Sunday, January 11, 2009

What I've discovered so far about one-handed living

What I've discovered so far about one-handed living:
  • I don't have a sling, but I tend to hold my arm as if I did because it hurts less that way. Sometimes I hold it at a right angle, near my waist. Other times I hold it angled upward, near my opposite shoulder. If I'm at a desk, I can put my elbow on the desk and have my arm point upward, or I can lay my arm on the desk.
  • Use of my hand is impaired not only by the presence of the cast, but also by the fact that it hurts to hold my arm in positions other than those described above.
  • Holding my arm in these positions messes up my overall alignment, making me feel twisted or hunched.
  • Cooking: avoid cooking in pans, things that need cutting, or cans that need opening. You can eat foods cooked in the microwave, such as frozen dinners, oatmeal, tea, and popcorn. You can also eat foods that don't need cooking, such as rolls, cold cereal, and apples. Oranges can be peeled, but it is difficult. You can pour liquids into cups. You can open bottles and jars as long as the lids are not on too tightly.
  • Dishwashing: You can wipe things out, but you can't give them a good scrubbing, so dishes that have something stuck to them will still have it after you've done your version of washing the dishes.
  • You can get dressed, take a shower, wash your hair, do laundry, take out the trash, put in contact lenses, and use the computer, but these activities are more draining, painful, and time consuming than they used to be.
  • When doing something like taking off a sweater or taking off a backpack, you must first think strategically about how to do it.
  • Ponchos are nice because you don't have to deal with sliding the sleeve over your cast.
  • Use a computer for the things you used to write by hand, such as grocery lists and phone messages.
  • The doctor may have been out of his mind when he said I could drive. Luckily Gail said she would take me with her grocery shopping every week.
  • I don't think I can shovel snow, but since I can't drive, I don't need to.

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