Thursday, April 15, 2010

Left Hand Needs To Let The Right Hand Pick Up Some Of The Slack – At Least Where Diabetes Is Concerned.

I’m left handed- always have been, but since I grew up in a right-handed world, I’m ambidextrous out of both necessity and force.

While I write with my left hand (and bat and catch,even though I haven’t actually done those things since like, the 5th grade) my right hand picks up the slack in other areas.

Like scissors. When I use scissors I use them in my right hand- thanks to the fact that in nursery and grade school the teachers only had 2 green rubber coated left-handed scissors in for each classroom. I was impatient and didn’t want to wait my turn, so I learn to use the right handed ones and never looked back.

I poor coffee and use a spatula in my right hand, simply because the coffee maker, the graphics on a coffee mug, and the slant on said spatula were designed for those whose dominant hand is right. Go ahead, check your spatula and favorite coffee mug- you’ll see I’m right.

Mastery of cheese graters (the old fashioned kind with the crank) eludes me to this day – and my attempts at mastering the fancy cheese grater cause much laughter during big family diners.

Doorknobs and door latches are almost always on the right side of the door.

Don’t even get me started on my car. Everything including but not limited to the; ignition, gear shifts, radio & air conditioning, plus almost all other controls are on the right side.

I think that I’ve proved my point that the world is designed for right-handed folk.

Ironically, when it comes to fingerstick testing, I prefer testing the fingers on my LEFT hand instead of my right- weird, right?

Anyway, after years and years of testing on my left hand, all 5 fingers are riddled with calluses and drawing blood (even with popping two baby aspirin a day) isn’t quite as easy as it once was.

I’ve now made a conscious effort to test on my right hand. The lancet feels strange and maneuvering that ever so tiny drop of blood on a test strip with a right-handed slant is awkward to say the least.

I’m curious- are there other lefthanders (or right-handers) out there who’ve experienced a similar phenomena regarding fingerstick testing?

Do you have a favorite hand to test on?

If you do, is it your dominant hand?

Is Kelly ”k2” Kunik on to something, or is she just plain weird?


Auntly H said...

Funny, I noticed the other day that, much as I try to rotate fingers, I tend to poke the fingers of my dominant (right) hand. I do avoid my index finger to allow for painless pen holding, but you'd think I'd lance my left more often than I do.

I think maybe you are onto something...

Adriana said...

I ALWAYS test on my left hand. My boyfriend and mom were giving me grief about it last night. Glad to know I'm not the only one! I just can't prick my right hand. Hurts too much!

Cara said...

I'm a lefty! (I think you might have already known that...) I test mostly on my right hand though. I find myself trying to remember to use my left hand. And then reminding myself to switch back. LOL
Oh, and I can't cut w/ lefty scissors. I iron, eat, throw, sew, and knit left handed. But I cut w/ scissors, shoot a gun (my lefty dad made me learn right handed), and bat right handed.
But, as I'm sure you already know, we are the only ones in our right mind. :)

Mike Hoskins said...

I, too, am a Lefty. Learned to golf right-handed because of the right-handed world aspect, same with the scissors. But do everything left-handed. Testing, I actually vary up pretty evenly. Though, by instinct, I mostly always do pick up the finger poker with my left hand before deciding which finger will get the stick that particular time.

Unknown said...

I'm a righty, but tend to stab my dominant hand too. It's also mainly the down/outside of pinkie and ring fingers, as I can brace them toward my index finger for better stabbage.

Hmm. Now that I'm looking at the poor things, the black dots on them are nuts. I really need to start doing my left hand...

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Interesting. I am right handed and test on both hands. I do believe my ring finger on both hands is my "high" finger so I rarely test on it if I think my blood sugar may be high!

Unknown said...

I'm right handed but mostly test my left hand.

Scott S said...

I'm right-handed, but I tend to test more frequently on the left hand, and I even have certain fingers that get lanced more often ... NEVER, EVER on my index finger ... it just bleeds all over my keyboard and makes a mess. I do test on my right hand, though (never on my right index finger, but for all others, it's open season). My middle finger seems to be the one to get stuck most often, but I do pinky fingers, too!

babscampbell said...

