So you have been wondering how this is all going to work out... I will tell you.
Left key controls have been switched to the Right, because it was just confusing otherwise, so:
Q - equip Left Item
E - equip Right Item
R - use Left Item
F - use Right Item
Holding a shield in your hand automatically protects you from 10dmg (monsters will now default to 20dmg, eventually the dmg will be dependent on the monster, but that's another update). Using the shield will cause shove. Anything hit by the shove, player or monster, will be knocked back (just like the sword used to do to monsters).
Swords will no longer knock back monsters, instead they stun the monster for a moment.
I have also smoothed out the controls\timeouts for item usage, it should be a little more button masher friendly now.
Oh, and opening the radio\console puts the right hand item away.. equipping a right hand item puts the radio\console away too.