Learning How to do Things with an Injured Hand

Almost two weeks ago I broke my wrist. It was so messed up that I needed surgery to put it back in place. Now there is a screw in my wrist and I have to wear a splint that makes my right hand close to useless for another four or five weeks. Because I am right-handed, This has been a bit of a challenge for me. But I am learning how to do things a little bit differently with my injured hand.

Taking Your Hand for Granted

Even though I’m a writer and I use my hands all the time, I started taking them for granted. You don’t really think about on the things you can do when you are healthy and in good shape. Everything from brushing my teeth to putting on my clothes to driving is different now that I can use one of my hands.

I can’t hold anything heavy with my injured hand and I’m not supposed to use it to push or pull. This changes a lot of processes there are use in everyday life, including re-filling our water dispenser and opening jars. It also makes it harder for me to use the scissors.

Even though this injury has been annoying, I am fortunate in that at some point in the next couple of months I will have the full use of my hand again. I will be able to type and fence and swim, as well as more efficiently and clean the house and drive without the need to reach across my body every time I move from Reverse into Drive.

While I can never truly empathize with someone who has permanently lost a limb or has become paralyzed, I can sympathize a little bit because of how much I’ve had to change the way I do things temporarily. After struggling to dress myself for the first time after the surgery, I gained a new level of respect for those whose difficulties are much greater than my own — and more permanent.

Relying on Others

One of the biggest changes is that I have to rely more on others now that I have an injured hand. The first couple of days after my surgery I wasn’t supposed to drive. I had to get rides from other people. Another big change is that I rely more on my son to help out. Because I can’t use my right hand, I have needed more help doing things around the house. My son has been great, helping with laundry and helping to fix meals. I am glad to have him around.

It’s a different situation to be in, and can be frustrating at times, knowing that I have to wait for someone to help me with something. I am able to do most things myself, although it usually takes me longer and sometimes I have to be creative about the way I go about things. I’m getting better at most things, though.

I am also using dictation software to help me get my work done. One of the scariest things was thinking about how my work would be impacted and how my income what suffer because of this accident. While I don’t particularly enjoy using dictation software, I am grateful to live at a time when technology makes it possible for me to simply dictate my words and have them appear on the computer screen.

We don’t always know what will happen next with life. A lot of the time we just have to do the best we can with what we have.

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