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2017.10.07 Single-Handed


This image is called "broken scapula", but it's actually almost impossible to see the part where the shoulder blade is actually broken. You can see the broken rib, though it doesn't stand out unless you're looking for it. What really stands out is the shoulder separation. Whatever. The gestalt tends to blur together into a generalized "left shoulder area is owie".

One aspect to consider from all experiences is what you can learn from them. We tend to consider negative experiences as more teachable, but I suspect that's not really true - it's just that their value skews harder to the lessons learned category. Here are some lessons that I have learned in the past couple weeks of recuperation.

  1. How To Not Sneeze
    Seriously, hiccups with a broken rib suck. I coughed once a couple days in, and it made me need to sit and do meditative breaths for half an hour. So I've been full-on terrified of sneezing. Historically, I just go with sneezes and let them turn into terrifying barks. But a couple times now, an urge to sneeze has come over me and I started reflexively taking a deep breath. The warning pings of pain from the ribs just from the slow inhale reminded me in time, and I've pinched my sinuses and concentrated such that my eyes watered - and I've managed to not sneeze. So far.
  2. My Kids Don't Give A Fuck
    They're kids, after all. Which, by definition means that they're functionally psychopaths for now. Having to remind them about things is pretty much how it goes. But you'd think that after reminding them that it hurts my broken bones when they jump on my back to demand a piggyback ride that they might express some sort of regret. But no. What they experience is clearly annoyance at the inconvenience for them.
  3. Sock Suck
    I've managed to find some 1-armed way to accomplish most other aspects of dressing. It helps that most of my clothes are loose/stretchy - business yoga pants, corporate polos, etcetera. It's even feasible to tie my own shoes; my hands work just find, I just can't make gross motions with my left arm or apply any force. But socks... fucking socks. Those are deeply in the realm of needing two strong hands/arms to get on easily. You can get them on with just one hand, but it's wrestling a python time, and the python cheats. At least the kids find it amusing.
  4. 2 Hands On The Wheel Is Important
    The Mercedes lease is an automatic transmission, so it's technically feasible to drive 1-handed. It's a little awkward to get the turn signal in an efficient manner, but that just means I have to be deliberate and plan ahead - no abrupt lane changes for me. Tight maneuvers do require some more core strength when working the wheel 1-handed, and the ribs don't appreciate that, but it works. What is most clearly impaired is the visceral connection to the vehicle - the unfiltered sense of what the vehicle is doing. That requires both hands on the wheel, the butt firmly planted in the seat, and the feet feeling the pedals. Without that, you have to drive purely by secondary visual cues. That's slower, and less accurate. 1-handed drivers are precisely the reason why autonomous vehicles will be valuable.
  5. Nothing Else
    Nope. "Be more careful biking?" The balance of risk/reward is a moment-by-moment thing, I'm not going to pretend that this likely changes my general riding style. "Getting old and fragile." Ha. Better do more of this while I can, then. "Setting a bad example for the kids." Rather the contrary, I suspect. "Life is unfair." My life is awesome, and this mostly just points out many ways that I am fortunate.

Anyway. It's like that.