before my brain injury, i was mostly right handed. i was (among other things) a juggler, and, when it comes right down to it, i could use both hands equally well to do most things (a significant difference, however, was that i held lathe tools as though i were left handed). i was also quite accomplished at drawing and calligraphy, with my right hand.
however, since my injury, i have been predominantly left handed… and it’s REALLY annoying… 😐
i can write equally well with both hands, but not particularly legibly with either… and forget doing calligraphy, with either hand. i remember beautiful things used to “just come out of my pen” prior to my injury, but i realise, now, that they were actually coming out of my HAND, and that ability is, now, nowhere near what it used to be.
i “lose” things that i put into my pockets – like my car keys (i “lose” them about twice a week) because they’re in the wrong pocket. i “forget” that my right hand is there, and subsequently try to load more than a reasonable load of stuff into my left hand, and then realise – as i am headed away from home, or the car, or whatever – that i am carrying more than i should in my left hand, and nothing in my right hand.
the first time i tried using a computer, after i had my injury, i tried to operate the mouse with my right hand, as i had before my injury. it felt really awkward and confusing, so i switched to my left hand, which felt totally natural, as though i had been mousing with my left hand my entire life. i continue to be a left-handed mouser.
i can type, slowly… before my injury, i could type 95 – 100 words per minute, with 100% accuracy. now, eight years after my injury, i can usually get to around 45 or 50 words per minute, with 50% accuracy, if i’m really warmed up and feeling good. usually it’s more like 35-40% accuracy, and/or 35-40 words per minute.
i have re-learned how to juggle… sort of… prior to my injury, i could juggle three of pretty much anything, pretty much indefinitely, including different size and weight balls, a ball, a pin and a ring, and such like, as well as being able to keep four balls in the air, and occasionally five for a couple of passes. now, eight years after my injury, i can keep three of the same size and weight balls in the air for 5 to 10 passes… if i’m lucky. usually i juggle until i get so frustrated that i give it up about once a week, but it’s really frustrating that i can’t do it as well as i used to be able to.
people always say “why complain? i can’t juggle at all and i haven’t had a brain injury…” but the point is that i used to be able to juggle really well, and now i have trouble doing the simplest of patterns… the ability to do it is still in my mind, but my hands don’t cooperate – and it’s not for lack of trying… you have never had the ability, so you don’t know what losing it is like.
One thought on “a thing that is different about me”
this is fascinating, and i can only imagine and have compassion for the magnitude of frustration. i also know it’s not much consolation, but you’re still a gifted artist, and i think it’s excellent for both your confidence and your brain and motor programs that you do keep working at juggling, regardless of ability.
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