My Financial Contributions To The US Medical Care System Continues: So… a few years after I had my hip replacement (it wasn’t cheap), I was hiking Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. A beautiful national park to visit. Great place to visit as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has many hiking trails. At the bottom of this post I have included more Hawaii hiking tips.
Let It Rain: Everything was going great, then I fell (don’t hike after a hard rain) and broke my right wrist (I know, I know… what a klutz). I broke both wrist bones (my radius – the larger of the two bones of the forearm and my ulna) and had surgery (guess I had forgotten how expensive US medical care can be) to fix my colles fracture – see video below. I also learned that I should be nice to Pele.
Bonus Factoid: U.S. health care spending grew 5.8 percent in 2015, reaching $3.2 trillion or $9,990 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.8 percent
I am right-handed, so I soon discovered how difficult life can be with a broken wrist and trying to use my left hand. I had to learn how to do many things with one hand.
If you break your wrist, you can have lots of mobility and functionality problems occur including those below. I have included 8 tips:
- Going to the bathroom: I bought a full service bidet (that means hands-free with warm water, not cold water, squirted on your tush). You can read why I bought the BioBidet model here. I bought it because it is hard to reach your netherlands with your non-dominant hand. And, because I remembered when one of my friends broke his dominant hand elbow playing basketball. His wife said to me, “The only thing worse than wiping your own a** is wiping somebody else’s a**.”
- Writing: I don’t. I bought a good, but cheap, computer microphone.
- Opening anything with a lid: My wife graciously does this for me. But, she warns me, if I continue to under appreciate her, I may buy a one handed jar opener.
- Showering if you have a cast (plus the aroma that can accumulate when you don’t shower). I took a garbage bag and some elastic wrap to make a cast protector. Video below. You can also buy a shower cast protector.
- One handed shoelace tying – a video is below. But here is what I did: I went barefoot, wore flip flops and for shoes with laces, I bought elastic shoelaces by Lock Lace.
- Pulling on socks with one hand: First, I went to anklet socks – that was easier – less to pull up. Second, I learned to cuff the sock top which creates a space for me to insert my thumb and forefinger to widen the sock. A video of one technique is below. FYI, I had a sock aid that was useful when I had my hip replacement surgery, but it didn’t work too well as I needed both arms to pull on the ropes. I used the ‘flip flop as a sock aid’ method as well – video below.
- Gotta’ shave face/legs: I have a medium beard and hadn’t ever used an electric shaver, but I was finding shaving with one hand hard. I bought a waterproof electric shaver. Easy to use with one hand and did the job.
- Typing on a computer. I now use Google Docs with voice typing, copy the text and paste to the application I need. Video below.
- Protect your wrists: Also, once healed, you (meaning me) need to be careful so I bought these inexpensive wrist braces.
Hiking Hawaiian Trails Tips:
- Long pants – lava is unforgiving and very sharp.
- Hiking shoes or boots.
- Walking stick
- Bottled water
- Compass or GPS
- Short sleeve shirts with sun protecting collars
- Hat with sun brim
- Dark UV or Polarized sunglasses
- Bug spray
- Small first aid kit
- Sun screen – lots of it
Visit the State of Hawaii, DLNR, Division of Forestry & Wildlife Nā Ala Hele Trail & Access Program
One handed shoelace tying
Demonstration of putting socks on one handed
Demonstration of putting socks on one handed – but I cuff my socks instead for better control
How to Shower With An Arm Cast
Google Docs with voice typing
Elastic shoelaces – using Lock Laces