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You Never Know When You Need Excellent Executive Functions!

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By Rhona Gordon

I am hoping that all of you are relaxing and enjoying the pool, ocean, or air conditioning! Even with summer schedules, I hope it feels less hectic than the pace during the school year. However, this is NOT what I am experiencing this summer. In the first week of June, I tripped on a carpet and broke my right wrist; I knew it the second I landed on the floor! One positive is that I’m a lefty, so I had no trouble writing and working! I had never had a cast before, so I had no idea what I was in for. Right away, my brain started saying that I needed to find compensatory strategies to get me through the 6-8 weeks of being in a cast, which by the way, feels like a vice on your arm and fingers! So, I called upon my executive functioning skills to help me out!

I needed cognitive flexibility to set myself up to manage with this cast on. 

  1.  My vitamins and all bottles, like shampoo and face wash had to be opened and left with the cap loosely fitted around the bottle – okay, I asked for help on this one and the task was accomplished!
  2. I was having trouble in and out of the shower, so what did I do? What we all do – searched Amazon and got what I needed – a long handle with a sponge on the end to help one-handed washing!
  3. Typing on the computer was very painful, so I used what I tell my students to use: speech to text. It transcribed about 80% of what I said correctly, so I used my left hand to make the changes. 

The last thing is time management. My speed of accomplishing any task was WAY slower with a broken wrist. How could I NOT be on time? That would be terrible. So, I started planning every move with forward thinking and working backwards from the deadline, which is exactly what we tell all out wonderful clients to do! I looked at all my appointments and added anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for on time arrivals. Actually, I think I should train the airlines to use the same strategy! This was not an easy task, and it meant less sleep, but hey, who can sleep with a broken wrist, anyway??

I’m happy to report that seven weeks have passed, and my cast is now off. I thought I would be totally fine once the bone was healed, but no, now I have to counteract the side effects of having an immobile arm for 6 ½ weeks. Oh well, I will need to continue to use my Excellent Executive Functions to help me navigate all the physical therapy I now have to endure. But I am grateful to have these skills in place, and I ask all of you to remember the organization strategies that you learn while working with Thinking Organized. You need them every day, and sometimes when you least expect it. Finally, if you ever find yourself in a cast (and I truly hope you don’t), call me. I’ll give you the specific executive functioning skills for broken bones!

Erica MechlinskiYou Never Know When You Need Excellent Executive Functions!

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