Tomorrow morning when you wake up, try not to use your dominant hand for the first hour. Just allow it to hang by your side. Make your morning coffee; brush your teeth and shower. Ladies, apply your makeup and blow dry and style your hair using your non-dominant hand only. Men, you may want to use an electric shaver for this. Now get dressed. Button your shirt and tie your shoes. Are you feeling frustrated even though you know at any time you still have the ability to use both hands? Imagine not having that option. Now, imagine doing this all day, every day, for the rest of your life.
This is just a hint of what it feels like for someone who has survived a stroke, traumatic brain injury, severe nerve damage or amputation. Want to kick it up a notch? Try doing this same exercise while standing on one foot. Now, imagine if someone was yelling at you to hurry up or was being impatient with you for not being fast enough.
I’ve lived for almost 16 years with this reality, and still, I find that I will sometimes forget what it must feel like. That’s when I spend an hour with my right arm hanging by my side.