Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Life As A One Handed Person

RHYS: 10 days ago, I tripped over a concrete berm in a dark parking lot and broke my wrist. I now sport a bright red cast in honor of the season and with its white lining, it looks like a mini Santa Claus on my hand. In many ways, I was lucky, it was a clean break, no shattered bone no pins needed, but I've come to realize that life for a one-handed person is not easy.

I can't even dress myself. I can't zip up my pants, and worse still, I can't unzip them in a hurry when I need to go to the restroom. I can't do up my bra. I am limited to those items that have wide enough sleeves to go over my cast. I can't cut up most of my own food, I can't open most jars and bottles. It was a complete revelation to me and I thank God that I have a husband who can do those things for me, however much he grouches about it. I wonder how a person would survive living alone. One would have to, of course. I've already learned quite a few tricks, like holding the wine bottle between my knees, while turning the cork-- obviously the most important things first. I'm learning to drive with one hand, although this is hairy at times, especially when I need to turn the wheel while changing gear.

Most frustrating of all, I can't type. Since I get at least 100 e-mails every day, this is obviously annoying. And so on the advice of friends, I invested in Dragon software. It took a long frustrating morning to load it. But now that it's loaded it's actually pretty good. There are some words it gets wrong, of course. It typed air to the thrown, instead of heir to the throne. When I wanted her Royal Spyness , it gave me Her Royal spiders. And while I was writing this, it gave me wide enough sleaze instead of wide enough sleeves. I may get a good future book title out of this if I use it for long enough.
I think I may continue to use it for my e-mails, but I can't see myself writing a book with it. It's too disruptive to my train of thought to have it type the wrong word or give me the wrong punctuation.

There are a few perks to my cast and my broken arm. People are very kind and solicitous. Friends offer to drive me or to come over and help me wrap presents. John spent a long time today, dressing crab and taking it out of the clause for me to eat. (I left the spelling error, so you can see what I'm dealing with!) His small perk for all this work is that he gets to put on and take off my bra!

So if you notice any error in my writing or spelling, within the next few weeks, I'm blaming it on the software . And if you see a person with a bright red cast going through the airport is likely to be me.


  1. Rhys, I think you really are doing an amazing job with this! You've carried on with putting up Jungle Red blogs all week and never complained! it sure does give some perspective on how life can change in an instant...

    When can you get the darn thing off??

    And PS, I've never broken a bone in my life and would like to keep it that way!

  2. This is SO FUNNY and I am SO GLAD it's not me. I can see the new novel: My Spellchecker Did It.

  3. ..or maybe The Girl With the Dragon Software?

  4. Sorry to hear about your broken wrist, Rhys. My daughter broke her arm falling off a balance beam when she was five. My biggest frustration with that was trying to keep the cast clean, but not get it wet for two months. She broke it during summer vacation, so we didn't have to worry about it affecting her schoolwork. Made for a dull summer though. No swimming.

  5. When I was in college, a girl in my dorm rode her bicycle into a wall and broke BOTH wrists. (She had turned her head to talk to someone and the bike swerved in a patch of gravel. She put out her hands to keep her from hitting the wall face-first.)

    Lucky for her, she lived in a quad with three very kind roommates who took turns helping her with everything, including the bathroom, so she could stay in school.

    Another Top 10 reason to keep a husband around. Or at least a very good friend. I hope you make a fast, selective recovery: able to write, but not do laundry or dishes. You decide when you want to be able to manage your own bra!

  6. Roberta, beware. My granddaughter broke a wrist two weeks before me and I commented that I had never broken anything in my life. Bad mistake.
    Luckily I have a fibreglass cast Melissa, so I can get it wet . And it's not very heavy either but it drives me crazy when I do too much and the hand swells under it.
    All well only two more weeks and it comes off. Yeah. Thanks for all your good wishes

  7. Rhys,
    You are such a good trooper. I'm glad you are getting some good jokes -- and hopefully, good titles - out of this!

  8. Rhys, I sympathize. Mine right hand had tennis elbow for a few months so I can relate to the bra problem. One morning I went running out of the house in nightshirt to grab Hubby who was leaving for work before he helped with the bra that I hadn't realized I couldn't put on. Cooking was a nightmare becasue I couldn't hold anything in that hand. First time in my life I'd wished I was lefthanded.

    Hope it heals quickly.