Right Or Left

Husband describes himself as a left handed person, so one would think that the small fracture he currently is sporting in his right wrist wouldn’t be as big a problem as if had he fractured his left wrist. Well, that isn’t the case at all. Husband writes and reaches for things with his left hand. Those are things he learned before the age of 5. He does everything else with his right hand, including throwing balls and fine motor tasks like buttoning and tying his shoes. He also has carpal tunnel issues with his right hand, so his fingers don’t work that well.

It has been an exhausting learning experience for him to make his left hand work in ways it is unaccustomed to. I am unusually dexterous, so this is all painful for me to watch. I suppose this is a textbook case of mixed lateral dominance. We are supposed to write and throw and kick with hands and feet on the same side of the body. Husband writes with his left hand, but kicks and throws with his right hand and foot. He is also right eye dominant. Can you imagine how hard it would be to navigate the world not knowing what eye, hand, or foot to use? Husband’s father was a lefty. Both our children and our grandson are righties, so I hope the mixed lateral dominance gene has been evaded for future generations.

Are you a lefty or a righty? Know any lefties who struggle? Any stories of lefties who were forced to change to righties in school? Ever broken a bone?

24 thoughts on “Right Or Left”

  1. There are five of us in my immediate family, and only my middle sister is left-handed. Everybody else is/was right handed. But I don’t ever remember it being an issue for anybody when we were growing up. Not a point of contention — it was just a fact. I can’t think of anybody who has an issue with being left handed, in fact I don’t think about it very much so off the top of my head I couldn’t even tell you if I know anybody who’s left handed … except for your husband now Renee. .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As for myself, I write and throw things left-handed and am left eyed. Were I to golf, I could do it equally badly in either orientation, but I can only bat left-handed. At the computer I mouse right-handed. I never think about which hand I use to reach for things but I believe I am equitable about that. Left-handed scissors are as awkward for me as they are for dextrous persons. I button my shirts right-handed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a righty. So is Husband, but he taught himself to use both hands for things like playing catch, ping pong… so he’s more ambidextrous than I am. I had to use my left hand when my right hand was in a cast in 5th grade – I’d gotten knocked down on the playground by some kid running to catch a football.

    Nephew who lived with us in his 5th grade year is a lefty, but I don’t know of any struggles.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m like Renee’s husband. I call myself bi-dextrous. Ambidextrous means equal facility with both hands (and feet) but I do some things well from the left, others well from the right, and never the hands shall meeet.

    The easy illustration I use to educate people is that when I play tennis, I hit all my ground strokes left-handed, and all my serves and overheads right-handed. If I had to play tennis “in reverse” I might possibly be the worst player in the state. As it was, my self-rating when I was in my “prime” about 30 years ago was a respectable 3.5.

    The only things I disliked about being a left-handed writer were not having a left-handed desk to sit at (remember those modern ones with the single arm attached to the back support and curling forward and around the front to make the square desk with the single arm rest–usually on the right). If I had to sit at a right-handed desk, it was tougher to write. Second was smuding my words when writing left-handed with a pencil. Annoying.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m right handed. I can’t do fine motor things with my left hand very well at all. I wish I could. I know lots of “lefties.” I’ve never known any of them to complain about it except to say that the world isn’t designed for left-handed folks, and to describe what specific challenges they have faced.

    I broke a bone in my right foot once running up the carpeted stairs. My foot slipped somehow, down one step. I heard a slight snap and felt a sharp pain. I didn’t go to the doctor until next day when my foot was swollen and discolored. I wrapped it in an ace and drove myself to the doctor (from Waterville to Northfield). It was much harder driving home with a temporary cast on my right foot. I managed it but the next couple weeks were challenging. I’m not left-footed either, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am right handed; my husband is a lefty. We traveled a lot in England. Driving on the left side of the road (including shifting a standard shift with his left hand) was easy for him. Finally the world made sense!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m right-handed. Extremely so. Eleven years ago, when I fractured several bones in my right arm and pelvis, I couldn’t use my right hand for months, and it was pitiful. I had trouble finding my mouth with my left hand, so both both eating and brushing my teeth was a messy affair. I did get slightly better at using the left hand as time wore on and I had more practice, but it was a struggle.

    My mom was a leftie. The nuns “broke” her of it, and forced her to write with her right hand. She claimed that was the reason for her miserable hand writing, and interestingly, it may also be the reason she never really learned how to spell. It was common in those days (she was born in 1920), to view left-handedness as something bad that needed to be fixed.

    Like with everything else, I think it’s interesting to note that if you happen to be right-handed – an estimated 86% of people are – chances are you don’t really think about it. You also don’t realize how much you take for granted; how much of your environment is shaped to meet your needs.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am a righty and would be in trouble if I injured my right hand/wrist. The only thing my left hand does well is play bass clef on the piano. When I was much younger, I tried to become a switch hitter in softball. I adored the Twins and wanted to emulate all the hitters. Dad spent a lot of time pitching as I tried to hit lefty. I finally could connect with the ball but sure couldn’t hit it “out of the park”.

    OT: The trip to the Antarctic was fabulous. The two day crossing of the Drake Passage wasn’t too bad on the way down but we certainly experienced the “Drake Shake” on the way back – swells of 24 to 27 feet. Thank goodness for effective motion sickness meds! We lucked out with good weather and had 4 shore landings. The hikes to the penguin colonies were often quite steep but well worth it. It certainly felt like being on a different planet – very quiet (except the penguins), with no signs of civilization except our ship (420 passengers). Hurtigruten is an excellent cruise company. Our ship was new and high tech, the entire crew was highly skilled and knowledgeable (we had many lectures on a variety of topics related to the area), and it was obvious that our safety was their highest priority. All in all it was an extraordinary experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you had a great trip, K-two. Just this morning, I was wondering how your antarctic experience had gone, and whether you had returned, so perfect timing. Good to have you safely back on the trail.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lefty here

    i was told years ago lefties do things left and right
    righty people only do right

    i eat and write left handed by can do chopsticks right handed and write in a blackboard for example right handed

    china acknowledges left handed people have a special brain
    much more think on the run kind of stuff

    my early days of catholic learning to write with a fountain pen taught me not to drag my hand across fresh ink
    got that flamingo hold on a pen style as a result

    tell chris carpel tunnel surgery is a snap and works great
    slows you down a week at most

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I had the ‘Sonix’ carpal tunnel done about five years ago, at that point, it was still experimental, and had to be the full OR and all that. Now it’s outpatient. One stitch in each wrist, take it easy for a couple days.


    1. Thanks! I cracked my left wrist falling in Grade 7 gymn class while running backwards in what I think was a dodge ball game. They didn’t cast it, just put a metal brace on it and wrapped it with an Ace bandsge.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My dad was a lefty, I think they tried to beat it out of him in school. And I’ve got one sister who is a lefty. As long as you don’t sit next to her at dinner, it’s not a problem.

    Liked by 2 people

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