Saturday, September 4, 2010

When You Only Can Use One Arm

   I realize that my broken wrist is only for a short time in my life.  I have made some observations however that I can be bugged about or laugh about.  I will choose to laugh about and share what can be very frustrating.

1.  Undressing and dressing...choose the easiest items you can.  I would have been trapped in an over-the-head dress if My Love had not been here.  

2.  Ditto to jeans or any zip up item.  It can be embarrassing if you need to ask a stranger to zip your pants (button too) if you don't have a friend or family nearby.

3.  Showering brings a new challenge when you have a cast that won't allow you to bend your lower arm.  Plus you have to wear a bag (we used the newspaper bag) to keep it dry.  I also had to hold it up to keep the water off my arm as much as possible.  I am exhausted by the time I get out.

                                                                Newspaper bags are so handy!

4.  I can't squeeze shampoo into my other hand.  Thank goodness the soap dish is handy to use!  Using a bar of soap is a joke.  I use my puffy bath thingy that can hang on the sqeegee hook so I can squeeze bath gel onto it.

5.  I can only shave under one arm.  I can only put deodorant under one arm though I am getting better at doing that.

6.  Dixie Cups are quite useful.  Upside down I put my face lotion and hair volume gel on their own cups and can use my good hand to apply.  I am however grateful that I don't wear makeup as I can't even imagine the ordeal of applying and removing it all would be!

7.  I cannot use knives.  I ask for help for cutting my food.  

8.  I cannot use a can opener.  We only have a manual one not an electric.

9.  I cannot open jars.  

10. I cannot tie a bow.

11.  Cooking is a hazard or a joke.  Simple meals or someone else does the cooking.

12.  Washing dishes is a joke.  Round items go round and round.  I can't do wine glasses period, and I cannot say for sure that anything is clean.  Period.  I am grateful for having a dishwasher (man or machine).

13.  Laundry.  Yes I can get a load going but folding is very slow.  Hanging clothes is awkward and slow.

14.  Did I say I have Tendonitis in my good arm?  This has surely slowed the healing of that.

15.  In the words of Robin Williams from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, the Horizontal Mamba is not happening.  The last thing on my mind is having sex while I have a tree trunk on my arm.

16.  Speaking of bed...finding a comfortable position takes time.  I am tucked in by My Love...pillow under the knees, pillow next to me for the bum arm.  Sheets are such a pain to pull up because of the pillow next to my body.  I have to try and get the stupid bedding to go over it as it tends to not budge if I get up in the night.

17.  I love my high bed but I have to say it is a challenge to climb onto.  It might as well be a mountain.

18.  I cannot change the sheets on the bed.

19.  Folding sheets is impossible.

20.  I cannot iron.  I have to confess I like to iron and I like most of my clothes ironed.  My basket is getting full.  Anyone like to iron?  I'll make you lunch!  Oops!  I can't do that...I will take you out to lunch!

21.  Grocery shopping is not a problem per say, though using plastic bags in the produce department is not easy.  The bags don't like to stay open.  Thankfully other shoppers take pity on you and offer to help. 

22.  I cannot give myself a full mani-pedi.  Partial yes.  I cannot file the hand that needs it most.

23.  Typing on the computer with one hand is slow and makes me feel stupid.  I am constantly making mistakes!  

24.  I cannot blow dry my hair with only one hand....unless you have a clever husband who rigs up a stand for your blow dryer to be mounted on.  It is still exhausting to do but  I am happy that I can try to look decent.

                                           You think we could sell these? Blow dryer poles?

25.  I cannot clean the litter box.

26.  I have an awkward time turning the car on as well as shifting to reverse, drive and park.  I have no plans to parallel park.  I promise.  If R. is with me I ask him to help.  I secretly think he thinks this is quite funny with Mom having a hard time with the car.  14 year olds have an odd sense of humor.  

                         *  *  *  *  *
     With my new cast I expect to have more mobility.  Number 15 will change as now I don't have a tree trunk on my arm.  More like a hot pink weighted glove.  A hard as rock glove.  R. suggested I could pound nails with it.  No, I think not. I am accepting whatever way the house looks and not looking down at my floors.



Ms. Moon said...

You are so darling with that hot pink cast on your arm.
Okay. I have a story. I think I've told it on my blog but...
I knew a lovely older Southern Baptist lady named Miss Merle who had had carpal tunnel surgery on one hand and could not get her pants up due to her bandages. She asked her husband for help and he said, "Merle, I ain't got no practice in pulling your pants UP!"
Just the fact that Miss Merle related this story to me still makes me laugh.
Well. You must be frustrated but sometimes it is good to ask for help. People generally do like to give it.

Shannon Marie Pace said...

love the list, Ellen...until you lose use of an arm, it's hard to imagine what zillion things you take for granted being able to do.
Love your attitude, seeing the humor, the creativity (love the blow dryer stand -- go uncle Tim!)
lots of love !!!!

Ellen said...

Shannon - I have so much empathy for any one disabled of any limb....I had no idea what it could be like.

Ms. Moon - I like that story..and personally my Love enjoyed the undressing more than the dressing! He does need practice tying little bows.

Corinne said...

I never would have thought of so many of those!! All the things we take for granted...
(you should market that pole idea! It might come in handy for people with young children who hold one on the hip while trying to blow dry hair ;))

Elizabeth said...

When my Sophie broke her leg we picked out a hot purple cast for it -- I do love your pink, though!

I can't believe what a pain -- literal and figurative -- this is and hope you heal quickly.

Ellen said...

Corinne...Well when you get hurt and only have the one flipper you sure miss all that you can't do. Oh and the pole is great. My Love better not need it back anytime soon however.

Elizabeth...I have been teased that I picked a little girl's color but really I liked it better than green...purple could have been an option...maybe my next I will be getting another maybe at the end of the week...yes, it is a pain....Sophie with a broken bone must have been awful...hope she never has that happen again.

alex21 said...

Has your wrist tottally healed or have you still got pain?Hope you feel better.You look gorgeous with that hot pink cast.


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