Empowering others: sharing experiences, ideas; offering creative solutions to common challenges.

Write to me at b.able2@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reader Inquiry

I know that I promised an entry devoted to swimming... and it's coming! Sometimes my readers send requests to me via my posted personal e-mail; and I do try to respond. With permission, I like to post your questions or dilemmas and even some of my tips/tricks for solving these inconveniences. Since I have permission, and the problem is a common one it is worthwhile to share. So, read on...

My reader wrote:

"It was great meeting you... Thanks for helping me out with those tricks and tips.I love your blog. There is so much information that I had questions to and you answered them for me.
I have a problem, I have a few pants with zippers on the left side. Because I'm missing my left forearm, it makes it impossible to wear these pants. Do you have any suggestions on how I can zip up the pants, without me tossing them in the trash?
And if you have any other tips, please send them to me. I'll keep checking your blog."

The suggestions:
Tell me more about the clothing... is there a button also? And does the fabric have any 'give' to it (stretchiness) vs being stiff like denim? Pants with a little lycra are easier because the fabric moves around our curves better.
     *If the pants have a button, you can use something called a "button extender" typically sold in the men's department because many shirts fit a man's body but the neck is often too tight. There is also a pant button extender on the market, typically sold on line. If you use the button extender, you could pre-button the pants, and pull them up.
     *To fasten the zipper, you can "hold" the bottom of the zipper by pushing up against a wall or a table. Run a string through the hole in the zipper pull and reach across your body with your right hand and pull the zipper up. Then tuck the string into your pants. It works really well if you use clear plastic thread---- it's strong and invisible if it works its way out of your waistband.
     *You can also use an assistive device called a zipper pull. It's a little hook with a long handle, typically about 6 inches long. It will help you to reach the zipper on the left side ofyour body with your right hand.


There is often more than one way to accomplish a task. You change the outcome by simply re-positioning your self or the objects being used.
Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to write to me at b.able2@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dancing Feet.. and even Wheels!

Although I have every intention of addressing the topic of swimming ... accompanied by some 'tips and tricks' for those of us with apparent upper extremity asymmetry... please indulge me while I digress. Truthfully, the weather here has been less than helpful; I am disinclined to photo-shoot with tornado warnings and thunderstorms looming. In the meantime however, and in the spirit of fun and happiness I am sharing something that a dear friend (you know who you are!) sent it to me..... Check it out, enjoy and pass it on.... it is sure to bring a smile to even the grumpiest curmudgeon!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

UH OH...Summer is ...

Oh my goodness... It's AUGUST!! Where has the time gone?! I hope that you are all enjoying the summer as much as I am! I apologize (again!) for so very much time having passed since writing. Truly, we have been enjoying the amazing weather and the great activities that summer in New England offers. One of my favorites is biking. My husband I purchased new bikes this year. Let me tell you about mine... It's made by Specialized and has 21 speeds. This model is a hybrid style that can be used both on- and off-road. (We bought our bikes from Family Bike, East Longmeadow. The technicians there were fantastic about making my accommodations, offering suggestions and getting me on the road!) We had the rear brake lever and the rear sprocket shifter moved to the left handlebar so that I can more easily control the speeds, and more safely use the brake system. I have been practicing using my terminal device (the Adept, by TRS) to rotate the right handle grip. Although my system is not perfect yet, my adaptive strategies continue to evolve and this is the best set-up I've ever had. You will also notice that in addition to wearing my helmet (forget about fashion; safety first!) I also am wearing UPF 50+ skin protection sleeves (Coolibar, sold by the pair, multiple styles, colors) which protect my skin but also seem to keep my carbon fibre forearm from heating up, especially inside the socket. And I'm using a neoprene glove (Swede-O) with wrist strap to give my left hand and wrist extra support.
When we're not at work, enjoying family or riding our bikes, we're at the pool! We'll talk about swimming next!