Ah, the index finger. A quiet little digit that we take entirely for granted, paying it little to no attention, using it freely and without thought…
Until it’s out of commission.
Then it’s a whole different story.
Because the most mundane, automatic tasks become outright challenges — sometimes insurmountable ones. Having broken my left index finger four days ago, I’ve had the opportunity to discover five such tasks:
- Chopping vegetables: Even though I’m right-handed, it turns out that my left index finger plays an integral role in food preparation. Specifically in holding things for my right hand to chop. Without it, keeping the remainder of my fingers intact has become…interesting.
- Zippers: Most are fine, but the one on my bulky winter coat (still very much needed in Ottawa) is an absolute devil without that finger to help hold the initial connection together. Sadly, this has resulted in more than one tantrum in my front hallway — and the donning of a much less functional button-up coat.
- Squeezing a tube of handcream: No problem squeezing it onto the back of my left hand; getting it onto the right one is slightly more awkward. I had no idea how little strength I have in the remaining usable fingers. (Squeezing the toothpaste is also challenging.)
- Flossing teeth: Tonight, when you go to floss your teeth, pay attention to the positioning of your fingers as you try to maneuver that string into the back of your mouth. Now try to get it back there without using your index finger. You’ll see exactly what I mean. (I’m going to buy some of those floss picks today.)
- Shoveling snow or running a snowblower: While you might think this would be a blessing in disguise, I actually like clearing the driveway. Unfortunately, holding a shovel or maneuvering a snowblower means I have to be able to grip. Can’t do that with mittens on, because then my finger bends too much. Can’t do it with gloves on, because my broken finger is taped to its buddy and the gloves won’t fit. It’s definitely a no-win scenario. 😛
So there you have it. The five things (discovered so far) that have made me not just notice but truly appreciate my hardworking digit. You’ve no idea how glad I’ll be to have it functional again! 😉