It’s been almost four weeks now since I fell and broke my right arm, and in that time, I’ve discovered how frustrating it is trying to operate with one hand – my non-dominate hand at that.
Laugh all you want, but this is not funny. I can’t dress myself, I can barely feed myself, and I cannot remember the last time my hair was so messy and out of control.
Actually, I take that back. The last time my hair looked like this, I was in high school and was called a whole plethora of nasty little names that referred to the complete disarray of growth atop my head. Luckily, just before I left school, I met a wonderful hairdresser who taught me how to literally ‘control the uncontrollable’. Without his help, I doubt I would have landed my first job let alone my first date.
And here I am, almost 40 years later, suffering once again because my hair demands the undivided attention of two hands to look respectable. Thank goodness Dean is here, and although he jokes about what he has to do to help me, he is learning the intricacies of how to apply styling product to my wayward locks.
There are many other things I can’t do.
Ladies, when was the last time you tried to put your bra on one-handed? It’s much easier said than done.
Gentlemen, when was the last time you tried to do up your trousers using only one hand? Buttons and zips sometimes require duel handed cooperation.
But what about eating a meal? Cutting food into bite-sized portions? Buttering a piece of toast? Holding a sandwich and eating it before the filling falls out? Then there’s picking up said sandwich. Scratching an itch often requires assistance, and I’m not talking about that hasty universal plea of “Scratch my back, quick, scratch my back!”
What about using a camera? Almost all the controls are on the right-hand side – focus, shoot, zoom – but I can’t even hold the viewfinder up to my eye, let alone use the view screen, because – wait for it … I can’t hold the camera! Ok, this one really hurts, not so much the doing or attempting to do (ok, yes, that does indeed hurt), but the fact that I cannot use my camera and am reduced to one-handed shots with my iPhone, and I know the results are (very) questionable.
Just to prove me wrong, here’s a not so bad shot of a kookaburra I took yesterday.
Ok, so there are some things I can do, but don’t get me started on applying make-up. Not that I use or apply much, but for now I am reduced to only using lipstick, and for that, I need a lot of concentration, and patience, just to ensure I don’t look like Crusty the Clown. I’ve had a few restarts – most annoying.
I’m sure if I tried to use my eyebrow pencil, or eyeliner, I’d end up looking like another clown – you know – that really scary one. For now though, looking like I have no eyebrows is the preferred appearance.
As I said earlier, this is not funny. All these little, seemingly insignificant tasks have become difficult to do. Some days they seem very difficult indeed. Though I must admit, I am regaining a little use of my right hand, albeit my fingers have lost an incredible amount of strength. I cannot grip anything, and certainly, am unable to put pressure between my thumb and index finger. I’ve more control between my index finger and my tall finger.
Try not using your thumb – now that’s a completely different experience again.
I tried signing my name the other day. This is what my funky, non-official signature looks like.
I think it’s rather quintessential and rarely varies.
Here are my left-handed efforts.
Not exactly my idea of perfection, but it does highlight the need to keep trying, and remain patient.
I am still determined to teach my left hand how to write legibly, with at least some speed, and I continue to practice every day.
Each morning, after I’ve written out the alphabet in both upper and lower case, I’ve started writing something to fill the entire page of my “Learning to be a Lefty” book. Practising letters is one thing, putting them together in combinations that make words is another altogether. Most of what I write is nonsense, but I do believe my efforts will make for a hilarious post – once I’m out of plaster and able to point and click with a real camera so I can show not just tell.
I might think and feel like this is not funny, that being a ‘one-armed bandit’ is annoying and frustrating, and it is. But I’ve no doubt, sometime in the not too distant future, I’ll look back on this time in my life and see it for what it really is – wonderful fodder for another humorous speech.
In response to the Sandbox Writing Challenge – Perfection
Also in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt – Patience