Monday, January 19, 2009

The Miracle Of The Opposing Thumb

We've all heard about how what separates man from the animals is his opposable thumb. That chimps are the only other animals (I'm going by memory now because I'm too lazy to look it up, so go with me here) with thumbs, and that's part of what makes them so special.

I'm here to back that up firsthand.

After my issue on Friday -- you know, where I fought an avocado and the avocado won? -- I havn't been able to use the thumb on my right hand at all. I can move it, but using it in any way that puts pressure on it is too painful. I never really realized how much I use my thumb, especially on my non-dominant hand, until now.

I've decided that I'm a total wimp after this incident. God forbid I ever break my arm where I'm out of commission for more than four or five days. My world as I know it would come to an end. That, or I'd learn to adapt.

And without further ado, my list of things that I'm surprised I can't do (or find quite difficult) without two hands... or at least without two thumbs:

Crack an egg. And so far, I've had to crack three of them. I'm starting to get the hang of it, but only because I know there's a trick to cracking them one handed and I'm determined to master it!

Style my hair. While I'm able to shower and wash my hair one handed sorta ok, actually styling my hair beyond combing it out is pretty much out of the question. I can't hold the blow dryer or a brush in my right hand, which means that I'd basically be creating a rat's nest if I were to try... and that's just not the look I'm going for right now.

Shift my car out of park. You've gotta love all the extra safety features like the button I have to push while shifting to ensure I don't accidentally shift. Of course, now that means I have to get creative and use two hands to shift. Thank God I don't have a manual transmission!

Buckle Little Miss into the carseat. Along the same lines, safety is great, but it's definitely meant for those with two hands. I can manage to undo her carseat -- which makes sense given the fact that I've heard of children undoing their restraints -- but putting it together just isn't happening right now. Fortunately, my husband has been home for the long weekend, so he's been able to do it. Fingers crossed that tomorrow I regain use of my hand. I'm not really comfortable putting her into a booster seat, as that's about the extent of the restraints I can handle at the moment.

Open a jar. I've turned into a total sissy. I've tried everything I can think of to steady the jar with my right hand while using my left to twist it off, but I can't get enough torque. So nowI just walk up to my husband with a sad look on my face and he knows just what to do.

Put on a glove. Yep, January in Chicago and I have a massive bandage on my right hand. I don't own a glove that fits over my thumb, but I have one pair where I can at least sorta get my hand into the glove, even if my thumb isn't in the thumb hole.

Shuffle cards. Because today, of course, was the first day in two months that the wee ones have wanted to play both Crazy 8s and Memory. And if you don't shuffle the cards, the game isn't so fun. So I taught them a new game. I may come to regret it, but they loved 52 card pickup!

Fasten my bra. Any boy worth his salt over the age of 13 and any woman of any age (I think it's genetic) can unfasten a bra with one hand. Have you ever tried to put on one one-handed though? Fortunately, I have managed to figure it out, but it takes a long time and usually involves redoing it a few times, as my bandage gets tangled up in the hooks.

Cook. Ok, I've found a few things that I can make myself, but I can't really open anything that's in a package or cut anything right now. And of course yesterday we headed over to a friend's house, where I was supposed to bring something appetizer-y. So I made a caramel dip (plain yogurt, neufchatel, brown sugar and vanilla blended -- I could do all but open the cream cheese!) and some marinated tomato mozzarella toothpick things. I could get the first tomato on, and I could get just a little of the cheese on, but then I was stuck. My lucky husband got to do all the fun work, with me supervising! That also included cutting up the pineapple for the dip. Watching someone cut up a pineapple for the first time is highly entertaining. At least I was smart enough to get strawberries and apples for the other dipping items, so those were easier to deal with!

Take off a watch. My heart rate monitor has a wristwatch component to it that I wore yesterday when I went to the gym (so, yes, I can run at least with stitches -- we'll see tonight how yoga goes!). I struggled but managed to get it on. However, there was nothing I could do to get it off. Nothing. I finally had to ask another woman in the locker room to help me. Of course, I later realized that had I put it on my right wrist instead of my left, I wouldn't have had any issues. Duh.

And the number one thing I can't do? Shovel. Yep, I'm currently unable to shovel since I can't grip the shovel with a second hand. Darn!

Fortunately... I can still type.


MaBunny January 19, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

Yuppers Michelle, it is amazing to see how much we miss something when its not around - apply that to a missing digit , arm, sense, or person. Hope your thumb feels better.

Aunt Julie January 19, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

I hope your thumb heals up real soon! It's amazing how we take our digits for granted until they're our of commission, isn't it?

AutoSysGene January 19, 2009 at 3:53 PM  

I'm so feeling elbow has been hurting for a year and a half. Almost everything on your list..been there done that.

The only thing you didn't put on your list is cutting meat...can you do that?

Michelle January 19, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

MaBunny - You're so right. This is completely temporary and will be back to normal soon. I'm trying to imagine all the adapting I'd have to do in order to get by.

Veggie Mom - Thanks! And I'm trying to not take ANYthing for granted, but ... it all so quickly becomes normal again, doesn't it?

Melissa - You're just falling apart! And no, I can't cut meat -- or anything. In my mind, I lumped that in with cooking :) Chicken in the crockpot for dinner tonight!

momma January 19, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

stopping by from sits.

it is amazing what one little appendage is good for and how often we take it for granted.

hope you are feeling whole again soon!

Cookie January 19, 2009 at 9:59 PM  

Wow! I never thought about most of those things. How much longer do you have the stitches?

Maki January 19, 2009 at 10:06 PM  

Oh yes, thumbs are very important! I realized that by reading your post. LOL...

Thank you so much for supporting my big day past Wednesday. I'm sorry it's taken me forever to say hello - visiting more than 160 SITSta has been a long process.. I am grateful that you took the time to visit my blog. Thank you!!!

I hope your thumb heals alright soon!! Stay in touch:)

Karen January 20, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

Makes you fully appreciate how God created you, doesn't it?

Michelle January 20, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

momma - Welcome! I hope you enjoyed your stay. I appreciate the well wishes!

Cookie - Trust me, I never thought of them either :) Stitches come out next Monday. Hopefully I can use it more far before then though!

Maki - I can imagine that it would take you a long time. I have a few that I need to return, as well, that I just haven't been able to do yet.

Karen - You've got it! The things He thought of that make perfect sense that I'd never dream of doing....

anymommy January 21, 2009 at 2:59 AM  

Thank goodness you can still type! That's the important thing.

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