The Boolean title of this blog is representative of the relative ease of accomplishing the listed activities during the period of time following shoulder surgery on your dominant side. If you’ve ever had shoulder surgery you’ll be able to relate to the following. If not, give some of these activities a go, and let me know how it turns out…
You might be surprised to see that I found masturbation with my non-dominant hand to have a low level of difficulty. I’m not sure if this is because it is actually the easiest or if it’s because it’s the one task that I practiced the most. Actually, I attribute my effortless transition in this arena to the fact that I got into a disagreement with my dominant hand in the summer of ’05 and we agreed that we shouldn’t be more than just friends.
Shaving was extremely difficult at first. The act of putting a triple bladed razor to tender skin with a shaky left was horrifying at first, but after a few tries, I was only donating small quantities of O-Positive to my bathroom sink. However, trimming my sideburns still makes me extremely anxious.
Putting on deodorant sucks! For a few days after shoulder surgery, you can’t move your arm without causing your nerves to fire little missiles at your soul. To make matters worse, your pit is getting ZERO airflow. Yes, that’s right, a perfect storm is brewing! Let’s just say that once I was finally able to get a little separation between my arm and my body that the odor was staggering. If I had to put my finger on it (or in it), I’d say that the smell most closely associated to the micro-climate inside my armpit was a combination of taco seasoning and vagina. I’m sorry, that was gross. Once she opened up for business, I was able to clear things up with a mild cleanser that left me thinking of a late August sunset. As the range of motion increased, applying Old Spice to my injured armpit wasn’t that bad. I basically walked up to the door frame topless, with my arm lying at my side. I then used my hand as a claw to grip the molding and then slowly backed up to get the separation needed. With my left hand, I swiped the deodorant. The next part was a bit tricky. Using your left hand to put deodorant in your left armpit requires slightly less than a magic trick, but would probably be fun to watch. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
Buttoning a pair of well-fitted pants with one hand is not easy. And for those of you who find this task unchallenging … Go fuck yourselves!!! This happens once per day when getting dressed, but can pop up more frequently if bathroom breaks are required. Over the past month, I’ve gotten pretty good at holding it. Sometimes, you luck out and the stars that align the frictional forces are all working towards a common goal. Unfortunately, sometimes this common goal is to completely screw with the patience and emotional stability of the recent surgery patient. I found that with a little effort, a little forehead sweat, and the use of my right elbow, I was able to get the job done in about 30 seconds.
Using a can opener was only tried once. I hadn’t gone to the store and my supplies were running low. Instead of heading out for some chicken nugs and a coke, I figured that the can of tuna sitting in the cupboard was low hanging fruit and that I’d be snacking on a fishy delight in no time. WRONG! After pulling the tuna can off the shelf, I set it down, looked at it, and then said “FUCK!” I almost put the can back on the shelf, but something inside me said to go for it. Over the next half of an hour (hyperbole), I wrestled that bastard into submission. The can was dropped to the floor at least 3 times with the lid partially opened. Tuna juice was getting everywhere! Whatever… I opened it, and I ate it. Afterwards, I was still hungry, so I went out and got some chicken nugs and a coke.
Obviously, there are other activities that are difficult to do solely with your non-dominant hand. If I were to extrapolate, putting on socks, cutting your toenails, using chopsticks, getting the keys into and out of the ignition in your car (if right handed), driving and talking on your cell phone at the same time, tying your shoes, and tying a tie would all be on the list.
The moral take away from this stupid blog is that being a disabled, injured, or otherwise afflicted person is tough. Give people in this situation your patience, respect, and lend a helping hand whenever you can. Oh, and don’t forget to ask them what happened. This can be a great icebreaker and a wonderful opportunity to hear some good hobby lying.