How Do You Function, When One Hand Is Out Of Commission?

So, uh... cat bites are pretty bad, as it turns out. I was in the emergency room yesterday, after my sweet cat Franny sunk a tooth into the top of my left hand, causing it to swell up like a balloon. I'm now on a strong antibiotic and some strong painkillers, but it's still a baseball mitt-sized mit that hurts like hell in any position other than upright and can't be used. I'm typing with just my right hand, right now.

A blogger whose hand was injured by her own cat seems almost too good to be true, in a darkly humorous sort of way. I know. But it's extremely inconvenient and I'm sure there are better ways to go about this than typing with just five fingers. Mountain Lion dictation is supposedly great, but I don't have ML yet. And I've heard good thing of Dragon Dictation, too.

Have you ever had to deal with this? What did you do?



    got a dog...

      If you get a dog bite to the hand you'll have the same as this, but worse. Sorry mate.

        Cat Scratch Disease = worse than just about any dog bite save for Rabies. Cat's are evil and discgusting little buggers. What I find weird is that cat owners let this crap happen and just go "aww little Tiddles bit me..oh well" ... if dog's bit their owners like this.. more dogs would be getting the "Green Dream"...

          I've been bitted more times than I can count by playing cats, and not once have I ever had a reaction like this. Either this cat has some dead-animal bacteria in it's mouth and she didn't bother to wash it out straight away, or she has some sort of allergy to the cat. Plenty of cat-sized dogs bite their owners with similar "aww little Tiddles bit me" reactions.

          Dogs and cats bite for different reasons. Cats tend to scratch. If you are the owner and get bitten on the hand by a cat, it is almost certainly because you were playing a game and the cat went further than it meant to, not because you reached for its food bowl or something.

          Cat scratch fever is pretty mild as things go though. Unless you are immuno-compromised you probably won't need treatment. What Molly has is a local bacterial infection which you can get from any non-sterile bite or cut.

        not true, dogs saliva is really good to clean our wounds. If you have a cut and let your dog lick it, not doubt it will be healed the next day.

      slow, SLOW applause. You're some kind of genius, bran.

    I was a machinist who suffered a broken distal carpal once, and badly mashed ligaments in the same hand a bit over a year later , how do you cope ?
    You learn to use your other hand ! It's awkward but you'll live..... :)
    Get well soon Molly :) take them pain killers ....

    I lost the use of my right hand for 2 years after a motorcycle accident, severed the arm bone in half and radial nerve which controlled extension of the wrist and fingers. It took a long while to recover with my right arm immobile for much of the 2 years and it is now about 75% of what it used to be. I was right handed,... now I'm somewhat ambidextrous and think with BOTH sides of my brain.

    Seriously, you learn to cope. I learnt to write left handed and live without my right arm. Could be worse, could be your leg which would stop you from doing a whole lot more in life.

    As for the pain... Enjoy the painkillers while you have legal access to them. If you still feel pain, ask for better painkillers... preferably the kind that makes you happy.

      Jesus man how fast were you going worst i had was a couple of broken ribs and a bump on the head and some might brusies.

      Anyway the hand thing i was a butcher for years on end and the amount of times i stabbed myself in the wrist and arm or had my hand out of action from a bad cut. You get use to doing things with an opposite hand it's frustrating to begin with but you get use too it.

    Forgot to mention that I tried dictation software but quickly realised I could learn to type quicker with just one hand. Look at the bright side.... typing slower for the moment means you have more time to properly consider your words.

    Get well soon.

    Toxoplasmosis is permanent...


    I picked up a stray cat that come into the house a couple of years ago. It was a big cat and seemed friendly until I lifted it. Bit my hand and punchered through my palm. Within 2 days the infection had gone from my hand to my elbow. Day 3 I couldn't bend my arm and went to the doctors. He put me on the wrong antibiotics. Day 4 it was half way up my bicep and my whole arm was swollen. Back to a different doctor who drew a black texta line around the edge and put me on different antibiotics. Told me if the infection crossed the line to go to the hospital for an iv drip. By the next morning it was receding. Cost me a week off work.

    Having a disability (not one that affects my hands) and working with people that do have disabilities that affect their hands, I know that you can get keyboards that can be operated by one hand. I have never used one for an extended period of time, but I have seen people using them. I can't imaging that it would be easy to get used to, but you work out how to make do with what you have!

    I have one arm just below the elbow . Your hand is out of action. but your arm is still intact use it to hold things . I carry stuff with my little are all the time. You will pick up skills as you go. I often have a laugh at people with arm injuries as they are hopeless in the beginning and then get better.

    I suppose it depends how dedicated you are, which is a more gentle way of saying "suck it up, princess" . You have painkillers, so just work through the pain. I had a broken collarbone and 3 broken ribs in February but you didn't see it moderating my output, did you?

    Been scratched and bitten a million times and never seen that happen. Maybe you should stop feeding your cat dead animals and swap to some form of science diet or equivalent.

    The only cat bites that I know of that do that are feral cats and people who don't wash the wound afterwards.

    Hang on! Your a girl?!?! They look like boy gamer hands hahaha!

      Really? I thought it was a guy *until* I saw the hands. They're quite obviously a woman's hands.

      Okay, not only is SD a pretty god-awful diet to put your cat/dog/guinea pig/whatever onto (as per the various vets I've worked with in the past 5 years), but lecturing Molly by saying that it's only ever feral cats and poor hygiene that cause infections from bites is a PRETTY hilariously insulting statement.

      Also, spelling and grammar, pumpkin. Spelling and grammar. Just sayin'.

    Ouch! Are you okay Molly? I'm sure the painkillers make everything a little better.

    My mum recently broke both of her thumbs in a pushbike accident. Try living for a week without the use of either of your hands.

    Ok Molly as a Hand Surgeon I have to tell you to lose the ring on that index finger. If the swelling gets any worse you will have to cut the ring off or eventually the finger, your choice really. The staff in your emergency room have done you no favours in letting that stay on. Next, elevating the hand will help swelling reduce and allow the antibiotics to penetrate the soft tissues a little more efficiently as well. You have to make sure the antibiotics are correct for cat bites as well, Dr Google can tell you that. Finally, therapy. Those proximal interphalangeal joints are in an awful position and will stiffen up quickly so they need to be stretched out straight hourly, and the metacarpophalangeal joints need to be fully extended and flexed down into a fist every hour as well. If it gets worse it can be a sign that the tendon sheaths are infected and need to be washed out to clear the bacteria. Good luck.

    Ok, first up. I hope you're ok Molly and that it get's better sooner rather than later, but I really think you may need to get your cat looked at. That can't be right.
    I too have been bitten by cats before and never once has it turned into anything more than a simple piercing wound that healed within days like any other minor wound.

      No, it's fairly common. Just because you've never had it doesn't mean it's 'not right'. It has to be a fairly deep bite.

    It looks like it was a fairly deep wound that penetrated the skin and that is why she got the infection. My cat has bitten and scratches me a lot and I've never had this issue, but also never had too much of a deep wound. They are known to cause infections in each other from bites to the front legs (especially in their front legs and joints).

    Dogs are no different, their teeth are just not as sharp and thus less likely to penetrate your skins when play fighting, if they bite you after eating their poo or licking their bum, it ain't gonna be pretty.

    Let's not even talk about tetanus.

    something similar happened to sf author Peter Watts (although not from a cat bite (ironic given his apparent love for them)) -

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