I remember being a very little girl, lying on the floor at Grandma's house coloring. My Grandpa came in and took the crayon out of my hand, took my crayon box and said I wouldn't be allowed to have them back until I learned how to color with the right hand. (Did he mean correct? or right-directionally?)
Anyways, I've been a bit of a switch-hitter my whole life. I do most things right handed, except I bat left, I tend to carry things, gesture and point with my left hand, AND I usually poke the fingers on my right hand first when testing. I have to really think about testing on my left. I'm checking the spots on my belly right now. . and yep, I inject fairly evenly with my right/left hands. hmmmm
I think this is VERY interesting.

tmana said...

Sounds like Babs grew up in an era in which left-handedness was considered to be evil. Stories abound of my dad's sister having her left hand tied behind her back, forcing her to learn to write right-handed. BTW, my uni composition teacher wrote right-handed, but did everything else left-handed. I once asked him if as a child he'd been forced to write right-handed -- he said he wasn't.

Like many other commenters, I am primarily left-handed. I do have a collection of left-handed dressmaker shears (starting with a birthday-request when I was about 12 and getting badly blistered from using my mom's right-handed shears), but I have trouble with the switched blade positions.

Because of the format, I was somewhat ambidextrous (but left-dominant) at pensy-pinky games ("A my name is", "A-Lary", "Composition", etc.) I was taught to knit left-handed but now knit ambidextrously, but have trouble purling.

For some odd reason, I learned to crochet right-handed.

At the table, I cut my meat with my right hand, but I hold the bread in my right hand to butter it with my left. I carve ambidextrously.

I pour water into the coffeemaker right-handed, because the opening's on the right side of the machine, but I hold the carafe in my left hand to serve the coffee. The crank-operated cheese grater is generally placed opening on the table, held in place with my right hand, and cranked with my left.

I do use a normal (right-handed) can opener, a normal (right-handed) sewing machine, and while my skills are hardly worth demonstrating, every musical instrument I've ever played, I've played the "normal" (right-handed) version.

I test on both hands, but primarily the right hand and the right forearm.

FWIW, I'm also left-eye dominant, but for environmental reasons (i.e., spending a large part of my sixth year in a cast), right-foot dominant (with the exception of cycling, for which early coaster brakes got me into the habit of keeping the left pedal at 12 o'clock when at rest, and starting off by pushing down on the left foot).

Allison Blass said...

I'm right handed, so I usually test on my left hand (my right hand holding the lancet). Sometimes I test on my right hand.

I only use my pinky and ring fingers on either hand. Since I test on the sides of my fingers, it just make maneuvering my finger to the meter easier. I have less fingers in the way.

Leo said...

I'm right-handed, but I'm also a cellist, so I worry about messing with my left hand fingers. I almost exclusively test on only my right hand.

Scott K. Johnson said...

I want to know if you're able to self-lance yourself as well with either hand?

I continue to be impressed by that. When I saw you do that last summer, I was like "whoa - that is badass!"

Beth said...

I'm a righty, but always grab the poker with my left hand. My pinkie and ring finger are the ones with the calluses...never use my index finger either. I have been making myself test on my left hand recently - it feels totally backwards though!

Karen said...

For me, it's less about being right-handed, and more about being obsessive compulsive and overly organized. Which means, I test on my left hand from the time I wake up until lunch. And then I move to my right hand for the afternoon and evening. I also rotate the fingers from left to right with palms facing me. My first test of the day is my left pointer, I work across, and my last is my right pointer. If I test during the night, I use my thumbs.

Believe it or not, this is all just second nature to me. Yes, I'm a freak!!

Sugarpie said...

This is fascinating! Never thought about it but, I'm right handed and:

- always lance with my right hand (don't think I could even hold the lance in my left hand)
- so always prick my left hand
- only use two fingers - so after ten years of ue they are pretty worn out.

The reason for only 2 fingerse in thumb seems wrong, index finger too sensitive given keyboards etc, and pinky is so tiny that if I prick it (and this has happened ever since diagnosis) it bleeds uncontrollably even on a low setting. Really must give my 2 poor fingers a breach though!

Cherise said...

Wow! You are multi handed! How cool is that:) I am right handed. I tend to test on my left hand. My right hand told me not to use it to test...go figure