Look mum, both hands.

I’ve recently been being left handed after an unexpected and minor hand operation.  It’s been, umm, interesting.  Here are some things of interest to my temporarily left-handed self.

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On Wednesdays we wear pink

Hand surgery like totally counts as plastic surgery, so there are Valley Girl jokes to be made.  That said, plastic surgery is about the restoration of function, not explicitly about the insertion of plastic.

Local anaesthetic is an extremely unpleasant thing.  The NHS, on the t’other hand, is awesome.  I was seen promptly, the care was of a high standard, and I didn’t have to fret about medical bills or insurance.

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The lady of the house

‘Keep your hand elevated and get plenty of rest’ is great advice for those of us who employ a team of servants.  Here are my handy household hints:
– do the washing up once every three days.  Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves.  Use a brush rather than a sponge; hold the brush with your bad hand and make all movements with your good hand
– don’t bother cleaning your flat.  It’s clean enough to be left for a week.  Then when you’re dexterous enough for light cleaning, even minor procedures will make a noticeable difference
– it is possible to cook an awful but nourishing stew one handed: pound of diced pork, bag of chopped stew veg, pearl barley, water.  It is not possible to ignore memories of how good your stews usually taste
– that overpriced prepared fruit in the supermarket is pretty handy.

‘Keep your bandage clean and dry’ is great advice for those of us who have a team of personal attendants. Here are my handy hygiene hints:
– those fancy moisturising face wipes in the shops are really rather  convenient
– have your hair cut short enough to wash one-handed but not so short that anyone notices
– when showering, use wide masking tape to secure a plastic sandwich bag over your bandage. Adopt a Statue of Liberty pose to keep your bagged bandage as dry as possible
– bite the handle of your toothbrush to hold it steady when applying toothpaste
– when you drip ice cream on your absorbent bandage, leave it be. Attempting to wash it means the iodine gauze underneath is likely to soak through, causing a worse stain
– when the nurse removes your bandage and asks if you’d like to wash your hands it will be the most satisfying hand wash you have ever had.

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Busy busy busy

Most things I do involve either my right hand or both hands.  Drawing, making comics, guitar practice, good cooking, knitting, sewing, writing.  Keeping busy enough not to atrophy with boredom has been challenging.

I have learned to write with my left hand.  My left hand handwriting is now reasonably functional, like an eight year old’s printing.  Handwriting has been good practice in pen control and has led to making a left-handed comic.  It is likely that my right hand will be better before it’s finished, but whatev.

I’ve had many a long walk. I’ve taken my messenger bag with me, both to carry things and because I can use the strap to keep my hand elevated without making it too obvious I’m keeping my hand elevated.  I’ve been limiting how many DVDs I watch because walking is healthier.

I’ve been happy I have a touchscreen phone.  I’m typing this blog post with my left thumb.  I’ve Instagram’d photos from my walks.  These activities aren’t as full-on creative as I’d like to be, but they’re been alreet for a while.

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So what (now)?

My right hand is improving.  It’ll soon be reet.  I’m going to left-handedly finish my left-handed comic, and keep in practice with left-handed drawing until I’m like totally over it.  I’m looking forward to doing right-handed drawing again.

My friend Fran and I have set up Broken Drawers’ Club for us and for other people who are a bit broken and draw anyway.

I’m busting to do some guitar practice, bake a pie, do some sewing, and knit something complicated.  That’ll take a while longer.

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