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Ever really thought what it would be like if for any reason you could not use your right hand if you are right handed?
A couple of days ago, and out of sheer stupidity on my part, I got myself badly bitten by one of my dogs. I knew he had a problem, I knew he was going through a bad phase, but being me I wanted to pet him and make him feel better. He bit me. An angry, frustrated bite that took my first two fingers of my right hand in a crunching, tearing snap.
The shock and the pain, both physical and emotional were great. As I take aspirin on a regular basis as a blood thinner, the bleeding was also great. I promptly jumped into the car, got the driver to take me to the nearest pharmacy and had first aid administered. No anti tetanus shot as no dirt around, and no anti rabies as he is already vaccinated. Just stopping the bleeding, cleaning and bandaging. As I had over 20 people for the full day next day, I could not go to have it checked the next day, but the following day I did and had it cleaned again and loosely bandaged, given antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and things to bring down the swelling.
All this aside, the most uncomfortable aspect of the whole thing was how to do the simplest tasks that I took for granted, without the use of my first two fingers of my right hand. How to button or unbutton my trousers, how to comb my hair, how to cut my meat or even cut bread to make a sandwich. The antics I have to go through to have a shower, to get into or out of my clothes, to properly feed myself, have convinced me that it is no longer a luxury, I have to become multi dexterous.
Of course learning to do things with your left hand is not only frustrating, it is very often hilarious. Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your left hand? Do you really know what toothpaste smells like when you have it shoved by your brush into your nose? Have you ever tried wiping makeup off your face and eyes with your left hand? Let alone wiping anywhere else? Why does everything feel so warped and lopsided?
Typing out right now with my third finger of my right hand feels much more comfortable than using my left. The frustration of trying to use my mobile, any remote control for any gadget, or even opening or closing any jar! Turning on the lamps with my left hand is weird, I keep pushing the buttons the wrong way. Even eating is a challenge. Did you ever notice how your mouth is no longer in the right place when the fork moving towards it is in your left hand? Worse still a glass or cup full of liquid would tilt before reaching its destination! I’m not usually a klutz, but these days I take the cake.
Although I drive an automatic car, yet still the gears are on the right, even holding the steering wheel with one hand is scary. So everything that needs precision is now out of my realm. Even petting my cats has become awkward. Doing it with my left hand seems to rub them the wrong way, figuratively and otherwise.
An enforced lazy time is the least restful kind of vacation, but I’ll do my best to learn a new skill. I’ll force myself to do everything with my left hand till I master the art, so if anything else happens to my right hand I won’t be as helpless as I am now. Though I must admit I sometimes cannot stop laughing at the results of the things I do with my left hand. Totally embarrassing if done in public, but right here at home, devastatingly hilarious.
4 May 2016

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