Category Archives: All

Bad hair day?

As many of you women know there are times when only a ponytail will do. No other hairstyle will cooperate with our attempt to look presentable in public. But try putting your hair up with only one hand. I’ll give you an hour to keep practicing. . . not yet? I’m not surprised. I’ve tried too and so far it has been impossible. But today I decided to dig a little deeper. I found a great video demonstrating a few options with a nifty gadget called a 1-UP hair tie. I’m still working out this blogging gig so bear with me if the links don’t work. I’m hoping I can order one and try it out myself. Way to go Holly!

1-UP Demonstration

1-UP website

Please leave a comment if you’ve ever tried this. I love a good review!

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When Writing Flows

Writing is something I have always loved. Only recently have I started to enjoy using my laptop for this activity. Usually I rely on old-fashioned pen and paper. For me there is a deeper connection between my inner dialog and a pen than there is with a keyboard. Unfortunately there are times when pen to paper is not very practical. I remember watching the movie Little Women in shock as Jo wrote her first novel by hand. There were pages and pages of beautiful cursive handwriting. I also remember thinking that her ink-stained finger was like a badge of courage for enduring that much abuse.
For some, writing even a sentence or two can be painful. For me, the pain doesn’t kick in until page three. But that limit is getting shorter and shorter. One reason that my own hand hurts is the death grip I hold my pen in. I clutch it as if it’s the last one on the planet and could be confiscated at any moment. When my patients have the same issue I usually recommend a fatter pen with a gel grip. This can help, and is usually far better than writing with a very thin pen. But for myself I find I’m still using my death-grip, only on a bigger pen, and my joints still ache.
So here is my solution. When I was in college I fell in love with all things old-fashioned, including a fountain pen I found in a specialty store. I wrote everything with this pen and soon realized that if I pressed the pen too hard on the page it would separate the nib and make it impossible to use. I quickly learned to hold the pen more gently. Of course my joints were much younger then and I didn’t have any hand pain. But as I stopped using the pens and returned to my modern ways my death-grip returned as well.

The other day when I saw a disposable fountain pen at a local bookstore I could not resist. Sure enough my fingers relaxed and my hand loosened up. My handwriting became more fluid as the letters stretched across the page. I can’t say my penmanship improved any but my comfort sure did. I think that I will be bringing my fountain pen into the clinic for my patients to try. Who knows? It may not work for all of them as well as it did for me. I do know that I have rediscovered my favorite pen.

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Happy Slapping

 

Hand Chopper

I have learned to love cooking over the years. My husband is much more picky than I am so he usually does the final stages of meal prep. That’s fine with me because I like the chopping, cutting and placing ingredients in all our little ramekins. For some reason those small bowls make me feel like I’m on my own cooking show.

While I usually prefer the old fashioned method of using a knife there are times when I pull out my trusty “hand chopper.” It is especially useful when I’m cutting up onions because it cuts down on a little of the crying. A food chopper is also great for when you need to do the job one-handed. A good food chopper will have a fairly wide base so it doesn’t tip over while in use. Onions or other firm veggies and fruit are placed on a cutting board and a portion of that is placed under the chopper. You press down on the top with pretty firm and fast pressure basically hitting or slapping it. the more you chop the smaller the pieces get.

A word of warning: choose carefully which part of your hand does the slapping or the pressing. Most people hit the top of the chopper with the palm of their hand. This can end up causing lots of pain if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or arthritis in the thumb or wrist. My preferred method is to hold my hand in a fist and use the side of it (pinky side). There is just a lot more cushion there for me. The bottom line is to make sure that whatever you are doing is not causing pain.

There are all sorts of kitchen gadgets out there to make life more simple. I would love to hear comments from you on what has made cooking easier, especially if you are struggling with hand pain, a disability or recent surgery.

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Introductions

Your hands tell a lot about you. Calluses can tell others how you hold a pen, if you play guitar, and if your job involves manual labor. Your hands showcase rings given or bought and personality can shine through with nailpolish. There are hands that never rest. They rise and fall, gesturing to emphasize a point. They nervously fidget with the edges of a shirt or a strand of hair. They hide in sleeves or reach out to comfort a friend. Hands are an intimate part of who we are and what we do. Often we take our hands for granted until they cannot do what we need them to. I have worked as a hand therapist for the past seven years. The therapy will stay at work but there are so many gems I have gathered from patients, experience and my own issues. It is my hope that this blog will provide some humor, insite, and information related our hands.

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