“It was the one-armed man. He used a mechanical hand.”

"You find this man!" (Image courtesy of Google)

Remember this famous line from the movie, The Fugitive? Dr. Richard Kimball’s wife has been murdered, it turns out, by a one-armed man. A man, who despite having only one arm, and using a “mechanical hand” or more correctly called, a prosthetic arm, was able to do quite a bit. Granted, he was used to having only one arm, but still, he accomplished a lot, especially considering that his prosthetic hand was cosmetic, and did not have any opposable fingers. He broke into the Kimball apartment, killed the wife, fought and wrestled with Dr. Kimball, managing to get away, and eluded capture for most of the movie. Pretty good for a one-armed man, I think.

I should know. I’ve been the one-armed woman for, what seems like two weeks, but in actuality is only going on four days. And one of those days does not really count, because I was asleep for a good part of it. I have new admiration for all people who function with only one upper appendage.

Try to eat left-handed? I’m thinking of writing a diet book, calling it The non-dominant hand diet: a successful weight loss strategy for those frustrated by conventional methods. The premise is that one may only eat what food they could manage to bring to their mouths, using standard eating utensils and their non-dominant. hand. My theory is, that after a time, one would either lose weight, or give up and start eating all their food with their fingers, cave-man like, hunching over the plate least a morsel drop and become irretrievable. I’m still working out the details on this one. The down side? I could become really good at one-handed eating and actually gain weight. Still some bugs to work out I see.

Try getting dressed. There are certain articles of women’s clothing that cannot be put on with only one hand. No need to say more.

Have you ever tried to get out of bed without being able to roll to your side and push up with your arm? The first day I thought I was trapped in bed forever. But now, I’m seeing a second book in the works – Abd workouts for the one-armed. Perhaps I’ll get a guest trainer stint on The Biggest Loser.

Okay, I know, I’m exaggerating. I can use my right arm for all sorts of things right now. Well, writing, typing, and anything else that does not require moving my arm away from my side. And I have a husband here to help me. I really do need to stop complaining. I am getting better at it. And it’s not forever. But suddenly I have a strange urge to re watch The Fugitive.

© Huffygirl 2012

The finger

I’m trying to use my middle finger more. No, not for THAT. It’s just that my index finger, aka pointer, the one we all use for everything all day, from mousing and clicking to opening things, dialing the phone, pushing buttons, keyboarding, everything, is showing some arthritis at the distal joint, 

Finger binary

commonly called the DIP. Sigh. That makes me feel old, but this is a common site for arthritis to occur, and most people will get some arthritis in that joint at some point in their lives if they live long enough. So, I’m trying to conserve it. Save Mrs. Pointer for the really important jobs that only pointer fingers can do, and make it last longer. But this is easier said than done. For now, I’m trying to use my middle finger for all these things instead. It  works okay part of the time but it’s slower and takes more concentration. I still haven’t figured out how to hold a pen without using Mrs. Pointer, at least holding it in a way in which I can write legibly and comfortably. If anyone has figured this one out, please let me know.  Anyway, chances are I’ll only keep up these changes until trusty pointer feels better, then I’ll quit. Old habits are hard to break.

Although switching fingers is difficult, it’s not nearly as hard  as trying to use one’s non-dominant hand for writing or other fine motor tasks. Very difficult, but most people can do it if they have to. Some studies suggest  that non-dominant hand use spurs brain development. Here’s the scoop, although I hope you won’t be plagued with pop-ups when you click on this, like I was the first time I tried it.

So develop your brain, and save your digits. Give it a try. Let me know how you do.

 © Huffygirl 2011