Some months ago my wife and I went out for dinner at our favorite sushi place. As is frequently the custom at sushi restaurants, the table setting included chopsticks. No forks.
I’ll be painfully honest here: We are both woefully unskilled at using chopsticks. We try, of course, feigning some ability for appearances sake before requesting forks out of both frustration and hunger (and likely to the horror of others in the restaurant).
But MS has turned my right hand into little more than a shiftless observer and has, for all intents and purposes, made using even a “decadent and blasphemous” fork with that hand hard (and more than a little messy, too).
Maybe it was the Kirin beer, but for some reason I tried using the chopsticks with my left hand.
And apparently that was “Lefty’s” moment to shine. I tore through California and tuna rolls, soft-shell crab, even the scraggly little salad that came with the meal. I was suddenly a chop-sticking master, deftly picking up single grains of rice with surgical precision and calm.
I’m not sure what excited me more, the ability to use chopsticks or the ability to use my left hand.
According to Scientific American, roughly 70-95 percent of humans are right-hand “dominant,” somewhere between 5-30 percent are left-hand dominant and an undetermined number of us are ambidextrous. Me? I’ve always been a righty. For writing, hand-holding and shaking, beer-bottle-lifting and everything else.
The chopstick affair was the first time I’d thought about my left-hand as the dominant one. But now I use it for my mouse, fork and occasionally for very limited handwriting, too. If you ever want to be humbled (and who among us hasn’t?), try printing with your non-dominant hand. Then raise the bar and try writing in cursive. So much of MS has the ability to take you back to childhood (whether you want to go or not) and to a time when you had very little control over functions that we grow to take for granted.
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