May 17, 2013 - submitted by Duncan, Australia

My mum is looking to have surgery on her shoulder, and wonders what she can do for 6-8 weeks with only one arm. Do you have any suggestions for an activity she can do?

The Oracle replies:

I shall steer away from ridiculous suggestions like bowling because though it's a one-handed pastime, it wouldn't be advisable when recovering from surgery.
Your mum is going to needs lots of rest and probably needs to do something gentle.
Maybe she could listen to audiobooks - not just fiction, perhaps she could attempt to learn a new language.
It's almost too easy to say she can spend time on a computer but I can't see anyone getting bored of the world wide web.
Walking would be good to get some exercise and fresh air to break the monotony. Or rent a cycling machine - it's best to keep active as long as it's not hurting her.
If it was me, I'd opt for reading and watching films. I'd write letters, play Scrabble, Solitaire & Sudoku. I'd do crosswords, write blogs, surf the net and probably Skype people I can't visit.
I suppose it also depends on which shoulder is out of action. If she is right handed and the right shoulder is being operated on, it might be interesting to see if she can learn to use her left to do things.
If she's looking for the bizarre, maybe one handed juggling is worth a try. Or there's always Tiddlywinks. Joking aside, support her as much as possible and help if necessary but - frustrating as it could be for your Mum - encourage her to try new things.
Over to you.

Personally I would teach myself to become ambidextrous, unless the one arm that she is having surgery on is the one she doesn't usually write with. Anyway, she could learn to write in calligraphy (which looks pretty classy when you use real ink and quill to send an invitation or something). She may want to use a clipboard to have the paper steady, but its worth a try.
Another suggestion would be to start up painting. It's beautiful and fun! Hope this helps! Deanna.

You could always do puzzles, read books, call your friends, see a movie, listen to music [Coldplay, of course!], go for a walk, write letters or a story.
If you want to exercise, you could work on tennis forearm or just bounce a ball, use a treadmill with great care, or go for a jog.
If you want a challenge, learn ASL, or American Sign Language. Hope I could help! Claire, USA.

I guess there were several light activity can be done with a single arm left. Such as painting or taking care of plants/garden. For a further satisfaction, I guess planting some short aged vegetable in container could be chosen. in 6-8 weeks, she could develop an almost fully grown leeks or shallot. for that time, cayenne pepper are starting to flower, and bok choy even getting ready to be harvested. Hope this help. Andra.

My mom had the same thing. She did super hard puzzles, like 10000 pieces. She set up a card table to keep it on. That way she could do a piece either every time she walked by, or sit down and work at it for awhile! Then she bought puzzle glue(which can be found at almost any craft store, very inexpensive) , put a puzzle glue layer on the front, one on the back, and framed them! They now hang around the house and look FANTASTIC! Hope I helped, if not, you'll come up with something! Best of luck to her and your family! You will be in my family's prayers! Sincerely, Katherine, United States.

Well I think she could do plenty of things but really depends on how much effort she wants to put into it. I don't want to seem like people that permanently don't have a hand are helpless. It also depends on which hand as I could do a lot more with my right than my left. If you really want to pamper her, though, have her do puzzles and things. Maybe shopping. I don't really know what she does for fun but there's almost always an alternative. Have her listen to some Coldplay. Hope she feels better soon. Love, Darem.

Walking. Maybe take a camera - obviously a small handy one - and take photos. There are plenty of games and quizzes online too. Maybe you could go to a local quiz - do they have pub quizzes in Australia I wonder... Abby.

This could be the perfect to watch that box-set of a series that your Mum has missed or loved in the past. I like to listen to the radio, it feels like I have company. There are some great podcasts too: some radio serials would be good to follow or comedy to cheer her up. Luke.

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