Thursday, March 15, 2007


My right arm, wrist, and hand are feeling carpal-tunnelish. I’ve been trying not to type unless absolutely necessary, but I think blogging is absolutely necessary if you’re afraid that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, don’t you? How else can I solicit medical advice from non-medically trained strangers?

My computer use at work is pretty much constant, so some kind of repetitive motion injury seems likely. On the other hand (HA!), the numbness and tingling and general discomfort may be from making 300 potato dumplings. Twice.

I'm becoming more aware of my horrible posture and the way I’m always contorting my body into unhealthy positions. For example, I’ll think, “Ouch! My neck and lower back really hurt!” Then I realize that I’ve been sitting two feet from my desk, straining toward the keyboard with Go-Go Gadget arms and holding my head at a near-90 degree angle for two hours. Oh, and I’m usually sitting on one of my legs.

Why do I do this? I really couldn’t tell you.

The mouse is now living to the left of my keyboard so my left hand can do all the pointing and clicking, and I’m feeling like I did in seventh grade when I sprained my right wrist and had to take an algebra test, showing all my work, with my left hand. I had to use a fat green marker, since my left hand was so weak that I couldn’t properly grip a pencil. In other words, it’s taking me twice as long to do everything.

Looking on the bright side: if I ever lose my right arm in an accident, I’ll be prepared.

This makes me curious. Do any of you lefties out there drive a manual car? Was it weird learning to shift gears with your right hand? Man, I never realized the privileges that we right-handed people enjoy. There are probably all kind of things that I’ve been taking for granted!

Glimpse into Liz’s head:
What about zippers? OMG, how do left-handed people ever zip their coats? Do they put them on backwards, then turn them around? Maybe they just buy coats with buttons…

It’s like this whole other species that I’ve never considered before! I really apologize for my ignorance. Consider me your adopted sister in left-handedness.

Would it be really obnoxious of me to buy a coffee mug that says Lefties are All Right?



Blogger Bearette24 said...

I'm a lefty and in most respects I lead a normal life ;) I use a laptop so the whole mouse question is eliminated.

Right after college I had a job where I typed a lot, and feared carpal tunnel. I saw a doctor who told me i was ok, but he emphasized the importance of keeping my wrist in a neutral position (neither bending back nor forward). Icing may also help (not the frosting kind ;)

4:24 PM  
Anonymous kferley said...

with the zippers & buttons on shirts & coats; if u are female, buy male clothing???
Oh well, it was just a thot.
Have a great week.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Shopaholic & Baby ROCKED!!!

1:59 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I just read the part where Becky is concerned that one day their child will think they're terrible dancers. Boy, do I relate to THAT.

I love how she describes her own father's dancing as "punching the air, as though fending off invisible assailants."

Hopefully I'm not that bad.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Hehe. I'm sure you have your own style and flair ;)

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider myself a lefty. I write, draw & paint with my left hand; eat with fork & or spoon in my left as well. Cut with knife in right hand--no crazy changing hands like I see rightys doing..... I could never figure out why they do that..... Yet if I would cut a slice from a loaf of bread, for example, I would cut with my left while holding the bread with my right.

Just about everything else I do righty as the world makes certain objects only right handed. I don't have trouble getting dressed because I've been doing it for over 50 years and have grown accustomed to the "right" way.

I mouse right handed; this way I can also write on paper left-handed while at the computer. (I prefer my office telephone on my right for the same reason--phone to ear with right, cord on right, write with left). I have a lap top but I use a mouse with it as I can't stand that little touch pad--oh, when I occassionally use it, it would be right handed too.

If I would throw a ball it would be right-handed but if I cut with scissors it would be left (kind of light the writing, drawing, painting).

When my right-handed mother taught me to crochet it actually made it easier since she sat opposite me with a duplicate crochet hook and yarn as sort of a mirror image.

If I'm holding stuff to go down the stairs, the stuff would be in my left arm and I'd hold the bannister if need be with my right arm. If I had a choice.

Brush my teeth with my left.

And I wipe my butt with..... oopps, you don't need to know that...... (tee hee)

Lefty in NJ

12:38 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Fascinating, Anonymous! I sort of want to observe you in your natural habitat, using binoculars and scribbling into a field journal.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Us lefties learn to adapt to the right-handed world from early on. My third grade teacher told my mom that she needed to make me change to using my right hand for everything. My mom thought she was looney (duh) and ignored her. I'm just happy to finally have ambidextrous scissors. I would love to give a great big hug and kiss to whomever invented them.

I hope you can get back to using your chosen hand. We wouldn't want to miss out on any of your posts. :)

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Go see a chiropractor. Seriously. Mine does absolute wonders for the tendonitis in my right wrist. He does some sort of special method where he uses this metal scrapey tool thingy and then basically rubs my wrist for about 5 minutes and then adjusts it. It's awesome.

5:45 PM  
Blogger kj said...

liz, my partner has carpal tunnel. she wore splints at night which helped. she eventually had surgery on her right hand and has had a really good result. for what it's worth.

11:08 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

Hi! Just came over from CL's blog. I'm a righty but I've noticed recently that I do many seemingly important things with my left hand. What's with that? Now you've got me thinking..... Am I becoming a 'southpaw'? Hmmm....

Anyhow, like your site alot!

6:57 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

I'm so right-handed that I can't use my left for ANYTHING.

It's the same way with my right and left feet. Kicking a ball with my left foot is hard.

In fact the only thing my left arm is good for is for the carrying of children.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

I'm a leftie and have never noticed trouble with zippers. However, I cannot for the life of me use left-handed scissors. In terms of cutting paper, I've assimilated to right-hand culture.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I too am a lefty and I have always found it interesting that right-handed people take such interest in how us south paws do certain things, when to me I just do them as I have always done them. I never even pay attention to right this or left that, unless it is a seating arrangement for dinner and then I must be on an end where I'm not knocking elbows with a rightie.

1:34 AM  
Blogger VirginiaGal said...

Another lefty here. I use my right hand for the mouse & calculator, leaving the left free for writing, picking up the phone, etc (though I do the bad sholder/ear clench so I can write, use the mouse and talk on the phone at the same time), other than that my right hand is fairly useless. I also have to stop and think about left and right when giving verbal directions (my left hand is my "right" hand in my brain).

11:28 AM  
Blogger JC Thomasin said...

It blows my mind that you can click and take notes at the same time. Being a college student, I'm really really envious. My left hand is "useless" for everything except typing, crochet, holding my ring finger and my watch.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another anomaly perhaps... I am right handed but when I was in gymnastics growing up I always "led" with the left side of my body. For example -- going into a cartwheel, I would ALWAYS use my left hand and leg. A sprint to the vault? Starts with left leg as well. I was also always more flexible on my left leg than I ever was on my right. hmmmmm KayGeBKNY

12:19 PM  

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