Flying is one thing – one-point landing another
October 31, 2010
For 10 years I wrote a horticultural news letter. I’m sure that very few of my 300 loyal subscribers would not be a bit surprised to learn I ended up in my rose garden. Of course most of them would think it was my ashes and not me bodily.
It takes a pretty dumb person to string a seeper hose across a stepping stone path in the rose garden. And an even stupider one to wear wide opened-toed sandals down that path while looking up at the internet dish. But that is what I did and scooped the hose right up in my sandal and tripped flying into the rose garden and making a one-point landing on my right hand. All umpteen trillion pounds of me.
I pretty much knew from the get go that my right arm bone had snapped. And after I quit whining and looked at it, I knew I was right. I had not had that big bump on the back of my right hand before.
Well, as I could see it I had two choices, one lay there ’til I became one with the garden soil, or two get up and go to the house and call for someone to take me to the ER. If you’ve ever seen one of those nature programs where people are trying to right a beached whale you will get something of the idea of me struggling to my feet. At least I had not landed on a rose bush!
Luckily my next door neighbor (next door being five miles up the road) was in the house. I at last convinced him who I was and yes my arm was broke and to just get to coming. I guess ‘are you sure it is broken?’ was some kind of a mantra. My children, grandchildren, ER nurses, residents and doctor all intoned the same tiresome phrase. Anyway seven hours in the ER and an afternoon and evening at Dr. Murphy’s clinic and surgery I at last immerged with my arm that was broken in five places pinned and immobilized in splints and an ace bandage.
Now began the eight week training of my left hand. You soon know that your left hand has been a goldbricking wuss its whole life. It absolutely does not know how to do anything. Can’t even unroll and break off toilet paper let alone finish the job! It can’t wash itself or scratch an itch on the back side of its arm.
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So you have to get pretty inventive. You lay the tooth brush on the sink, open the paste with your teeth and squeeze it along the side of the brush. Then grab it and try to slurp it up on the top of the bristles. But in the long run it doesn’t matter anyway as your left hand has no idea how to brush teeth. You can not floss with only your left hand.
Want a banana on your cereal? Eventually you can scratch the peel off. Then I found you can slice it by lying it on a small paper plate and with a little twist of the wrist you can keep the slice on the knife and scrape it into your cereal bowl.
Everything is made for right-handed people. The handle to put the foot rest up on your lazy boy, the gear shift on your car, the toilet paper holder, all on the right side! If you think picking peas is hard one-handed, that being your retarded left one, try shelling them! I found by putting them in a deep bowl, so they didn’t shoot all over, I could shell them. Or smoosh the pods open and clean them out. To slice a potato I learned to fold a dish cloth in fourths and then the potato would stay put while you pressed down with a butcher knife. Works for a lot of things that need sliced.
To change the hose from spray head to sprinkler was a real challenge. When the hose is dry you can hold it between your knees and eventually get it done. When the hose is wet it takes a lot of swear words.
Most of you probably thought your teeth were made for chewing. Wrong! They become your second hand holding things in place while you do whatever. But it is a bit hard on the enamel on your front teeth.
But I remembered my grandmother’s advice to always try to be a Pollyanna and find something “good in every situation.” This was brought home to me in a very humiliating way one day I was in town. A lady stopped me and inquired about my arm and I gave her my best whinny speech about my dumb left hand and she said, “I know.” And held up her right hand which was missing all the fingers except part of the fore finger and half of the thumb, “been this way since I was three.” How small can you feel?
But what I have missed most is writing. I can not even write a check! I have kept a journal everyday since Jan. 1, 1999. I am now short 4 weeks and will not have my hand back until Oct. 1. I have written a few emails and this story left handed, but you spend a lot of time trying to hit the right keys and going back and correcting. My left hand is really lost on the right side of the key board. I will be ever so glad to let old lefty go back to her lazy ways.