Ever since I was little, I’ve never been able to instantly remember which was my left foot and which was my right. In gym class I’d sometimes use a Bic pen to scrawl a large R and L on the tips of my sneakers. If someone said, “Raise your right hand”, I’d have to think about it, and try to recall which hand I wrote with, and I’d often second-guess myself. Don’t get me started on trying to figure out stage-right and stage-left.
According to the NY Times, “roughly 15 percent of the population suffer from profound left-right confusion.” The Times also notes that this syndrome doesn’t matter very much, unless you’re, for example, a surgeon who has to decide which leg or arm of a patient to operate on. Mistakes have occured in these situations, which is why most hospitals now require the doctor to clearly mark the limb in question, by writing THIS LEG, IF YOU WANT TO AVOID A MAJOR LAWSUIT on the patient with a thick magic marker.
I feel much better now that my condition has been named, which will make it easier to hold Profound Left-Right Confusion fund-raising events, including triathalons where half the competitors will run in the wrong direction. I also want to develop a line of merchandise, with gloves knitted with R and L, which of course I’ll try to shove onto the wrong hands, and t-shirts reading NO, YOUR OTHER RIGHT HAND. I’m also pleased to suffer from a profound disorder, rather than something more shallow.
I will file this entire post under More Good Reasons Why I Don’t Drive.