Friday, January 16, 2009


Over the last 2 years & change I've adapted pretty well to life with one working hand. I'm even getting pretty good at making it through my day with 50% function in my good thumb.

But every now & then life serves up a curve ball. Hell, thy name is 'buffet'. I went through a wedding sample tasting buffet line this week and it sucked out loud.

Getting food at a buffet (like one you might find at a wedding or corporate event) used to be easy. Hold plate left handed, serve food right handed. Sometimes I'd switch it up for fun. I think ambidexterity is the product of being raised by a left handed dad & right handed mom.

Nowadays (is nowadays even a word? whatever.) I can barely hold a plate left handed, and it shakes all over the place. Not a stable platform for piling one's dinner. I ultimately place my plate on the table, which garners some strange looks from other buffet-goers. I then transfer food from the steam tray down to my plate.

This is where things get tricky. Remember that 50% function in my good thumb? It now has to make the long trek from tray to plate, tongs in hand, without dropping any food. This is way harder than it sounds. I get nervous that I'm about to send au gratin potatoes or whatever splattering across the floor - which makes me shaky & panicky - which weakens my grip and makes me more likely to drop something. It's a vicious circle, man.

Getting back to my table can bring another challenge. If I was dumb enough to grab something tough, roast beef for example, I'll need help cutting it. Being 30 years old and having my wife or mom cut my food is just plain weird. No one wants to see that, especially me.

Public service announcement time: If you have a friend with monomelic amyotrophy, do not take them to a function with a buffet line. It's like serving yourself a garden salad of terror and herb-roasted fear with a side of sautéed sadness on a plate of despair. OK, maybe it's not that bad.

Substitute poached trepidation and a dinner roll for the salad.

1 comment:

Call Me Avis said...

I just LOL'd reading this @ work. As you might recall my right hand is all kinds of horked before I switched to doing as much as I can left-handed I used to -drop- glasses frequently or knock them over. Funny in retrospect; but annoying still when I forget. I'll still hold a plate right-handed mostly to scare peeps around me in the know.. I can see them kinda getting ready to make a grab for whatever it is. That's probably not such a good thing for me to be doing but hey I need to keep my sense of humour however warped it may be.