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Living the Low-Torque Lifestyle

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Among the many things made difficult by having one’s right arm in a sling are a few surprises — like the inability to apply torque.

I’ve injured my right wrist before, so I expected it would be difficult to type one handed (especially for a programmer who extensively uses shortcut keys — try Ctrl-Alt-Shift-O one handed!), or to write one handed (especially bills and checks; they move when you can’t hold them down), or to drive one handed (fumble for your right pocket keys, then the ignition, then the seat belt, then the gear shift — thank God for automatics!) I’ve had to reduce the number of books I carry to lunch (to my benefit) and obviously heavy lifting is right out.

But it wasn’t obvious at all — perhaps because my previous injury was not so severe — that I wouldn’t be able to *twist* things. When the arm was still

unset for the first three days, even the slightest applied torque was intensely painful. And so I counted it a great victory when, after the bone plate was installed, I was finally able to rip open a pack of Sweet’NLow using something other than my teeth.

However, the problem persists. Opening jars one might expect to be a problem. But being unable to squeeze ice out of ice trays? Unable to fold pants? The problem is worse because I recruit my less deft left hand for everything else … and thus more frequently drop things, causing my right hand to jerk after whatever I’ve dropped in an attempt to catch it … resulting in another painful twinge.

But, it is feeling better — itchy rather than twingy — so I’m going to

hope and pray for the best at my doctor’s appointment tomorrow!