Since July 4 I have been negotiating the activities of daily living with my left hand.
My father is left-handed. One of my brothers is left-handed.
I am not left-handed. I am most definitely a right-handed person, and I am often not very well coordinated with that hand on the best of days.
There were times in the past 5 weeks (give or take a few days) that the frustration level of trying to do things with my left hand resulted in crying jags and, I am sorry to say, an occasional word.
At about 3 weeks in, I suddenly remembered seeing numerous images of English people eating with their forks in their left hand, but turned upside down. And much to my delight (and the state of my clothes), I discovered a method to their madness: any food that could be impaled on the tines of the fork could be stabbed with the fork upside down and easily gotten to my mouth, without first take a side trip somewhere else.
On Thursday, I had a follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, and left the splint in the trash can and walked out with just the sling and instructions to begin gentle range of motion and stretching exercises for 3 weeks. If all continues to progress well, then he said he will write orders for me to have physical therapy with the “Samsonite Monkeys,” which is the term he used for the people who will administer the physical therapy and which came from an old television commercial for Samsonite luggage.
I am not sure what I expected that I would be able to do with my right hand when I came home, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t much, at least at first.
And the muscles in my arm, especially around my wrist, that had been used almost not at all for 5 weeks protested with vigor at being asked to do even the simplest thing. I can't rotate my wrist so my palm is up, for example
I know that sometimes praying for patience means we are then put in difficult situations where we get to practice having patience.
Even though I can see some progress in what I can do -- even in the last two days – I can now feed myself with my right hand, and I can take a shower by myself (which I think disappoints my dearly beloved just a little), I am still in a difficult situation.
Do I dare ask for patience? I need some!