Single-handed Resolve

Category: Health Wellness

Single-handed Resolve

Posted by Sophia Tan on 22-Feb-2022 09:15:00

For several months, my hands had been tingling and going numb in the midst of working, writing or just eating. It got to the point where I would drop my cutlery on the floor during a meal because I could not feel my fork or knife. Last year I saw a hand surgeon at Sengkang General Hospital who diagnosed me with carpal tunnel syndrome, and finally I went for an operation in early January to relieve the sensations of numbness in my left hand.

It was my first time undergoing an operation under local anesthesia and although the op itself took only 20 minutes, the waiting and subsequently listening to the doctors and nurses talking during my operation unnerved me. I could feel my hand being tugged to the lines of “Not so deep here,” and “so you do this…” while hearing the heart monitor beeping more anxiously along with my increasing heart rate.

I came home in the evening with my hand wrapped up like a rice dumpling and started taking painkillers after the anesthesia wore off. Aside from the pain, it was the inconvenience of performing normally straightforward tasks that started to irk me. Taking a shower with the bandaged hand in a plastic bag meant I was unable to wash my hair as thoroughly as I wanted, while getting dressed took forever. I couldn’t do housework and had to leave simple things like washing my dishes to my mum and brother.

After two days, I started to feel sorry for myself. Wringing a face towel dry was impossible with one hand, and opening bottles became difficult. Why did I have this problem? But at the same time, it made me think of people who have lost their limbs in accidents, or due to illness. How do they cope? What about people who are blind, or have no family members to look after them?

Staying home on hospital leave gave me the time to reflect on my life and appreciate some of the things I take for granted - having a roof over my head, hot meals, family and being able to do the things that I normally do. If I really cannot wash my hair or cut my nails properly, I can still go to a salon to get people to do it for me. As the population continues to grey through, there will be more and more elderly citizens who will need help with day-to-day activities, and money may be a concern as some will not be able to continue working. I am grateful that I would eventually recover from the operation, and I am well taken care of by my family and the hospital doctors and nurses.

While Covid continues to rage around the world, with a lot of uncertainty in the year ahead, may we remind ourselves to continue looking out for the destitute, the vulnerable and the helpless in our society, because there will always be those who need more help than we do. Meanwhile, I look forward to going back to work and playing my part in serving the community.

- Contributed by Sophia Tan 

Sophia - 22 Feb (2)


Topics: Health, Wellness