Timeless Thoughts: The girl with the left-handed mouse
Timeless Thoughts is a monthly linkup hosted by Georgie and Tara, where bloggers write about something from their past – it could be an item, a place, an event – anything that evokes a trip down memory lane. Timeless Thoughts is held on the first Saturday of the month, and runs for two weeks.
In high school I did a lot of writing, as was customary, when it came to the HSC (High School Certificate), a series of exams that determined our entrance into university. Because we had to write several very long essays in a three-hour English exam, a lot of practice was required. We did not have the option of typing our essays unless we had a serious condition that prevented us from writing. So even practicing writing essays meant a lot of pain in the hand.
I’m naturally right-handed, and therefore used a right-handed mouse when using a computer. At some point during my practicing of writing essays, my hand got so sore that it inflamed and grew very swollen. My fingers swelled so much bigger. It was really ugly, and frightened me a little bit.
Lilian was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome from the stress the writing had put on her hand, and had to have a ganglion surgically removed from her wrist. She applied to be able to use a computer to type during the exam and that request was approved. I wasn’t hoping for the same ordeal, since my condition was not that serious, but with only a couple of months to the big month of exams at the end of the year, I wasn’t going to risk my wrist being injured further, so I ceased using my right hand for a lot of things.
And so I decided to try and use a left-handed mouse. It didn’t take me that long to pick up. But my left hand was certainly not used to using its muscles in that kind of way, especially when it came to selecting text and dragging and dropping content.
I used a left-handed mouse for about seven years. I noticed that some tasks put a little more strain and required more “strength” than my left hand could muster, so I would switch to my right hand for a little bit because it felt more natural and comfortable. It is said that the left hand does most of the typing on a keyboard, so when I thought about that… it was like my left hand was certainly doing twice the work. That wasn’t a problem. I mean, my right hand’s done a lot for me my whole life, haha.
The amusement always came when someone else tried to use my computer (even just to demonstrate something to me) and found that the buttons were reversed. They would use the mouse with their right hand but just be aware of the buttons, but I’d get a good laugh when they messaged me later with, “Georgie I went back to my computer and started using my own mouse the wrong way because I thought it was yours. I felt so stupid.” 😂
The pains, however, came when I was given a mouse at work or even had to use one at home that was shaped in such a way that it was designed for a right hand. I don’t think there was really anything else that was annoying, though. It was having a left-handed mouse that told me to stop saying “right-click on this” – because for me it was the left click. It was during that time that I learned to say “secondary click” instead. 👌 I don’t think I’ve ever met another left-handed mouse user… but if you are one, let me know. ;)
My hand did heal before the HSC came. Following the swelling, I iced it and applied Voltaren gel to it every day, and it eventually returned to its normal size. The skin around my fingers had stretched so much from the swelling that I had saggy skin for a few weeks. It was pretty gross. But I was glad the pain subsided.
I stopped using a left-handed mouse about two years ago, because I opted for a trackpad instead, and never really went back. It was hard to get used to the trackpad, but it’s been some time since using a left-handed mouse that I’m sure I’d have to go through the same motions of learning and there wouldn’t be a lot of muscle memory left.
I do think I should try it again, though, because trackpads are kind of annoying. 😆
Also, the amount of stock photos that have the mouse on the left hand side of the keyboard is… virtually nonexistent. 😜
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