?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

On the Right

I could never be accused of being to the right, politically speaking. But since my surgery I’ve become aware of how right-handed I am.

I was sedated enough that I don’t recall anything about the actual surgery, other than it was on the right side of my right breast in the armpit area. When the sedation wore off, I was told not to move my right arm any more than ninety degrees up from the floor or out from my body.

That’s also when my left arm began getting a regular workout.  It brushed my teeth and my hair. It lifted things like bottles of water, forks, and protein bars. It opened jars and boxes. It struggled to help my other arm put on a coat and then remove it. It tried ironing, which took twice as long as with my right arm. Then there’s writing thank you notes and signing checks, all right-handed tasks, which my left arm hasn’t mastered yet.

And bathing? Don’t ask. Since I’m still not allowed to shower, this is the biggest challenge of all. From the belly down, I can manage by standing in the tub with the water running from the spout, holding the soap in my right hand, and using a wash cloth on the soap and then my various body parts.  But how do you wash the arm that is doing all the work if you can’t use your other arm? It has to be a two-person job.

This is probably more than you care to know, but according to my left arm today was an 8.

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