Tuesday, August 30, 2016

10 Difficult One-Handed Tasks

Life has a way of throwing you a curve ball now and then. It's been a week since I fractured my collarbone in a freak bicycle accident. I had just gotten back onto my bike when my foot slipped off the pedal and got caught in the spokes. I went over the handlebars and my shoulder hit the edge of this metal trash can.

The 'treatment' for a broken collarbone is to immobilize the arm in a sling and hope it heals well. Since then, I've been figuring out what I can and can't do and learning new ways to do things using only one hand. In the process, I've compiled this top 10 list of difficult one-handed tasks.

Working. Whether you're an aspiring sax player or just an ordinary postal worker, your doctor will probably insist that you take some time off. My doctor said 6-12 weeks of no working.

Writing or typing. Writing with pen and paper is a challenge when the arm in a sling is also your dominant arm. It's also hard to average my normal 90+ words per minute when typing with two or three fingers on my left hand.

Lifting. Anything. The second thing the doctor told me is no lifting. So far, a cup of coffee or bottle of water is the extent of my lifting.

Walking. Forget about even trying running, jumping, hiking or biking. Some days, it's painful just to walk. With one arm in a sling, taking baby steps prevents a fall and unnecessary jarring.

Personal hygiene. Washing your hand, brushing your teeth, showering and brushing your hair are all more difficult and time consuming with one hand. Forget about trying to apply make-up or cut nails.

Dressing. It's a challenge to put on or take off clothes with only one hand. Forget about looking cute. Elastic waist shorts and oversized shirts are my friends.

Driving. The third thing the doctor said no to was driving. Since the shoulder harness in the front passenger seat falls directly over the site of my injury, I'm a backseat driver for now. Sorry, Kenny.

Cooking. Since I can't lift anything and can only use one hand, cooking is pretty much out of my realm of possible activities. Oh well.

Tying shoelaces. Unless you wear shoes all day and evening at home, get someone with two hands to tie your shoes tight enough to stay on and loose enough to slip on and off. Slippers or flip-flops are also good choices.

Taking care of others. It's time to let others take care of you for a while, which is a difficult task for us independent types. Hopefully the dolls will understand.

So by now you may be wondering what's on the list of what I can do. That list is a little different.

Praying. It's at the top of my list and easy to do. I start each day with a prayer of thanksgiving before praying for others whose needs are much greater than mine.

Napping. Sleeping is highly overrated, but it's also difficult to get into a comfortable position. Little cat naps are much easier to manage than 'a good night's sleep' -- whatever that is.

Reading. Once I figured out how to balance a book on a pillow in my lap, I started tackling all of the books on my 'to-read' list. First book completed was "A Walk in the Woods," a true story of one man's attempt to thru-hike the 2.100-mile Appalachian Trail. I had already started reading this part adventure and part comedy book before the accident happened. The book engaged the hiker in me and kept me laughing. Next on the list is Mitch Albom's "have a little faith," a non-fiction book about one man's journey of faith after being asked by the rabbi of his childhood to deliver the man's eulogy.

Short neighborhood walks. I can't drive to the walking trails, but I can walk around the block. I can't wear my heavy camera, but I can take pictures with my cell phone. The same cell phone helps me stay connected with family and friends when I'm at home. Phone calls, text messages and social media can all be done one-handed.

Asking for and accepting help. This isn't always easy to do, especially when you're very independent. But I'm blessed with a wonderful husband who's been so helpful to me and I'm very grateful for his help, as well as help, healing wishes visits, cards and prayers from our children, grandkids and friends.

Dreaming. Maybe I can't do everything I want now, but I can hope, plan and dream about all of the things I'll do when I'm healed.

Being grateful and content. I only have one life to live, so I'm reminding myself every day to take it as it comes, to be grateful for everything and to be content with the journey of healing.

Hanging in there. Well, maybe not exactly like this, but you get the idea.

Reminding myself that this too shall pass. My Mom said this all the time and it's true. Nothing, whether good or bad, lasts forever. Each day is a gift and I thank God for the journey.

Until the next time, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.

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