Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Helping Those Hands

I'm thinking that the only positive that's come into my life along with psoriatic arthritis is the potential to shop.

I'm all about the accessories - to anything. During my sporadic forays into dieting, I needed to buy food scales, special measuring cups, and food journals. Ah, and the best part of making soap? Shopping excursions to find unusual oils, fragrances, and soap molds.

Why should acquiring accessories for another autoimmune disease be any different?

Right now, my favorite sjoggie uniform of a crisp cotton blouse topped by a sweater and worn with comfy bluejeans is too hard to put on. Buttoning waistbands and blouse sleeves requires too much from my swollen and painful DIP joints. Stupid DIP joints....but I discovered that track suits, wait - they are called activewear now - are stretchy, easy to slip into, and almost indestructible. Here's my favorite so far, found at JCPenney:

So comfy and fit so well that I bought two sets in different colors. And in spite of my best (or worst) goober incidents, are stain-proof.

Want to see my latest joint-sparing gadget?

Am I the only person in the whole world that hasn't discovered apple slicers yet? A friend of mine suggested that I use one. Woo! I can core and slice an apple just using the heels of my hands!

I'll bet there's oodles of other great gadgets out there. Anyone have other suggestions?


Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

Yes, Julia--my mom has arthritis in her hands, and I bought her the new OXO salad spinner for Christmas--she loves it! All you have to do to dry lettuce is press down on the button with the palm of your hand a few times, and VOILA!
(or, you could just be lazy like me and buy bagged, pre-washed lettuce!)

Karen said...

There are battery operated hand held can openers. Or have hubby open everything. That is what I do! There are some great websites for ergonomic (?) tools for home and gardening. The other thing would be changing door knobs to the lever kind instead of the traditional round ones. Even if you just changed the ones you use the most. I have also gotten away from heavy pots, pans, bowls. Look for for things with handles on both sides. Helps distribute weight.
If you buy large quantity items; pour some into smaller containers for daily use.
I will email you as I think of other things that I do. I am so sorry you have this 'stupid arthritis'. Good thing you are smart enough to get help and vent to your friends.

annie said...

Dear Julia,
You are so positive in the face of a new adversity, you are so strong.
I remember seeing all kinds of gadgets in my rheumatologist's office to help... a cane-like stick with clamps at the end for grabbing stuff off high shelves, a gadget to pull up your socks (neat!) etc. Find a store that sells orthotics/rehabilitation and mobility aids, they would probably have products to help. As Leslie stated, OXO makes great kitchen gadgets, as he created them especially for his wife in mind, who was disabled with arthritis. I found a link to a co. that sells aids, I don't know if it's any good...www.arthritissupplies.com

By the way, does one get psoriasis with psoriatic arthritis, or just joint pain and redness? Be well.

Jenny P said...

I think when you wear those activewear suits you need to stand infront of a fan and make that face!
I know I'll think of more later, but off the top of my head I've begun using my bluetooth headset anytime I'm on the phone - even short calls hurt my hands/neck/shoulders with a regular handset. I also have The Clapper (yes, clap on clap off THE CLAPPER) on my nightstand light - originally it was for when I'm too exhausted to reach over and turn it off, but it also is great when manipulating the stick thingy on the lamp is too hard.
Lastly, if you need a reason to shop for pretty smelly things...my hands have been mucho swollen lately too and I've been using my favorite hand cream (oddly I can't find the hand creme here but this is the scent: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3237022). As you know, the motion of putting on lotion is beneficial:)

Julia Oleinik said...

Wow, guys! What good ideas!

Annie - some people who have psoriasis also get psoriatic arthritis. Some people who have psoriatic arthritis DON'T have psoriasis.

Stupid psoriatic arthritis.

stephanie said...

Hi Julia. I don't have PA, but some of my many sore joints are in my hands, wrists, etc. I know you've mentioned this before, but won't they give you prednisone? Don't forget that wax/paraffin spa hand treatment, which helps my hands for several hours. I don't know if this will help you, but I've been going to physical therapy for 3 weeks now to help strengthen all my muscles, which should ease the strain on my joints, and I'm feeling really good. Its amazing what the PTs say how to do and NOT do certain exercises, which I would never know on my own. Good luck!

Julia Oleinik said...

Hi Stephanie - Yep. I'm on prednisone already. Dr. K. tells me that my joints would look a gazillion times worse if I wasn't. And I haven't forgotten your excellent suggestion about paraffin hand treatments! It's on my list of accessories.

Anonymous said...

Hi !
Since I have Sjogren I don't use showergel anymore, but soap. Because it's hard with my hands to "squish" the bottle of showergel.