What to do when your body is wrecked from the repetitive stress movements of court reporting for 18 years...

So I'm at that point that my body is just about to give up from the physical stresses of cr'g for so long. Anybody else have this problem? I now dread going to a depo bc I know I'm going to be in pain all day while typing away. I've spent thousands of dollars on docs, chiropractors, stretch constantly, exercise, take advils, aleve, and I really don't think I can do it much longer at this pace. The pain and discomfort can bring me to tears.

I'm not sure what else to do. I've written a screenplay and some song lyrics. Gonna try to sell those, but of course that's fantasy land, and I have to be practical. I'm giving myself till the end of this year to make a change. Also I got to play a court reporter on a TV show last month that airs this summer. No speaking part, but it was a blast! I definitely want to pursue that some more.

But what really sux is court reporting is such good money. I live very comfortably now. I'm 41, single, no kids, good savings, but in order to make a career change, I have to move out of my expensive townhome.

Sorry for the long vent, but I'm wondering if anyone else is going through the same thing as me and what you did or are doing about it. Also maybe anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the pain?

Another thing... It really is gonna be hard to downsize and live in a crappy, probably tiny apartment again like I did when I was in my 20s, but I gotta make a change. No sugar daddy for me, no husband to fall back on. Tough times...

Thanks for listening :-)

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Michelle,  One thing to try is cold laser therapy.   It is $40 a session and keeps me out of pain.   My elbow was hurting so bad and throbbing every time I wrote.   It would have been diagnosed as tennis elbow had I gone to a doctor.  I had one session of cold laser therapy and it never bothered me again.   My shoulders were bothering me a month ago after a series of long depos.   I did the cold laser therapy on both shoulders and took many hot baths and again the pain was gone.   It gets rid of the inflammation.   Good luck.



What kind of therapist uses cold laser therapy?

Never heard of that! I'll check into it. Thanks!

Kelli, The premiums you've paid and continue to pay for your disability policy with a benefit of $2,500 per month has been a wise investment.  You are in the very fortunate position of paying premiums and not filing a claim.   A broken leg (or two; BTDT) could result in quite a long disability period.  That $2,500/month benefit would far exceed what you've paid in premiums.  I have 3 disability policies and pay through the teeth but I'd never be without them.  I'm a big believer in insurance and not taking chances.  I've had to collect benefits.   Don't know what I'd have done without them.   You can upgrade your policy to more per month or take on a second or third policy to cover your expenses.  All at a price.  At least you've got the $2500/month in place.  A lot better than nothing.

I'm pretty sure that 2500 would be tax free.  That's more like earning 4000 when you don't pay taxes.

Disability benefits are tax-free ONLY IF you do not claim the premium as a deduction.  So of course I never do because in the awful event I have to collect benefits, it's pretty sweet keeping the whole thing.

Dear Michelle,

   On Stenograph, you can buy ReportIt.  ReportIt sits on your lap and helps support your arms.  I bought one of these probably 15 years ago.  I've gone through two of them.  They are lifesavers to me.   The pain of an all-day depo was starting to take a toll.  Maybe two times in 15 years I've left my ReportIt in the car.  I stopped the depo and went to the car to get it because I can't stand to report without it.  Another wonderful thing for you to do is Yoga and/or Pilates.  Both build your core strength.  That's also very important.  Number one thing I would try if I were you is ReportIt.  Just go on Stenograph website and search Reportit.  It's 144 bucks.  Well worth it.  If you don't like it, you can send it back.  Lastly I love BEER!  Ha, ha, that helps....of course, not at a depo, at night when I'm sitting there telling my hubby how hard my day was...

:)  Happy reporting.....

I've tried accupuncture multiple times with no relief.  Different things work for different people, though.

Thanks Lorraine. I do have a support rest for my arms, and I totally agree that it helps tremendously. And you're right about the core strength. I'm working on building that stronger now.

Michelle, I'm not a reporter but am looking into going back to finish so I apologize for hijacking your thread. 

That said, have you looked into accupuncture?  I know it's kinda "new-age voodoo" (that is what my Grampy referred to it as before he tried it) but I have heard some great stories about results people have gotten and if my 100 year old Grampy's results were indicative of what it can do, then there's something to it.  I've considered doing it for a little while now for thunderclap migraines that I get but thankfully haven't had one in a long time so haven't had to go rushing out for it.  Watch I'll get one now, pffft.   

Anyway, I would look into it if what you're experiencing is pain related because you have nothing to lose by trying and it may prove to be a catalyst that buys you several more years in the profession you love.  If you have any questions feel free to email me and I'll answer them the best I can based on my Grampy's experiences.


I have a funny story about trying acupuncture while I lived in NYC years ago. On my lunch break I went next door to Chinatown and tried it. They put the needles in and left me in a room facing face down on the bed. A little ways into it, I felt some heat emanating from my body. I was like, oh, I must be feeling the chi! Or whatever the heck they call that. Then the lady comes back into the room, and I turned around and saw a big heat lamp placed over my back. I still laugh about that one!!!

You've gotten a lot of great suggestions.  Are you doing your own scoping?    If, so get a scopist NOW.  It makes a huge difference.  I didn't have one for a few months and my right arm was absolutely killing me.  Once I went back to not editing my own work I felt so much better.  The computer bothers me more than writing at my machine.  If you have good health insurance have your doctor prescribe physical therapy and bring your machine in with you so they can make suggestions how to sit at your machine.  


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