saebo“I did it single handedly,” the woman said, lifting her glass and deftly moving a cocktail napkin onto the wet ring left on the table top. Really, I thought. Really? I thought again watching her hands busily rearrange items on the table. Although she boasted, I sensed she was also whining that no one had stepped forth to assist her. I gave her a mild stink eye. Granted she didn’t know me and she could only see me from the tabletop up. She had no idea Lida (little dead arm) rested slightly curled in my lap

Apparently ‘single-handedly’ actually means less than three hands. Because the woman definitely had two working hands. I had to dig deep to find any sympathy for her. Honestly, I never developed any. Just a few things that are difficult to do single-handedly: buttons and zippers (down is usually possible; up can be tricky), pretty much all fasteners except Velcro. Folding clothes, opening Ziploc bags, putting money in a wallet, looking at a magazine. (The pages won’t stay open to the page I wish to read or look at). In actuality, attempts to manipulate anything non-stationary is a challenge with a single hand. It is tough to hold the damn thing still and manipulate it with the same hand. Am I whining now? Maybe. But mostly I just want readers to appreciate things we all take for granted. Like a non-dominant hand

The image included with this post is just one of the high-tech gadgets I use to keep Lida open. You don’t want to mess with me when I’ve got that on. I only wear it at therapy so everyone is safe.

About Vic Cobb Fountain

Empowered Stroke survivor: appreciating where I've been, anticipating where I'm going.
This entry was posted in stroke, stroke recovery, stroke survivor, words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Single-handedly

  1. Maeve says:

    I know what you’re talking about. One of the things that got to me while my right arm wasn’t working are those restroom towel dispensers that tell you to grasp the towel with both hands before pulling. Yeah, right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I get it ! I also have a Lida. Daily chores are a challenge & I no longer multitask but I take pride on doing the laundry, cooking meals & cleaning my home singlehandedly! Here’s a virtual high five!

  3. elizabeth says:

    Buttons, zippers, cutting food for my toddler were hardest for me. My hand/arm mostly came back, but the fine motor is still hard. I have a bad habit of using my dominate hand only though. I do almost everything one handed. Always working on it.

  4. sandra shields Kelley says:

    My precious Grandmother had a stroke which left her left side just like Lida for 40 years. Hers was in the days before therapy outside of waiting for my Pap to go to the fields and insisting my uncle and mom get her out of bed. I never knew her any other way. She kept her wild Lida close to her side and used it for a paper weight as she read her Bible. I was always amazed at her ability to crack and shell pecans, wash clothes in the sink, hang them to dry, along with every other daily routine one handedly. So Vic I admire you with your Lida and your beautiful spirit. Thanks for your spunky outlook and determination. You, like my sweet little Mamaw inspire everyone who know you and I’m sure, many who don’t!

  5. sandra shields Kelley says:

    Oh and I experienced a useless right hand for a year after a botched up carpal tunnel surgery. I was teaching kindergarten. Had to teach little people how to write while using my non dominant left hand. Tricky! Still have to squeeze the stiffness out of it constantly …but thankfully it’s useful again!

  6. Marta Szwaya says:

    I too have a non working left hand…much improved however than immediately after the stroke.I have full sensation in my hand and arm, it just doesn’t know how to do anything.Not that it was especially clever or talented before, just a helper…I miss that quite a bit though. I expect it to heal as my brain continues to. I had a right side brain hemorhage in November of 2009…so it’s been a dreadfully long time. I do work full time though; the worst thing is not being able to fold towels at lightening speed as before. All my towel;s are white and I do love a orderly linen closet…funny what you miss most. Marta

  7. Marta Szwaya says:

    More on being really single handed, I also miss not being able to walk and carry a serving platter; more mindful of that as the holidays approach, not being able to place serving platters of delicious things on the dining room table, also am waiting for the arrival of a new granddaughter next week, and can’t confidently hold her without my left hand/ arm…a bit sad over that, but I’ll survive that as I have so many other things. Love your blog…will keep reading. Marta

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