Sunday Snapshot: Eating Like MacGyver

I remembered I promised to post a picture of my MacGyvered eating utensils. I’m right-handed and, since my right wrist didn’t need to be operated on, it stayed wrapped with a bracing splint from the elbow to the knuckles closest to the hand. I could hold a spoon or a fork, but I couldn’t bend my wrist, so I couldn’t get the utensil to my mouth. Made me think of the old saying, “He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon”.

ANYWAY, I had Sara tape chopsticks to a fork and to a spoon:

By holding onto the tip-end of the chopstick, I could get the utensil to my mouth. I love being pampered, but being fed when I’m capable of figuring out how to do it myself is a bit much, even for me.

Other helpful hints to the broken-wristed:

  • automatic can opener
  • scissors to cut into those “easy open” bags that aren’t easy to open without strong fingers
  • pliers to get leverage on small screw-off tops
  • have somebody open your child-proof pill bottles and leave them open or loosely covered
  • a “church key” — one of those metal things with a can opener on one end and a bottle opener on the other end — can help lever open those plastic containers with snap-on lids
  • If you can’t lift a glass or coffee cup, drink through a straw. If you can’t lift a coffee pot, take the lid off the carafe and use a ladle to transfer the coffee to your cup
  • If you can’t squeeze your toothpaste out of the tube, lean on the tube and squeeze a bunch out into a small, shallow cup and dig your toothbrush into that. Or brush your teeth with baking soda.
  • Approach every challenge by thinking, “What do I need to do? What’s standing in my way? What CAN I do that would work around it?”

Feel free to ask me anything about the experience of functioning with two broken wrists. I’m happy to help.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Eating with the devil



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Sunday Snapshot: Eating Like MacGyver

  1. Dan Antion

    August 20, 2023 at 7:26am

    MacGyver would be proud of you! And thanks for using the word ‘church key’. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 20, 2023 at 12:06pm

      I’m shocked and saddened by how many people say, “The what?” when I ask for the church key.

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      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        August 20, 2023 at 2:17pm

        We have a long-handled church key husband picked up in Mexico on one of our early trips (before kids) – decorated painted wood. And at least one of the regular ones. He still drinks beer, and they are usually still capped.

        I’m getting old. These questions I can usually answer.

        I see you’ve been your usual creative self – I can’t imagine how you’ve survived but you obviously have. I salute you (with unbended wrist).

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        • Author

          Marian Allen

          August 21, 2023 at 7:58am

          I confess, I spent some of my time feeling very sorry for myself, but I had nobody but myself to blame for my condition, so I put my Big Girl Braces on and figured stuff out.

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  2. acflory

    August 21, 2023 at 5:28am

    Damn. I am seriously impressed, Marion Allen! You never think about things like eating and opening things. I did wonder how you got dressed but assumed lots of slip on stuff. The chopstick trick floored me. Are you able to use your hands more naturally now?

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 21, 2023 at 8:09am

      I wore nightgowns for the first few months. Sara did my laundry and made my bed. The first problem I had to solve was … er … personal bathroom hygiene. Fortunately, they make long, thin, cylindrical “wands” for people with arthritis, so I got one of those. My right hand is back to normal use except for some slight achiness if I use it more than it wants me to. I still don’t have full grip with my left, but enough to function.

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  3. Anonymous

    August 30, 2023 at 9:59am

    Impressive Marian ! Have you duct taped your official Mrs. MacGyver certificate to the the wall ?

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  4. John Hric

    August 30, 2023 at 10:07am

    Impressive Marian ! Did you duct tape your official Mrs. MacGyver certificate to the wall ? You certainly earned it. And yes church keys are the second thing after duct tape that keep the universe running. If this shows up twice it is because the first one took the long way around the internet with two loops by lala land.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 30, 2023 at 10:45am

      Ah, you’re Anonymous, are ye? Growing up po’ often comes in handy: I can make do with surprising things in surprising ways.

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