It’s a right-handed world

Having my right hand in a splint (one more week) means doing almost everything left-handed. Technically I am left-handed, but I do a lot of things with my right hand, and I’m beginning to realize why. Not only was I raised by right-handed parents, but the world is set up for right-handers. I get into my car, and the ignition is on the right side of the steering column. I have to twist around like a Slinky to turn it left-handed. Of course, the gearshift and parking brake are on the right side, too.

When I get home, I discover I have been unlocking the door with my right hand all these years. I stand there like an idiot trying to figure out which way to turn the key. In the kitchen, every jar or bottle is meant to be twisted by a right-hander. I almost had to get the neighbor to open a childproof-capped pill bottle for me. You should have seen me trying to chop vegetables. Cauliflower flying everywhere. Next time I may just pick up the whole thing and gnaw at it.

Opening any kind of package is a major challenge, and getting dressed leaves me breathless and aching. Now I know why my husband used to have so much trouble unhooking my bra. He’s left-handed. My zippers and buttons are on the wrong side,too and just tieing a shoe hurts.

I’m learning that elbows, teeth and feet can be very handy. Actually I’m very lucky. It’s only a sprained wrist. Lots of people have much worse problems. This is just a temporary challenge. I can already type two-handed again, and I can play piano very carefully. The doctor says I need one more week in the splint. Then I can start moving the wrist. Carefully. By Thanksgiving I should be doing pushups again, he says. I didn’t tell him I couldn’t do them before. 🙂 But I do look forward to being able to do all my yoga postures again. For now, I’ll be doing a lot of child’s pose and corpse pose. No plows or downward-facing dogs. Speaking of which, I was doing modified yoga yesterday, and I swear my black dog Chico was trying to do yoga, too. There he was on his back with his feet in the air . . .

Some folks are still telling me I have to get rid of the dogs. But others, including my doctor, think I’m better off with their company. I think the pups and I can reach an understanding. They’re 20 months old today. They’ll slow down eventually. I have.

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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