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Things that can be done with one hand…..and things that can not

In the 8 weeks since I TEMPORARILY lost the use of my left hand, I have discovered some new truths. Though many of these truths have been spiritual and eternally priceless, others have been quite physical. For the first few weeks, I was content (though not comfortable) with letting everything be done FOR me. I had help with bathing, dressing, eating, getting in the truck, opening doors, household chores, etc, etc. But there came a point where I had enough of that and determined to regain as much of my independence as possible. We are told that it could be a year before I will have full use of my hand, and there was no way I was going to remain completely helpless and needy for any extended period of time. After much experimentation and some trial and error, I have compiled a list of things that CAN and things that absolutely CAN NOT be done with one hand —- FYI 

Things you CAN do with one hand:

1. Shampoo and condition your hair (the bottles with the pump on top are the bomb)

2. Blow dry your hair (forget the round brush — just flip your head upside down and go for the bedhead look)

3. Flat iron your hair (head must be held sharply to the side so hair will stand out and can be grabbed without 3rd degree burns)

4. Apply makeup (hold mascara tube in your mouth while twisting out the brush)

5. Put a shirt on a hanger (first lay the shirt on the floor and then work the hanger into the shirt)

6. Cook supper (if you plan the menu around microwave steamer bags and grilled meat)

7. Get dressed (yoga pants, scrubs, and anything elastic is preferred)

8. Put on earrings (the clasp should be the flip kind)

9. Clean the bathroom (never needed two hands for that anyway)

10. Button jeans (if they are the stretchy ones you normally wear on days you’re feeling bloated)

11. Put on deodorant under both arms (yep – it’s possible but requires flexible joints)

12. Open mail (hold envelope tightly between your knees and use letter opener)

13. Type large amounts of text (better plan on this taking an entire day)

14. Hold a baby (the most important by far)


Things you can NOT do with one hand (believe me — I’ve tried them all)

1. Put your hair in a ponytail (oh how I wish I could figure out a way!)

2. Tie your shoes (flip flops to the rescue)

3. Put on a bra (no comment)

4. Open a child-proof cap (could barely do that with two hands)

5. Shave your arm pits (well, one of them anyway)

6. Fold laundry neatly (sloppily is possible)

7. Type fast (I’ve gone from 75 wpm down to 10 wpm)

8. Do push-ups (haven’t attempted the one-arm variety)

9. Cut the fingernails on your good hand (but you can cut the ones on your injured hand)

10. Pick up a baby (the worst by far)





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