Saturday, May 26, 2012

Feeling the pinch

Pinched-Nerve-In-ShoulderI woke up a couple of weeks ago with a stabbing pain behind my left shoulder blade, shooting pain up my left arm and tingling in the fingers.  Easily identified with the Ulnar nerve distribution (grad school training comes back easily), I expected that I slept on it wrong, but, to be sure I wasn’t having a heart attack I went to the doctor.  He confirmed that it was a pinched C8 nerve in my neck: take some ibuprofen and see the PT about it if things don’t improve.

Those pains only accumulate as you get older, my mother offered.  Since she gave me a sticky cinnamon bun to to chew along with the advice; I accepted the distraction sweetly.

The problem is that these distractions carry consequences.  The occasional tingling and weakness is worrisome (although it’s slowly getting better), it interferes with sleep and work, its causing me to grasp things in ways that favor the remaining fingers.  So I have to deal with something I always took for granted, consciously setting pain aside and taking time to secure my grip before moving.OLSB

Similar events disrupt business.

Stone Bridge Biomedical has it’s web and mail services hosted with Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business.  This month, Microsoft simply turned the servers off and rolled up the service.  I first found out about it as my mail client stopped working, then my web site went down.  Customer support simply said “You were warned: check your junk mail folder,” and their handy migration guide led to more expensive and less reliable third-party tools that were overwhelmed by the legions of people caught by surprise.

It’s enough to make my shoulder throb.

Actually, there are lots of similarities.  I was caught by surprise by the sudden loss of function at my sites, and spent hours ruling out possibilities before spending a day consulting a professional.  The diagnosis requires time, money, and effort to cure, and resolution will be slow in coming.  Meanwhile, more important things have to hang while I deal with the issue handed to me, through no fault of my own.


I especially dislike the tag-apology it reminds me of what National Rail UK says, insincerely, every day as trains are delayed.

This is not the first issue with Microsoft recently.  In their ongoing effort to become cool again, they have released, then discarded, media players, utilities, phones, games, operating systems, web services, and, now, the blogging tool that I rely on.  Each entanglement and abandonment creates new problems, adds expense, and eats at my time and loyalty.  I’m looking with dread at the Metro-style Windows 8 touch interface: I touch-type commands and documents all day and whizzy tiles and always-on social connections won’t make me productive.

Microsoft is fast becoming the main source of pain in my day and, hauntingly, one who’s aches are indeed accumulating as I get older.

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