On Being Handicapped


I’ve had to start using “assistive” devices since my hands aren’t getting any better.   The problem is, none of the items I have tried fit my needs exactly.  I picked up several different types of pens, tiny little pens that fit on your fingertip, one with a hole in the middle that fits around your finger.  While each has its pros, the cons are all the same for me:  First, they are all ball points.  It takes more pressure to write with a ball point.  Next why are they so tiny?  I bought one pen that fits in your fist, but it’s so thin, it’s hard to hold, and its so small.  Lastly, most aren’t refillable.

It is really tough getting through the day without using  your thumbs, so today I bought some thumb braces.   Once I retrofitted them they are providing the thumb support I need.  Except for the negatives, these are just perfect.  I had to cut off the superfluous wrist and thumb wrap–made the thing so bulky.    The biggest problem is they are labeled S/M with the emphasis on M.   My hands are a definite S.  They just don’t fit as snug as I would like.  Not to mention they are not at all attractive.  What about colors and patterns, something I can coordinate with the rest of my outfit?

I also have a problem with the push button flush of many public toilets, yet it fits within the handicap access laws.  Surely I am not the only one who has difficulty with some of the “accessibility” alterations out there.  Push buttons being a big problem for me.  Thumb braces help with that.  Take off brace to pee, put brace on, flush, take brace back off to wash my hands.  Who do I talk to about the button flusher anyway?

So what do I do?  I alter what I can and keep searching for the perfect fit.  I haven’t found a better pen than the thick padded pens endorsed by the Arthritis Association (I can’t remember what they are called).  Maybe I should find someone to make a prototype of a really great ergonomic, easy to hold, easy to write with magical pen!

By now you’re probably wondering why I am worried about pens, when I have a perfectly good keyboard right in front of me.  There is something magical in putting a pen to a yellow pad and watching the words flow.  I am getting used to using the keyboard for writing, though.  When I was writing fiction my first two drafts were always written in longhand, then typed up on the computer.  The writing just flows different through the keyboard versus the pen.  That, and I am stubborn and getting old, and dammit I don’t want to change!  I like writing in long hand and I want to continue, but my ms apparently has other plans I am fighting against.

2 thoughts on “On Being Handicapped

  1. Have you tried the thick tube support bandages? I get carpal tunnel in my left hand and need to support my thumbs. I also slip a small heat pack inside the bandage when the pain gets really bad and it helps get me through.

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