Sclero Hacks

Friday, August 25, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

This is a list of ways to do things that I've discovered make my life easier and/or allow me to maintain independence.  A lot of the ideas might be obvious for some people, but maybe they aren't for others. 

*  First and foremost, I've learned to have GREAT, loving people around me.  I've let everyone else go or keep them afar.  The extra stress and drama are negative.

Exercise

*  Keep those bodies moving!.  Gentle or Assisted yoga classes, directed at older folks, or folks with physical limitations are honestly super helpful. They use chairs and props to help us because getting down on the floor might not be possible or stretching and flexing to certain postures might not be possible for some of us.

Check out Yoga for Scleroderma for FREE videos and a list of practitioners near you or Accessible Yoga for classes near you, as well!

* A recumbent exercise bike.  There's no way my hands would work with normal handle bars and my arms don't straighten enough to even comfortably reach handle bars.  The recumbent bike has you in an actual seat.  It's very nice.

*  Horse therapy was also helpful for me.  Look for a riding center near you that offers therapy sessions.  http://www.narha.org 

Personal Care
 
*  Make sure your spouse will put your socks on for you when you need it.  Even though I have the "sock assist" it's still a 10 minute process alone, I end up sweaty, and frustrated before I'm dressed.  It takes 2 seconds if my hubby does it.  Its now just part of the routine.  SO thankful for that.

*  Shoes without laces.  Fortunately, even sneakers come this way now.

*  Use hand soap dispensers in the shower.  I put body wash and shampoo in them.  Much easier to deal with those bottles once in awhile for refills versus everyday in the shower.

*  Use a toddler toothbrush.  The small head and soft bristles are perfect for those of us who have smaller mouths from the Scleroderma.

*  I have taken a bamboo back scratcher and attached a razor to the end with velcro straps or a rubber band to assist with shaving when I wasn't very flexible.

Out & About

*  When at a restaurant, order your drink in a wine glass.  They look at you funny, but the stemmed glass makes the dining experience so much easier.  No worries about spilling!

*  Use a chip clip or mini binder clip on your debit/credit cards to make the gas pump or ATM easier to use. Check out my demonstration here.

*  Carry a double-walled stainless steel water bottle with to stay hydrated. I enjoy S'well or Aladdin Fresco bottles because both have narrow top, easy to grasp with my curled hands.

Cooking & Cleaning

*  Use the wine glasses at home, too!

*  Mason Jar glasses with handles

*  Appetizer size utensils can be useful if full size silverware are cumbersome due to curled hands.

*  If you drink milk, buy it in the 1/2 gallon jugs because they are easier to get out of the dairy case. You can carry them on a thumb and they're light enough that they don't hurt the knuckles as much.

*  Pre-chopped or frozen vegetables.  Sometimes a tad more expensive, but SO much easier for prep when your hands are curled and it's hard to hold things still or hold a knife. Many grocery stores now provide pre-chopped and washed fruits and vegetables.

Meds

*  My friend "T" has gotten me into the weekly pill reminders.  I have them in pretty colors and every 2 weeks I fill them all up.  Like she says, it makes dealing with all those bottles much more pleasant.  Once every 2 weeks is better than every day and keeps you on top of your refills.  ~Thanks, T!

*  For years, I've been keeping a shot glass with my pills and "take a shot" (or two, or three, depending on the pill count at any given time) every night before bed.  I have a plastic one I travel with and a pretty glass one for home.  It just seems easier for me to take my pills out of a shot glass.  Might sound silly, but try it and see.