Thursday, March 01, 2007


Living in Maryland has come to mean being prepared for some crazy weather. From warmish to cold in just a day. While I relish the unseasonably warm days, that snap back to the cold is tough. For those of us with joint problems, the rapid changes are even more difficult to handle. I've been working on ways to handle my limitations. This topic has come up frequently on the Arthritis Foundation bulletin boards so I thought I'd share a few of my adaptations.

  • Cane - I tried to make it to my 25th birthday without buying one out of spite, but the pain won out in the long run. It beats the butt-scoot any day.

  • Gloves - keep hands warm (Raynaud's phenomenon is common with arthritis), some can provide extra support (therapeutic gloves). I even have a pair of fingerless gloves to use at work (especially in cold server rooms)

  • Hand warmers - not just for camping!

  • Flexi Leash Comfort - has a cushioned grip, and the medium size is big enough to fit most of my hand through, meaning I don't have to grip with my fingers. Walking the dog is much easier now.

  • Using palms instead of fingers - Driving a stick shift becomes problematic when you can't grip the shifter. Learning to use the palm of my hand to change gears has saved me a lot of pain. Eventually I'll be getting a car with an automatic transmission.

  • Comfy shoes - giving up high fashion for the more practical shoe. Walking a few blocks to work in high heels just isn't worth it. I still wear low heeled or dressy flat shoes with some of my suits, but I never walk far in them. For that I have shoes like these Merrell Mary Janes.

  • Salad Shooter - Hubby got me a salad shooter for Valentine's Day this year (romantic, I know). I'd been wanting one for awhile so that I can cut vegetables and such when my hands won't cooperate. So far, it rocks. It also makes great slice potatoes for home-made potato chips.

  • Rolling pin with upright handles - Another Valentine's Day gift from Hubby this year. I love to bake. I esepcially love to bake pies. To make pie crust, you have to roll out the dough. I kept having problems gripping the rolling pin and putting enough force onto it to flatten the dough. The new rolling pin makes it easier for me to do both.

  • Cordless can opener - I'm not sure what brand I have, but if you have limited hand strength or flexibility, an electric can opener is a must. The cordless variety makes it even easier (unless you forget to recharge it).

I was not paid to review these items; they're just things that I've found help me out in my daily life. I wanted to share since a lot of people I've met with arthritis don't necessarily know what's out there to make their lives easier. Rheumatologists don't seem to discuss daily living assistance and leave you on your own to find out what works for you.

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