Oh no, not the left!

I know my problems are pretty minor compared to what many of you are going through, but I’m feeling a bit down at the moment and need to vent my emotions somewhere…. Last week there was an accident on the road I use to go to work, and I was stuck in a 5-mile queue. My work’s 20 minutes’ drive away from home, but that morning it took 45 minutes. When I got to work, I found myself unable to start typing. It’s not unusual for my right arm to complain after holding on to the steering wheel for longer than normal, but this time it was not just the right arm but both arms. My left elbow was as sore as my right, and it really spooked me out because I’d never had that level of discomfort in my left arm (which I had always considered to be “my good arm”) before. I hoped it would be temporary and would go away after a night’s rest, but my left arm is still not back to normal after a week. Although it is not as bad as the right arm, it’s scary to think that it may eventually end up in the same state. This has made me realise how heavily I rely on my left hand.

The problem in my right arm started 20 years ago, and since then I have learned to do a lot of things using my left hand — that is what I use to lift, carry or hold things, massage my right arm when it’s sore, press short cut keys, hold the steering wheel when my right arm plays up on the way back from work. I even learned to use chopsticks with my left hand! (It was a necessary skill when I was living in Japan.) What do I do if I can’t do these things anymore? I know things are not that bad. What I have –discomfort, aches, heaviness and occasional, transient pain — is annoying but not disabling. I can still type. I am sure I’ll be able to cope even if my left arm goes the same way as my right. It’s just that, because I remember the long and steady decline I experienced with my right arm, the thought of possibly having to go through the same thing all over again with the left arm is all the more depressing. Enough whinging, back to work…

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