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What I Learned From Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Penelope & Bella - What I Learned From Carpal Tunnel Surgery

I find myself sitting down to write this blog post after, what has been, an extremely challenging week. I went for carpal tunnel surgery last week, on my right hand – yup, I’m right-handed! So typing has become a challenge. Even pulling up my own jeans has become a challenge. So there have been a few minor frustrations, but I’m pleased to say I’m on the mend. One thing I realised though is that having older children during this time, where I’ve been semi-incapacitated, is far more beneficial than having young ones. I’m not so sure a toddler would react positively if I had to ask them to, say, help me tie my shoelace, or tie up my hair, or make me a cup of tea because frankly it’s so much faster if a two-handed person does the job.

I have promised the oldest a pampering at the salon to say thanks for the copious amounts of bra-fastening she’s done, because honestly that can’t be a cool chore for a teen! I’ve been booked off work for two weeks as well, which has given me some time to give this whole one-handed thing some thought. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some MANY things that us able-bodied people take for granted. For example:

1.  Waving without looking like an idiot – either it’s a chunky, bandaged right hand-handed wave, or a very awkward-looking left-handed wave

2.  Tying your shoelaces – no, you can’t do this with one hand

3.  Putting you hair up in a ponytail – nope, this one requires assistance as well

4.  Doing anything else while talking on the phone unless you put it on speaker – if you’re able to hold a cell phone in your ‘injured’ hand, then yippee for you. If not, you can forget about multitasking for a while. Try it, you don’t realise how often you do that.

5.  Signing your name – writing with a fine liner worked out ok for me, although it looked like I had just graduated with an MBChB, until I needed to sign in one of those duplicate books.

6.  Retrieving change from the right front pocket of your skinny jeans – just don’t wear skinnies with a bandaged hand. Ever.

7.  Using scissors – you’re doomed to uncoordinated left-hand cutting if you have no-one around to help you.

8.  Washing under your left arm – mmm, a tricky one. I figured out how to squirt soap on a floating loofah in the bath with my left hand, and that helped a bit.

9.  Twisting the lid off the toothpaste tube – or any other small bottle that you can’t hold under your right arm for support.

10.  Tearing open those little sugar sachets – make sure you take a supportive friend with you to the coffee shop, one who will help you…and then laugh at you 😉

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