I realised it was so when the other day, frothing at the mouth at the umpteen notes coming in the offspring’s diary about laughing in class, talking in class and such like, I administered one nos stinging one to his rump. I was back and how. For the past couple of months, since the hand had popped out of the socket, I’ve been skulking about the premises, being a month of Mondays, being unable to do basic things like wash my hair, button up my, er, foundation garments at the back and knock down the alcohol with the kind of smooth wrist action that only the right hand allows. Add to this the assorted niggles–I had to bum off shirts with front open button up styles from sis in law because all I lived in were tshirts with long sleeves which I couldn’t hope to get into given I couldn’t raise said hand. And at home, I bummed off the spouse’s old shirts, leading to much hyucking on the part of the offspring when he first spotted me in a shirt that came to my knees with the shoulders circa my elbows, looking to all purposes like a midget in a giant’s clothes.
I spent much time agonising about the ugly blue sling I had–a shade so antiseptic that it effectively neutralised any make up I managed to apply with the left hand, never mind that I dropped precision lining for the better part of six weeks and stayed within the more manageable and practical daub daub blend blend with fingers and brush approach to make up in order to ensure I didn’t end up looking like the circus clown had hot footed it out of the big tent.
To make a long story short, the sling is now off, the hand seems to be back in working condition, except for a niggling pain when I sometimes forget that I am now hastily mended and over exert. It has been a learning experience though, I’ve learnt how helpless one gets without the use of just one limb. I’ve learnt to live with my hair looking to all purposes like a couple of birds just abandoned it as being too disreputable a nest to bring their babies up in, and I’ve learnt to brandish the sling like a badge of honour and see the crowds part for me as I approach. And most importantly, I’ve learnt how to shovel the food down the gullet with the left hand with as much adroitness as the right.
That perhaps is the most important life skill that I learnt after two months of having the right arm out of action. Along with the ability to ask for help with day to day tasks. Perhaps this, asking for help when I needed it, was the most difficult thing to learn. Perhaps, this was why I needed to have the hand out of action, you know, to learn to sit back and have things done for me, rather than rushing off to get them done meself.