“A Day in the Life of Me”, Preparing for the Day with One Hand/Arm

selective focus half face closeup photography of female s green eyes
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Here is what it was like getting dressed daily using only one hand/arm. First, I slowly put on my underwear. Then I fastened my bra and pulled it over my head and adjusted it. I picked up my shirt and arranged the sleeves. I put one arm in, then put it over my head, then in went the other arm. I rolled up a pantleg with my good hand and stepped through the hole. I repeated this for the other leg. I pulled up each side and straightened everything out.
For my hair, I pulled a tied bandana (headband) over my head, then arranged my hair, and pulled the bandana over my hair. As it was summer, I would have liked to put my hair up in a ponytail, but that was not possible without help.
For my feet, thank God it was summer so sandals were the rule of the day. I wore Teva sandals almost everyday because they had velcro, which I was very thankful for. Now, I do have elastic laces in my sneakers for “ease of operation”.
My right hand and arm were “out of the loop” and still are playing catch up. I am still not supposed to do anything involving any kind of weight on that side. So, I don’t. Someday, soon I hope, things will be back to normal, on both sides, for getting dressed and everything else.

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A Mile In Other People’s Shoes

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I am definitely walking a mile in other peoples’ shoes. Yes, I realize this is a temporary condition for me. But it has opened my eyes to a new reality. And has made me appreciate what I have just expected and lived with all these years.

I now understand the Basics of life without use of one arm and hand. So many things were difficult if not barely possible for me. To name just a few of my discoveries, I asked other people, ex.,¬†waitstaff in restaurants, to cut my food (meat, pasta) for me, my hair didn’t see an elastic in Weeks, showering took some serious thought and prep, and getting dressed was an adventure dependent on gravity and quick, on-the-fly tosses and grabs. Lifting “light” things, unscrewing jar lids or lightbulbs, wringing out a towel or my hair, and tying shoes or a bandana were all hard or impossible.

I’ll go back to life as usual in a few weeks. First I have to get my body back to “normal”. This is sure to be a slow process. I am sure my wrist and its muscles have forgotten a few things. They will have to be (painfully) reminded.¬† Therapy awaits. I hope I get to use my new friend, ice, during this.

As I said, in a few weeks, I go back to a ‘normal’ life. Through this process, I am realizing that other people can’t. It is a humbling wake-up call about all the things I have taken for granted being able to do without difficulty, or pain. I will try to keep these in mind as I go about living from now on.