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Author Topic: Left-handed help needed !  (Read 4117 times)

joiwind

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Left-handed help needed !
« on: March 11, 2013, 08:12:08 AM »
Hi friends : I've just broken my right arm at the base of the radius near the wrist - pins, plaster and pain. I'm right-handed and am typing this with my left.
So I'm looking for ideas and gadgets to use with just my left-hand (no jokes please ...) that may make things easier ... thanks.
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Renegade

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 08:48:08 AM »
OUCH! Sorry to hear that. I hope you heal soon!

A friend of mine used to type one-handed all the time. Mind you, he used his primary hand (right), however, the technique might work for you.

His strategy was to position and hover his hand in the middle of the keyboard, then from there he worked out what was fastest. I can't really tell you much more, but he was up to a respectable typing speed. He did have large hands though, which certainly help there. I think he used the ridges on the J and F keys to help orient his hand.

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joiwind

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 09:40:01 AM »
Thanks for the typing tip Renegade, that will help - I'm also looking for ideas for "everyday" things : try cutting a slice of bread from a loaf with only your left hand.

I know there is a range of objects for left-handers like tin openers and stuff but I'm looking more for great ideas, tips and so on. I'm managing to dress myself and can eat fairly well with a fork in the left hand but I bet there's a whole lot of knowledge out there just right :P for this kind of situation.
BTW obviously this brings home what it's like for so many people who spend their whole life facing these difficulties.

On the up-side it is said that one develops loads more new synapses when trying to function with the "other" hand ...
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

Renegade

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 09:52:50 AM »
Got it!

A very long time ago I temporarily lost the use of my right hand for a few weeks in a comparable situation.

Some things that worked for me were using my right elbow/forearm as pressure to hold things or using my legs to hold things while my left hand did the work, or at least tried. That's not much help though as I'm sure you've already been doing that. :(

I don't know of any technology to help there, though I dimly recall about some herbs or essential oils helping in recovery - don't hold me to anything - that's just a dim memory that you might want to check into.

Sorry. I wish I could help more. :( I do hope that you get better soon.

I currently have a smaller injury than yours on my thumb and cannot write properly or do simple things like peel a price tag off of something or open a jar... It's bloody frustrating.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 10:12:13 AM »
Just looking down for a minute at my hunt and peck method of typing, I m finding that I already type some 75-80% of stuff with my left hand. My left hand slides over as far as the t-h-n line on the keyboard, which currently leaves only y,u,i,o,p,j,k,l,m actually being typed by my right hand. So I happen to use my left pinky for shift,so you'll need a reflex such as left shift and "key-lock" and then just make an an effort to reach over and type those other 8 letters that are kinda rare anyway.

As you get better, though, I do recommend you experiment with parking your right hand on the backspace button maybe with a pencil eraser because that's the one key which I at least need to hit about 4-7 times in a row to undo a typo. (But see MilesAhead's script he made for me with control-` and alt-` that "power-backspaces" with the *left hand*!

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 10:13:53 AM »
Thanks for the typing tip Renegade, that will help - I'm also looking for ideas for "everyday" things : try cutting a slice of bread from a loaf with only your left hand.

Get the bakery to do it for you!   ;)

kunkel321

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 03:00:39 PM »

barney

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 06:02:52 PM »
Quite a few years past I had bone spurs removed from my right shoulder.  Then, just recently I dislocated and separated (didn't know they were different injuries 'til then) my right shoulder.  In both instances I resorted to Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking for computer stuff.

Oddly enough, the most difficult thing for me was showering.  Resolved that with a back scrubber that had a plastic mesh head and liquid soap  ;) ... but never did come up with a decent toweling process  :(.

I baked a lot, so I used a bread guide and serrated knife for slicing.  Don't have such at the moment, but you can find at most anyplace that sells cooking supplies.  Often the bread guide comes as part of a single-loaf bread box.  (Actually, if you happen to have a miter box, that'll work, too, as long as it is cleaned up.)

My condition(s) allowed me to use my right hand for marginal pressure, so cutting food on a plate at mealtime just required me to learn to use a knife left handed - never did get very good with spoons, though  :).  However, before I could stand even marginal pressure on my right, I used standard kitchen shears for meats, baked potatoes, anything that might need cutting - looked a bit funny, but it worked  :P.

Used a boot hook to pull on pants.  At the time of the first surgery, was wearing so-called cowboy boots, so the boot hook did double duty.  For the most recent injury, wearing Merrells - slip ons - so a ShoeDini (As Seen On TV!) worked for the Merrells ... but a regular shoe horn nailed to a stick would work 'bout as well, methinks.

Shirts were a bit of a problem, but gravity would drag a standard/business shirt down my left arm, then I'd maneuver the other side/sleeve around my right shoulder and secure with safety pins - the pins took a bit of practice, I'm not that dexterous with my left hand.

Socks were a pain, but if you can find a medical supply house - the kind that sell crutches, canes, walkers, wheel chairs, and the like - they'll have several variants of sock pullers.

Using the restroom was a bit of a trial, but I just made certain that it never happened when I was away from home.

Driving was not a difficulty, but getting the vehicle started was ... really difficult  :-\.  Seems car builders assume - at least in the US - that everyone has a functional right arm/hand.

