I fell down. In medical terms, I had a “foosh”. I tripped on a branch and Fell On an Out-Stretched Hand. When I hit the ground I heard a crunch and felt the fury of a million minions stabbing me in the wrist.
The ER staff confirmed the crunch was, in fact, the sound of breaking bones. They put me in a cast up to my armpit and referred me to an orthopedist. The orthopedist took one look at the X-rays and sent me to a hand & wrist specialist. The specialist gravely informed me that surgery was the best option for a successful recovery. Consequently, I am now the proud owner of a titanium plate and 6 screws in my wrist. I am compelled to navigate the rest of my summer with my non-dominant, left hand.
I found a few hacks online for coping with one limb but there have been many daily tasks for which I’ve needed to design my own strategies.
Here are tips from others:
Buy a cast cover instead of wrestling with plastic bags for showering. After the cast comes off, you will be prepared should you every encounter an elephant needing a condom.
An electric toothbrush is easier and more effective than using a standard toothbrush. Floss picks are very handy.
Pump bottles for shampoo, conditioner and lotion are easier to use than squeeze containers.
Wear slip-on shoes wherever possible. Elastic laces convert sport shoes to slip-ons.
Ask the pharmacist for a few non-childproof pill bottles.
Here are some hacks I developed:
Showering is awkward but drying off is the true challenge. If you lay a towel on the bed, lie down and flop around, you’ll get all of the tricky spots you can’t otherwise reach.
Reaching your armpit on the working side is awkward. Roll on deodorant in a taller bottle is an easier reach and requires less pressure.
Flushable wipes. Enough said.
If you need to chop or slice, large clothespins can secure foods that might otherwise fly across the kitchen. A non-skid mat under a plate or cutting board also helps. Better yet, spend a little extra and buy food already prepared.
Salad can be eaten with a spoon.
PULL the grocery cart.
Left handed scissors and ergonomic pens are a worthwhile investment.
Children’s handwriting workbooks can be found at the dollar store. A few minutes of practice every day go a long way in developing your non-dominant penmanship.
Your working hand will ache. Relieve cramps by rolling it on a firm rubber ball and stretch it often.
Folding and hanging can take a vacation. It’s OK to live out of your laundry basket. Use hooks instead of clothes hangers.
For those who wear earrings and bras:
Clip-on earrings are worth the discomfort.
Pre-hook your bra and step into it, wear a stretchy sports bra or just let the girls roam free.
As much of an inconvenience as this has been, it has been merely that-inconvenient.
I am fortunate to have helpful family and friends. I have health insurance. I have access to competent medical professionals. I’ve avoided suffering thanks to effective pain medicine (appropriately taken).
I have, out of necessity slowed down. I am more deliberate and mindful. I no longer take opposable thumbs for granted.
In retrospect, I didn’t trip. God pushed me. It’s the only way I’d learn.