Two weeks from now I will go into hospital to have my right shoulder replaced. I will then spend two to three months in a centre de rééducation. The first month the shoulder is immobilised except for controlled movements by the physiotherapist, thereafter slow practise at moving the shoulder, arm and hand.
I am as much preoccupied by the prospect of living without the use of my right hand as worrying about the op.
When my left shoulder was replaced I spent three months with the use of only one hand. But at least that time it was my right hand. I am increasingly aware of just how right-handed I am. Apart from playing the cello and driving I can’t think of any activity where I would choose to use my left hand. Also the left shoulder operation was not a great success. I have no pain but limited mobility. So currently I cannot reach the back of my head to brush my hair with either hand.
I face the little actions of daily life such as dressing and, without going into details, in the bathroom, with trepidation. I know that eating food is not a big problem because there will be staff to help chop up the food and if necessary I will just use a spoon.
But what about my addiction to all my devices – my phone, iPad and computer? I have tried using my left hand with the computer mouse and keyboard. Very awkward, particularly the typing as I am a touch typist. Thank goodness for the iPad. It is much easier to type with my left hand on its visual keyboard, albeit painfully slow.
Nevertheless my usual Christmas card to friends and family will probably not happen this year and the annual photo albums I give to my family will be very late.
On a brighter note, preparing for a left-handed future has given me an excuse – as a gadget freak – to explore a new (for me) technology. I have dictated this blog into my iPhone, whose speech recognition software has transformed it into text. Then on my iPad I have made one or two corrections before publishing it.