Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Living your life with one arm: a beginner's guide

I am not the first person to fall off my bike and fracture my shoulder and I certainly won't be the last. To help all of those folk out there who live life one-handed I have developed a very non-scientific rating scale for the activities one might encounter in daily life as a guide to aid decision-making:

1: Very easy (makes you question why we even have two arms)
2: Fairly easy (can be accomplished without much trouble)
3: Moderately difficult (can be undertaken but better to get some help)
4: Very difficult (do not attempt unaided)
5: Impossible (don't even bother)

So for example I would give a rating of 1 to something like putting something in the bin or pressing a light switch, 2 to making a glass of squash or typing on a keyboard, 3 to making a cup of tea or food shopping, 4 to baking a batch of brownies or cleaning the floor and 5 to rock-climbing or playing the saxaphone.

This is meant to be a guide not gospel and it will very much depend on how you're feeling that day. For instance I would probably rate "making spanikopita" as a 4 (fiddly filo pastry, messy feta cheese, all that washing up...) but I really fancied it this evening for my dinner and made some without falling down dead. Also the examples may be slightly skewed toward female activities, as that is what I am!

Reading a book: 1 (although more difficult if you try to combine reading with another activity, like eating)

Packing a suitcase: 2 (but give yourself plenty of time)

Taking a shower: 2 (make sure to go slowly and carefully so you don't slip)

Washing your face: 3 (the flannel is your friend)

Putting on a bra: 3 (was originally a 4 but then I discovered that if you turn the bra round backwards and attach it round your waist you can slide it round to your front, hook the straps round your arms (bad one first) and shimmy it up til it's in place! Note: for all clothing matters there is generally a fair amount of shimmying involved)

Washing dishes: 3-4 (uncomfortable and pretty ineffective)

Putting on a t-shirt: 5 (go for buttons or vest tops)

Contact lenses: 5 (glasses are the way forward)

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