Ask DN: How you manage your work when your arm is broke?

over 5 years ago from Nicolas Gras, Creative Project Manager

  • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, over 5 years ago

    I’m sorry to hear about the accident.

    I broke my right radius near the wrist and displaced the ulna in a bike accident in 2010.

    I'm right-handed, but I started using my left hand right away for almost everything. Believe it or not, you can get pretty adept in a short period of time. Trackpad started slowly, but got better within about a week, and within 3 weeks it started to feel natural, but it would get tired more quickly (all those years build up a lot of muscle tone on one side).

    Where things were very hard was in holding down modifier keys while performing a gesture. I never found a great way around that.

    What I did notice though was that I started using my left hand more unconsciously, like I had used my right. There are all kinds of little performative advantages that your dominant hand has, but your less dominant hand can learn over time.

    I love Lauren’s suggestion of Better Touch Tool, and would suggest exploring the accessibility options. But beyond that, besides practice, the most effective thing was to decide more carefully what I’d spend my limited movement on: which emails to write, how much to say, what things to try in other apps. You still have movement, but a tighter budget, so spend it as best you can.

    Lastly, as a freelancer, contact your clients right away and let them know what’s up and what to expect. Hopefully they will be understanding.

    Take care, work the physio they give you and more, eat well and rest lots. It’ll get better.

    2 points
    • Nicolas Gras, over 5 years ago

      Hey Todd, thanks for your advices. you're right, switching to the left hand is not complicated as I expected! For my clients it's all right, I do this in my free time and work generally for long date friends

      0 points