I have far greater appreciation now for the lesser-used appendage: my left hand.
Last Wednesday morning bright and early I took a “woops” dive off the back stoop—two steps high. As I plummeted to the ground I turned mid-flight to brace myself before I hit the ground, and naturally put my right hand out to catch myself. Really dumb move.
I remember seeing my right hand reach out to stop the fall’s force and at the same time thinking, “NO-O-o-o-o-“. But my brain didn’t relay the message fast enough because my hand, wrist, and arm tried to protect my body from the worst of the jolt that I would soon face.
And I literally saw my wrist buckle in the attempt. Evidently my shock was so great that the pain was muted when I tried to raise my right arm and saw that the wrist was now “Z” shaped. Oh so NOT good! Definitely broke.
This happened around 7am and we left the hospital after out-patient surgery at 7pm that night with a titanium plate and screws now holding the two large bones connecting arm and wrist together.
So since that day, I’ve been only using my left hand/arm for everything. (They actually made me illegibly sign hospital forms left-handed throughout that day.)
Nothing gives you greater appreciation faster for a secondarily-used appendage than being forced to solely rely on it for your every need. I think I’m becoming ambidextrous.
But this past week has also given me greater awareness of how adaptive we become to adversity—we do what we need to do to survive. We find a way. Since I’ve always been a pretty independent, self-sufficient person, asking someone to help me do something just doesn’t sit well so I refrain from asking if I can figure out a way to do it for myself.
What amazes me the most about this whole learning experience is how flexible the left-hand has become during this past week. It’s like it is saying, “Hey, I was always here—you just didn’t use me.” And now it’s ALL that I use.
So I just wanted to mention a couple things here, that when you think your life can’t change from one second to the next, it definitely can; and the second thing is that whenever you feel like you can’t take one more bad thing to go wrong in your life, you can take it. You can do whatever you need to do, whenever you need to do it, because that’s what we do—we adapt, we find a way, and we keep moving forward because that’s the key to survival.
That’s how we’ve all made it this long doing whatever it is that we do. We squeeze that lemon into lemonade, and just take an acid-reflux pill before we drink it.