A lot of this could be obviated if you have an SO (Significant Other) or very close - in all meanings of the word - friend.  In both cases, I had neither.

Only other item of significance I can recall at the moment was sleeping - I'd roll over on the injury and waken in pain  :'(.

Hope some of this helps, as you're in it for the long haul.  You'll be aghast at how week your arm will become in a relatively short period, and dismayed at how long it'll take to get strength and dexterity back.  In aid of that last, I'd suggest you start squeezing a ball - tennis ball, if nothing else - as soon as you can do so w/o stress - it'll make a great difference in recovery once the cast comes off.

Best of luck and best of healing  :up:.

40hz

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 06:43:34 PM »
+1 w/ Barney on Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've been using it for several years now and haven't regretted it once. :)

Hope you get feeling better soon. :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 01:17:21 AM »
Sorry to hear about your injury joiwind -- here's hoping they rebuild you even stronger.  :up:

joiwind

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 07:24:02 AM »
Thanks guys for all the kind words and excellent council. I obviously can't reply to every point made but I really appreciate it all.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone in spite of the positive side : it does make you realise how we take things for granted, just blithely going along as if nothing will ever change and suddenly everything does.

Many thanks.
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

app103

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 01:14:11 PM »
I live with a left handed person, and I am thinking of all the left-handed gadgets we might own, and I can only think of 2: a pie cutter and a baseball glove.

And something tells me that you won't be playing baseball for awhile.

The pie cutter isn't a lefty one, specifically...it's ambidextrous. It has a serrated edge on both sides, instead of just the side for righties.

I think the bigger problem that you have is finding things for one-handed operation. Or operation by someone that has a loss of co-ordination. (you are dealing with both!)

One of the toughest things to do with one hand is open a jar. And there aren't too many things that I can think of that can frustrate a person and make them feel helpless as quickly as not being able to open a jar when they want to get in it.

That's where this will come in handy:

jar opener.jpg
http://www.amazon.co...pener/dp/B000X6K9J8/

Don't use the included peel and stick tape to mount it. Get someone to put it up with screws, for you, so it stays put.

You'll love this thing long after your wrist is healed.  :D

You might also want to get an electric toothbrush, because the loss of co-ordination is also a loss of effectiveness, and your teeth shouldn't rot while you are healing.

app103

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 01:31:57 PM »
One-Handed in a Two-Handed World: Your Complete Guide to Managing Single-Handedly

Quote
Tommye-Karen Mayer survived a stroke at the age of 23 and has been managing single-handedly in a two-handed world for three decades. After a period of wondering whether she would ever again live independently, she began developing a system for how to accomplish a wide range of everyday activities of daily living one-handedly — dressing, eating, cooking, doing household chores, traveling, and much more.

One-Handed in a Two-Handed World is known as the "bible" for occupational therapists and other healthcare and rehabilitation professionals who work with patients who are temporarily or permanently one-handed. This is the only book of practical advice for managing activities of daily living one-handedly. It may be used by individuals who have experienced strokes or traumatic brain injury, had shoulder surgery, were born without an arm or hand, need to rest an arm for repetitive strain injuries, or have lost the use of an arm or hand as the result of injury.

It is a practical guide to a wide variety of useful devices and technology, and provides step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish each task discussed. Numerous figures show useful tools to make the tasks easier.

http://www.amazon.co...dedly/dp/0982321988/

You can pre-order the latest edition from Amazon...or if you don't want to wait, get the older one here: http://www.dynamic-l...n-a-twohanded-world/ (this site also sells some gadgets you might find handy)

joiwind

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 02:46:42 PM »
Thanks app for all that - good stuff.

.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

pilgrim

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 07:47:01 AM »
I have never looked on this board before and this thread caught my attention.

After a lifetime of being right-handed I lost most of the use of my right arm and hand (permanently) 7 years ago.

I have looked into lots of different advice and information about how to do things left-handed and in my case came to two conclusions:
1. I will never be as dextrous with my left hand as I was with my right.
2. Like everything else, what works for some does not work for others.

I manage to do most of what I need to do albeit in a much longer time than before, I even managed to build a new computer last year although it took me 2 hours just to fit the CPU cooler.
If I have an annoyance where computers are concerned it is a Netbook with the FN key over to the left and most of the keys that work with it over to the right.

joiwind,

Hopefully by the time you have worked out your own tips and tricks you will no longer need them.

Best wishes.

Pilgrim.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

joiwind

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Re: Left-handed help needed !
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 06:51:22 AM »
I have never looked on this board before and this thread caught my attention.

After a lifetime of being right-handed I lost most of the use of my right arm and hand (permanently) 7 years ago.

I have looked into lots of different advice and information about how to do things left-handed and in my case came to two conclusions:
1. I will never be as dextrous with my left hand as I was with my right.
2. Like everything else, what works for some does not work for others.

I manage to do most of what I need to do albeit in a much longer time than before, I even managed to build a new computer last year although it took me 2 hours just to fit the CPU cooler.
If I have an annoyance where computers are concerned it is a Netbook with the FN key over to the left and most of the keys that work with it over to the right.

joiwind,

Hopefully by the time you have worked out your own tips and tricks you will no longer need them.

Best wishes.

Pilgrim.

Thanks for your post pilgrim and I'm sorry to hear about your disability, all the best, Martin.
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.