A couple of months ago, I wrote about the the titanium glasses we got for my dad and discussed the amazing flexibility of the frames. This week they were put to the test. It’s not quite clear what happened — apparently my dad’s glasses landed on the floor and were either stepped on by an aide or perhaps wheeled over by . . . well, we won’t say who.
Life got a lot simpler for us when I made a medical notebook for my dad. His interest in accurately reporting relevant events and symptoms at any given medical appointment has always been minimal, and some days I was just too frazzled to rely on my own already overclocked brain.
An inexpensive three-ring binder from an office supply store made it much easier to keep information flowing and doctor visits productive. After I made Dad’s, I went home and made one for each member of my family.
A kitchen accident a year and a half ago left me with two numb fingers, and a reasonable fear of knives. I’m right-handed, so I wield my slicers with that hand, leaving my left to hold steady whatever is up for chopping. Unfortunately, if the knife strays, I can’t feel it — a worrisome state of affairs.
Which is why I like these tools so much.
Getting in and out of cars was one of the first difficulties my dad faced when he began having problems with his spine. After his first surgery, he began clinging to the vehicle’s door for support. Watching it, and him, swaying back and forth was pretty scary — it seemed like a miracle when he got through a trip without smashing his fingers — or worse.
I recently wrote about my experiences with B.F. Skinner’s Air Crib (or if you prefer, Baby Boxes). In this post, I’ll share what I remember about how the cribs my daughter and siblings and I used were made.
One of my dad’s nurses and I were talking about gear the other day, and she told me about Brookstone’s giant remote control. At 5 inches wide by 11 inches long it’s never going to get lost; at only one inch deep it’s easy to hold. Best of all, the oversized keys are easy to see and to push. According to Brookstone, they even glow in the dark.
This remote is just the right size to stay on a lap without sliding around or slipping to the floor. It feels solid, but not too heavy, in the hand; the case and keys look as if they’d stand up to some abuse.
Like most such devices, it’s pre-coded for common audio-visual devices; it works for TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and satellite and cable hook-ups and other A/V items.
Super-Sized TV Remote available online from Brookstone, and possibly in their stores, as well.
UPDATE (6/10/2007): Our east coast Bed Bath and Beyond store has a slew of similar remote controls in stock for $20 (USD). Without the Brookstone logo, of course . . .
See also: Simple Remote Controls for TV
A year and a half ago I nearly lopped off the tips of the first two fingers of my left hand. They’ve mended, but they’ve never really been the same. A few things have changed around our kitchen since then. I no longer (1) try to slice French bread by holding the loaf in mid-air, (2) I try — I really try — to pay more attention to cooking than to the conversation, and (3) we have a batch of useful new gadgets in case I forget about (1) and (2).
My favorite sets of pliers all have a rubbery surface on the handles, making them easy to hold onto while saying rude things to hardware. Ours came that way, but you can use Plasti Dip to add that same grippy surface to nearly any object you want.
Tools are an obvious choice for coating, since holding firmly on to them is critical no matter you’re doing. But a host of other possibilities come to mind if grasp impairment is an issue. Silverware a little slippery? Dip the handles. Juice glass hard to hold? Dip the lower half. Plates a challenge? Dip the edges (and the bottom, to keep them from sliding). Coffee mug inclined to slide? Dip the bottom. Pencils, Pens? Paint a strip of Plasti Dip where fingers go. Dip the handles of scissors, paint the undersides of rulers, dip the handles on crochet hooks, knitting needles and other craft tools. And so on.
The can says it can be used on virtually any surface: “metal, wood, glass, rubber, concrete, fabic, fiberglass, rope” etc.. The directions call for tying the object to a string, and then dipping it into the can, but the fluid can be brushed on as well. There’s a spray version, too.
Plasti Dip comes in blue, yellow, red, black, white, and (wonderfully) clear. Caswell carries all the colors online. Your local big box probably doesn’t — ours only had the red and black, which I found in the paint department at Home Depot.
Julie, at the PSL Fabrication blog, has a great post about a Kansas City burglar who was caught when he left his leg prosthesis at the scene of the crime.
Apparently, there’s more to planning a robbery than just acquiring a weapon. Maybe Julie should write a post on selecting the right prosthesis suspension system . . .
My dad’s been craving hard candies lately. He probably shouldn’t eat them (is there anything worse for tooth enamel?), but he doesn’t have medical dietary restrictions, so I picked up a whole slew of candies from the open bins at the local grocery. He wanted the old country store types: root beer barrels, lemon drops, fruit candies — just about everything except licorice and peppermint.