Am i right handed or left handed?

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    Aug 09, 2014 12:51 PM GMT
    Until my stroke in year 2000 I was totally left handed. I could not handle a pencil in my right hand at all. My stroke affected the left side of my body and my left hand is now totally useless (it cannot grasp and i have no muscle control in it at all) In the 14 years since my stroke I have learned to write awkwardly (okay print) with my right hand. I am required to do everything with my right hand but everything feels awkward. I still dream I am left handed.


    I should have started training to write with my right hand as soon as it happened but I was in denial and insisted the effects had to be temporary. (they were not) I retrained for a new job but failed at it because I could not write a legible sentence. (I was a ward clerk in a surgical centre) No one tested me for basic literacy because no one questioned my ability to read and underestimated my inability to write.

    So I "retired" at age 40.


    Today I was taking one of those on line tests and got stumped by the first question :"are you right or left handed?" I don't know how to answer now.

    I used to be oddly proud of my left handedness and how I could print really nicely despite it. (My handwriting was artistic and had a touch of shorthand to it. Only I and a few others could read it. (I did that deliberately. As a drama teacher my notebooks were full of notes on students and my kids in class were always trying to see what I wrote. When ever they could see they realized they could not read it anyway unless I wanted them to.

    So in my mind I am left handed but in practice I have only my "off hand" to work with.
    I feel robbed of a fundamental part of my identity (as well as one of our most rudimentary skills: to be able to write a legible sentence for others to read.


    I have no point to this rant. I am just feeling bitter this morning because I took that silly test that asked my handedness.


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    Aug 09, 2014 1:05 PM GMT
    If it's just a "silly test" that is measuring behavioral tendencies, then you are left-handed, the way you were born. Your stroke did not change your genetics. If it's a test of your current bio-mechanical functions, then you are right-handed, the way you have relearned (to some extent).
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    Aug 09, 2014 1:08 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidIf it's just a "silly test" that is measuring behavioral tendencies, then you are left-handed, the way you were born. Your stroke did not change your genetics. If it's a test of your current bio-mechanical functions, then you are right-handed, the way you have relearned (to some extent).


    Thanks for that.


    It helped.
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    Aug 09, 2014 2:12 PM GMT
    Upper_Cdn said
    Art_Deco saidIf it's just a "silly test" that is measuring behavioral tendencies, then you are left-handed, the way you were born. Your stroke did not change your genetics. If it's a test of your current bio-mechanical functions, then you are right-handed, the way you have relearned (to some extent).

    Thanks for that.

    It helped.

    You're welcome, my pleasure. And back home now, where I can type more. I'm a bit "atuned" to stroke survivors, because my husband is one. In fact, he had 2 full strokes within 2 hours of each other, with classic body paralysis and speech impairment.

    But as you would know, the residual effects of a stroke are highly variable, depending on factors including location in the brain, clot size, and the time elapsed before treatment. My husband lucked out across the board, and was being aggressively treated in the ER within 35 minutes of the first stroke hitting. The second hit while he was actually IN the ER, with me standing right there! I called the STAT myself to get the doctors back.

    And yet a week later he walked out of the hospital with no residuals whatsoever, age 78. I tell people that any speech impediment they hear today is merely because he's an Italian from Boston. And he smacks me. icon_redface.gif (In truth his speech is unchanged from pre-stroke, and while his right side was totally paralyzed at the time, his writing today is completely normal. People can't believe he ever had 2 strokes, even his doctors. as if he never had them)

    You obviously had it much tougher. I think the message here for guys is to take regular physicals along with a stroke risk assessment (and heart, too), and follow the recommendations. And above all, to get to the hospital immediately, don't delay, every minute is critical, part of the "Golden Hour" concept. And if you're the partner or friend, take charge and make that happen, regardless of any protests they may make.