one-handed living

after breaking my left wrist last sunday morning, which required surgery and a hospital stay, i’m back in my apartment, living on my own again, and discovering just how resourceful i can be. and where i definitely require another hand. at least this time, with a cast on an arm rather than an ankle, i’m much more mobile and less dependent upon others – and it’s almost summer, so no reason not to get outside and walk every day for exercise (although the going is slow as i constantly scan the ground ahead for potholes instead of pennies). but it’s interesting what i can and can’t do, or where i just have to muddle along as best i can.

can do with one hand:

type on the computer, although my use of caps and some punctuation is limited to the absolutely necessary, like ? and ! and 🙂 tiring though for my customary right-handed thumb-and-two-finger pecking, and requiring a good edit at the end. much easier to point and click, and write brief comments on facebook

shower and wash – although i’m limiting this activity because it’s tiring keeping the cast over my head and out of the stream of water, lathering up with only one hand. besides, no matter how much i wash my body and hair, the cast itself still smells…

dress myself (thank goodness for sports bras…)

tie my own shoelaces – with difficulty, but i can get ‘er done

cook simple meals that require mainly heating and no slicing or chopping

eat, as long as there is no cutting of food involved

wash dishes, but not pots or large bowls

pack up the garbage – although with some difficulty

laundry, with one exception (see below)

go out to the coffee shop and visit with friends and colleagues, especially if they’re buying 🙂

can’t do well or at all with only one hand:

do up buttons

fold and put away clean clothes after washing and drying the laundry…

change the sheets and duvet cover on the bed

clean the apartment (no, wait – that’s only because i hate cleaning the apartment, even when i have the use of both hands)

pay bills – but, ummm, that’s because i have no money…

open tightly fitting plastic lids or plastic factory wrapping

adhere to deadlines (oh, right… wasn’t very good at that either with both hands)

read a paper newspaper, magazine or hardcover book – good argument for having an e-reader or for reading online on my computer

lug around heavy bags of books (although no more library conference displays scheduled until after this cast is off)

drive my car – my shopping is limited to my neighbourhood and where i can walk then carry home purchases comfortably

so i’ve either been dependent on friends to help out, or i’ve just muddled through as best i can, tiring easily though as i seem to be on my own most of the time. thankfully i have internet and can remain in contact with the world outside my apartment. but it does get tiresome, typing with one hand, and takes probably five times longer to get any work done on the computer. good reason to write with a pad and pen. old school, but not as heavy carrying both to the coffee shop as my computer would be. bonus!

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3 responses

  1. Folded laundry is nice. Not necessary, but nice.

    Mend well, Susan 🙂

    1. Folding laundry and a broken wrist seem to be the least of my worries these days… Mending many broken things.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your broken wrist, Susan. But I have to admire the fact that you are still productive and very inventive despite the handicap! Mend soon! Best regards, Caroline

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