My Endless Battle With Lazy Wrist Syndrome

Nov. 12, 2013
Writer at Thought Catalog.
Disclaimer: I did not coin this phrase; my friend James did. One might say he even pioneered this disorder. One might also say I’ve taken it a step further.
Here, a VERY RARE shot of my wrist, seconds before it's about to call it quits. Notice my languishing grip.

Here, a VERY RARE shot of my wrist, seconds before it’s about to call it quits. Notice my languishing grip.

Living with lazy wrist syndrome isn’t like living with cancer or diabetes; you’re not constantly aware of your disease, or continuously monitoring your health and food intake either. But don’t be fooled by its unassuming nature; lazy wrist syndrome will creep up on you, unprepared, and leave you in shambles.

When I was younger, my lazy wrist was a real hurdle. White clothing was out of the question, as was bringing anything digestible into my bedroom. I also wasn’t trusted to wear any of my mom’s or sister’s clothes. And don’t even get me STARTED with drinking alcohol, an activity impossible to hide from my parents as most of my drinks would end up on my shirt. Sometimes I feel as if I was set up for failure. Like, I didn’t ask my mom to swathe my entire childhood home in a champagne-colored carpet. But she did. And as a result, I suffered.

Now, though, it’s not so bad! People’s expectations of me are low; like unbeatably low. No one gets pissed if I spill anything on their carpet because it’s expected. It’s pretty much established that I make a wretched houseguest, so I never feel any pressure to accept dinner party invitations, house party invitations, or what have you. It’s kind of nice!

Which isn’t to say that everyone gets off scot-free. Some things have definitely taken the brunt of my lazy wrist more so than others. My couch, for instance, as well as my white duvet color. Also my mother’s sanity. It appears I’ve passed it on to my dog too:

And yes, sure, there are still some low points that crop up daily. Like when I bring a beverage into bed and wake up immersed in a tepid liquid. I can’t ash a joint for the LIFE of me, and, let me tell you, when splashes of the scalding hot tea I like to make myself every night fall on my person, it doesn’t feel good. But the plus side is: I don’t have to clean my floors. Because hot tea on wood floors = instant sanitizer.

Like anyone who has long suffered with an illness, I have learned the ins and outs of mine, as well as the disasters that typically follow. I know now, for instance, that my lazy wrist can take one of two paths. The first path is the tried-and-true lazy wrist, wherein a cup I’m holding gradually shifts from an upright position to a 45 degree angle, and finally to a 90 degree angle, ensuring a steady but calm and hardly noticeable stream of Pimms Cup down my leg and onto my shoe. The second possible route my lazy wrist takes is much more aggressive in nature and can be dangerous if you’re anywhere near arm’s length. In this case, it’ll go from strong to limp in a fast-paced snap of the wrist, wherein the glass I’m holding is hurled from my very hand onto a spot far, far away and at an impossibly fast speed.

For a rare syndrome such as lazy wrist, it’s hard to come up with any conclusive evidence or findings. But what IS clear is that my wrist is steadily increasing in aggressiveness. Is it a product of my age? A sign that Parkinsons is imminent? Who knows. All I know is the incidents are becoming ever-more frequent and vigorous. Like that time I was in a meeting at my first real job (okay, fine, internship) after graduating college. I had a styrofoam cup of coffee in one hand and a sharpie in the other. I was sort of nervously tapping the sharpie against my cup when—BOOM!—my wrist went all Hulk on me and thrust the pen into the cup, puncturing it so hard that a stream of coffee spurt right out, staining my clothes as well as my boss’s.

Or even this past weekend at a family function in New Jersey. Little old me, just trying to get herself an innocent mimosa—but mimosas are never quite so innocent, are they? And true to form, this one backfired. That night my wrist failed me not once, but twice. As usual, it all happened so fast: one second it loses steam, and the next second it’s gone limp. There I was, trying to get my 6-year-old cousin to tell me what his favorite subject in school is, when all of a sudden my glass shoots out of my hand and misses his nose by a centimeter. I was about to blame it on the lazy wrist, until another thought crossed my mind: maybe I’m just drunk. TC mark

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