Thursday, 3 December 2015

You can do a lot with one hand

Yes, at first only having one good arm was a bit hard to adjust to. Up until the 16th September 2012, I could do anything I wanted; plait my own hair, paint my nails, pick up my dog...
And then at 1am that morning, that ability went. I had neither arm, both were paralysed.

It's pretty devastating to suddenly have to rely upon someone else to do such basic tasks for me. I was 17 years old, I was meant to becoming independent, not regressing to a baby-like stage where everything was done for me. It's knowing that you physically can't do that anymore that hurts the most.
Nurses would brush my teeth for me, shower me, dress me, even shave my legs for me. My mum became my own personal assistant; she always kept my nails painted and she even used to squeeze my spots for me. That's love, right there.
My prognosis was that I'd maybe end up applying only moisturiser on my face with my right arm and help from someone else.
Not the independence I was hoping for. I was crushed.

Thankfully though, my right arm returned to full function after 2 months. But the help didn't stop there. Having just one useable arm can present so many problems too: what about doing my bra up? How do I tie my shoelaces?
Luckily I learnt from my occupational therapist how to do this, and final little tasks. I was all set for home.

*To put your bra on: do it up first then put it on like a t-shirt
*To tie your shoelaces: wear shoes that don't have any!

I can't tell you everything that I do day-to-day with one hand; I just do it, it's natural to me. Ok my left arm doesn't work how I want it to but it's still attached to my body, I still use it. It's how I hold my bread down to butter it, it's how I untangle my earphones, carry clothes to the bathroom or wash my right arm...
There is so much you can do with one hand/arm; I actually challenge you (if you want to try it) to use only one hand/arm for the whole day. I'll be honest, everything will take longer and you'll probably just end up using both arms anyway to save time, but just think about those people that can't, they have to do it the long way, always.

Top tip: If you really can't do something, hold things with your knees or teeth, trust me it's a total life saver.

My left arm may never come back 100%, my brain may never reconnect fully but I'm trying all I can, everyday I try to do at least one thing with my hand/arm. It's hard on somedays, college takes up a lot of my time now so it's hard to fit in time for therapy.
I shouldn't look on to the fact that it may never move the way I want again but hey, if it doesn't it's not the end of the world. Remember, there's a lot you can do with only one hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment