect the wrist. At a loss, one will assume it has something to do with either blood loss from sleeping on the arm, or the fact that over the course of one's life, said wrist has been broken twice.

Then, one night, as one lies on her side in repose, with Gone with the Wind in one hand, held out attractively at arms length, one will realise that the muscles of the left forearm are feeling that lactic acid strain which accompanies exercise. What an alien feeling... one thinks.

With a laugh, one then realises that the injury to her arm has been procured reading Margaret Mitchell's weighty 1011 page tome. One realises that it is the largest book one has ever read, and that longer than four weeks of one's life have been spent holding this book up in such a way at various times.

After finishing the book, one is relieved to realise that the sensation of strain disappears from the arm.

Dr. Lit's diagnosis? GoneWiththeWind- Arm is totally harmless. If the pain bothers you, try sitting up whilst reading, or switching arms. A bearable side effect of reading such an amazing book.

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