So, just over 3 weeks ago, I was walking in the park
. Of course it's winter up here in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada.
i ended up slipping on ice
And ... I broke my left wrist.
These past 3 weeks, I've learnt many things. Not the least of which is how to function in my daily life with, for all intents and purposes, one arm and hand. I wondered if others may be able to benefit from those things I've figured out, so here I go ...
~ I have found that I can do *most* things with only one hand, but it takes a lot longer. I have to get up earlier than I used to in order to get to work on time
~ to open bottles, containers, etc., some are manageable with one hand - others can be tucked into the crook of your injured arm and turned with the good hand. Still others can be stabilized between the knees to open with your good hand
~ easy-open containers of pain-killers may become your new best friend!
~ depending on the type of cast you have, and the severity and type of injury you have, you may be able to do more or less tasks alone; while I have a tiny simple fracture in my wrist, that is healing well, I am still not able to make certain, seemingly tiny movements that involve a pincer grasp of my fingers with any sort of twisting motion; however, I am able to balance fairly heavy books on my cast at work, without any pain or re-injury
~ if available, get a water-proof cast - sooooo worth the extra money! (yes, even in Canada, I had to pay for this option as the materials are costlier).
~ if you cannot get a water-proof cast, make sure you bag your arm to bathe or shower. i found the white kitchen garbage bags useful (longer than grocery bags, but not as huge as black garbage bags) especially if I used a large elastic on the end instead of tape
~ get large "pump" shampoo and conditioner bottles - they can be used one-handed!
~ large/long soap blocks can make it easier to wash your uninjured underarm by yourself; if not, baby/hand wipes can be used in a pinch if you are alone
~ if you do have a water-proof cast, ensure you shower early enough to allow the cast to dry before dressing. Too many mornings I have been rushed, and ended up with wet splotches on my clothes wherever the cast drips or sits as it dries
~ if your anti-antiperspirant too is long enough, you may be able to apply it yourself to your uninjured underarm
~ the idea of not flossing for 4-6 weeks was repugnant to me - until I found that I could actually continue with my dental hygiene - there are these handy items that are little plastic doo-dads with a piece of floss that can be used one-handed! Wonderful inventions!
~ how does one apply moisturizer to one's elbows if you can only use one hand? I put lotion on my right thigh, then rub my elbow in the excess to apply to my uninjured arm!
~ I have found I can put on most of my clothes now alone - however at the beginning, when the pain and swelling was much more - I needed help with almost everything
~ now, each morning, the only thing I need help with is my bra, but my husband is getting adept at doing it up now. Who knew he could learn to not only remove it?
~ slip-on boots and shoes are my friends! I'm getting quite silly-looking with my large winter boots now that the snow and ice are melting. However, I can put them on *by myself* and that's what counts!
~ most grocery stores now carry ready-to-eat fairly healthy meals made in store - those are *great*! And oh, so useful when my husband works long hours and cannot cook for us
~ likewise, most stores have ready-to-eat produce already washed and cut
~ baked potatoes are much easier to prepare than mashed potatoes when you only have one hand to use!
~ likewise, frozen vegetables are much easier to prepare than cutting and chopping fresh veggies (although the taste is different, of course)
~ meat doesn't need to be cut to be eaten - I can manage just fine by stabbing a piece of meat with my fork and then nibbling off bits to chew (like a funny-looking lollipop!).
I've certainly learned a lot these past few weeks. Not the least of which being:
~ most people are very willing to help - if I only ASK
~ some things are not as important as I thought they were - if they don't get done, or they don't get done right away ... meh *shrug*
~ I'm stronger than I think
i have learnt patience, appreciation, and gratitude. And I thank God for that.
Thanks for "listening".