Get a Grip – Life With Mobility Constraints

Ah, hands. We take them for granted until we get a papercut on a index finger or some other seemingly minor ailment that causes a lot of problems.


Mine is tendonitis complicated by some fancy sounding term to describe a “birth defect” (my third!) in which my carpal somethings are fused together. I think three birth defects should qualify for some sort of superhero status, but apparently … not.  I’d ask what my mom was smoking, but I know she was taking life saving medication and feel very grateful none of these issues are life threatening to me.

So Friday I went to urgent care after dealing with a set of seemingly unrelated symptoms and met the most wonderful doctor who did all sorts of thorough tests (I failed all of the balance tests – ha) and determined that I am anemic and that I probably had tendonitis. So out came the brace for my right hand which I must wear while typing (and type less) and sleeping. For five weeks. Plus take these terrible iron pills that apparently make almost anyone throw up unless you take them at the exact right moment with your meal – that’s fun!

Now, let me say that I recognize this is not a terrible hardship – its an inconvenience that will hopefully prevent further medical issues. I have a permanent disability so I am well aware of the difference. But this is my blog so I’m going to complain how I see fit. 🙂

Wearing the brace actually make my hand feel better so that’s a good thing. And while I can’t do a lot of things (like grip) I really can’t do those things anyway.

Here’s what I’ve noticed 48 hours into Project Get a Grip

I haven’t been able to really brush my hair (its long) for a week. Laura brushed it for me last night. That was actually very nice. But ouch. Also, its very very very hard to use hair scrunchies with your non-dominant hand. I’ve some interesting hair looks going on now.

People are pretty decent when they see the brace. They hold doors and wait patiently for me to pick up my things with one hand. We’ll see how long that lasts. More on that later. I think the perception of a broken arm is considered a “good” impairment? Hmmm.

Thank God for Android. I have a Stratosphere which has a keyboard so I can thumb type. I’m a fast typist and my thumb isn’t really affected by this so I can still use my phone. What I can NOT do is use the keyboard on the phone. I can basically use my middle finger which is now very sore. But if I had a phone w/o a real keyboard, I’d be in trouble.

Sleeping with a brace is not fun. It doesn’t hurt per se, but my upper arm aches a bit I guess from the weight. In a preemptive strike, we removed everything from my nightstand to avoid disaster with an unexpected gesture. No one told the cat who apparently got a body slam when he landed on my arm in the middle of the night. Good thing it was the youngish cat.

IKEA bags are a gift from God when it comes to carrying things with one hand and one finger. Nuff said.

I just realized I’m going to have to vote using my left hand. That should be interesting.




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