Ouchfilter: broke a bone in my hand near my wrist
July 21, 2014 12:39 AM   Subscribe

Scientifically I'm not sure what is going on but the doctor said I most likely broke a bone in my hand and I have am MRI in a couple days. (The x ray was inconclusive but he is 90 percent sure)I've got pain meds and am trudging along. I'm tring to adjust to my new one hand lifestyle as it is in a cast.

I'm looking for tips and tricks for handling life as every moment I'm awake I'm finding new things that are hard with one hand. Suggestions for work (typing especially) and life would be great like how do I wash one hand in the bathroom? I'm trying to handle this like a champ.
posted by AlexiaSky to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
When I could only use one hand, I found that it was very helpful to have a cutting board with two nails driven into the bottom (that I could rest against the edge of the table) and a row of five or so driven into the top (that I could push a slice of bread against). It allowed me to butter my bread without the slice or the plate sliding across the table.

For handwashing, you can wash your fingers with your thumb and your palm and thumb with your fingers. You can't easily wash the back of your hand, but does it really get all that dirty?
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:04 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh and I hope you'll feel better soon!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:06 AM on July 21, 2014

How timely (and sucky! I'm so sorry) because I just saw this on Reddit the other day. Get well soon!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:23 AM on July 21, 2014

I fractured the ulna of my right arm a couple of years ago. Of course, I'm right-handed. Typing was always a pain, to be honest, but mousing was made much simpler by using a thumb-driven trackball from Logitech.
posted by xyzzy at 2:09 AM on July 21, 2014

A Reach flosser, an electric can opener, and popcorn for any pet (s) for when they watch you try and take a shower. Hope you heal quickly.
posted by SillyShepherd at 3:35 AM on July 21, 2014

Best answer: Oh no, so sorry to hear that! I recently broke two fingers on my right, dominant hand near where the fingers attach to the hand, so have been through something similar to this and it really is hard I know!

I got good at left hand mousing, and 6 finger typing (my index finger was sort of free so I used it for typing), though frankly typing was never that easy so this would be the time if you have any work projects that involve not so much typing to volunteer to take them on.

I kept double plastic bags and rubber bands at work and in both the kitchen and bathroom, to cover the cast on my right hand but still be able to use it when hand washing my left hand. I also kept some hand sanitizer around as well, if I did not need to do a full wash, and to "wash" the exposed parts of the hand in the cast when needed. Look for sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. I kept a small hand sanitizer bottle in my purse as well. I wound up covering the various casts and things I had when showering, even if they could theoretically get wet, and found that the Curad Cast and Bandage Protector worked really well for showering and full scale washing also (both for me, a small woman, and my 6'3" husband who also had a finger in a cast at the same time I had my broken fingers.) I got a short, easy to wash haircut, and would suggest trying an electric toothbrush, and dental flossers instead of regular floss.

Electric can opener and microwave are your friends. I ate a lot of Trader Joe's and other frozen food (I even did an Ask MeFi to get suggestions). I had fortuitously bought a rolling cart like this not long before I did the breaking, as carrying things was an issue, so I used it for a lot of purposes for work and home.

Pull on, slip on clothes and shoes if possible of course, though there are ways to rig shoes for one handed tying or one handed lacing, which they have demos online to help with.

Also, frankly, this is the time to call in favors from friends and family if needed, and random strangers if necessary (awkward stuff at the grocery store for example). Most people want to help, so don't be afraid to ask for it occasionally, and just pay it forward once you are able bodied again.

If they need to redo your cast (I had a few different setups), try to see if they can give you a setup with some fingers sort of mobile to make life easier. Also, things tend to stiffen when not used, and I needed physical therapy after the fact. Finally, I'm assuming you are seeing a hand orthopedist? I highly recommend doing that if you are not.
posted by gudrun at 7:07 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

There were some suggestions here.

Washing one hand meant rubbing it on stuff (washcloth, sponge), which I held in place using my other elbow. It was just plain impossible to wash my own (long, thick) hair. As much dictation software as possible, or touchscreens will help too. Plan to take baths, not showers.
posted by jeather at 7:53 AM on July 21, 2014

A few years ago I messed up my dominant wrist and couldn't use it for 3 months. (So yes, my wedding pictures DO have a cast in them!)

I highly recommend going to a hair salon every week or so (cheap one is fine) and getting them to wash your hair. It was so nice to feel like that part of me was *actually* clean.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 8:53 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

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