Thursday, December 16, 2004

Living the Low-Torque Lifestyle  

Among the many things made difficult by having one's right arm in a sling are a few surprises --- like the inability to apply torque.

I've injured my right wrist before, so I expected it would be difficult to type one handed (especially for a programmer who extensively uses shortcut keys --- try Ctrl-Alt-Shift-O one handed!), or to write one handed (especially bills and checks; they move when you can't hold them down), or to drive one handed (fumble for your right pocket keys, then the ignition, then the seat belt, then the gear shift --- thank God for automatics!) I've had to reduce the number of books I carry to lunch (to my benefit) and obviously heavy lifting is right out.

But it wasn't obvious at all --- perhaps because my previous injury was not so severe --- that I wouldn't be able to *twist* things. When the arm was still
unset for the first three days, even the slightest applied torque was intensely painful. And so I counted it a great victory when, after the bone plate was installed, I was finally able to rip open a pack of Sweet'NLow using something other than my teeth.

However, the problem persists. Opening jars one might expect to be a problem. But being unable to squeeze ice out of ice trays? Unable to fold pants? The problem is worse because I recruit my less deft left hand for everything else ... and thus more frequently drop things, causing my right hand to jerk after whatever I've dropped in an attempt to catch it ... resulting in another painful twinge.

But, it is feeling better --- itchy rather than twingy --- so I'm going to
hope and pray for the best at my doctor's appointment tomorrow!



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