I have gone to the left.
No! This isn’t about politics, although I know there are some people that think all newspapers are liberal. I call it selective reading. Some people read what they want to read and not what is in black and white. Happens all the time.
I am talking about going left-handed.
Now, I have been predominately right-handed my entire life. I am apt at shuffling poker chips with my left hand but I am no Patrick Mahomes.
And I am not purposely taking advice from Dr. Sanjay Gupta to “try something new.”
Dr. Gupta, neurosurgeon and infectious disease expert seemingly on CNN 24/7 since March, has a new book called“Keep Shape: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.”
“..Get your neurons firing by trying something out of your comfort zone, such as practicing a new language, brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand or learning to play chess.”
I have done some of those things.
My right shoulder looks like it has four bullet holes in it. While those holes are healing quite nicely, it has left me left-handed for awhile.
(I now expect Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and coffee shop gossip, if there is such a thing anymore, will report I was shot, probably after I attacked someone for not wearing a face mask in the office.)
Actually, these holes are from arthroscopic surgery to repair a pretty damaged rotator cuff.
My right arm is expected to be in a sling at least until the roses start blooming. By then I expect my golfing buddies to find me some left-handed clubs.
Brushing my teeth with my left hand wasn’t the problem. It was getting the toothpaste on the brush that was a challenge.
Getting dressed? I just didn’t change clothes for a couple days after surgery.
By then my wife Kathy wished she had lost her sense of smell. Even the dog Maggie ran away.
It was time for a shower and new clothes, if pjs are actually considered clothes.
Try buttoning jeans with one hand, let alone the nondominant one.
“Sleep in a recliner” was the advice even the UPS driver suggested to me after surgery.
That went pretty well the first night when I had enough drugs to barely feel my aching back. The right shoulder was feeling like, well, like it wasn’t there. I could have slept comfortably on the floor of the garage.
After a couple days of binge-watching episodes of “Shameless” on Netflix, I followed Dr. Gupta’s advice on learning a new language. Kathy says I’m pretty good at speaking “construction- ese” with my son.
Here’s another something new to try with the nondominant hand:
• Operating a computer mouse;
• Writing down a phone number;
• Opening the cell phone;
• Putting on underwear;
• Tying something although, thankfully, none of my shoes have shoestrings;
• Taking a picture with a camera;
• Buckling a seat beat;
• Remembering to shut the freezer door on the refrigerator (Yes, I tried blaming that on surgery.)
It’s been a month now since I was shot. (I like a good rumor.)
Eating with the left hand isn’t too difficult now as long as Kathy cuts everything up like I am two years old. And Maggie is right there to pick up most of the crumbs that fall to the floor. I have also been able to do some things now like use the keyboard with some success.
I have managed to shower and dress myself. I’ve driven the car around the section.
But if you happen to see me at a meeting, walking downtown or at the store, don’t look at my ankles.
Putting on socks? No way!