Category Archives: arthritis helper

Gadget talk – Swiss Army traveling tool

A blog entry about gadgets caught my eye today, one that offered such novel ideas as a money and credit card “safe” in a flip-flop, and a brow-raising product, a pair of men’s briefs, complete with skid marks, designed to make even a thief think twice before touching it.

A cumbersome Swiss-Army-type tool was featured–hey, it only weighs 2 lbs 11 oz, and features 85 tools.  And it’s “only” $1200!

Hand Key-per, an 8-way Swiss Army travel gadget that opens bags, envelopes, medicine jars, pop-top cans, aspirin bottles and turns keys and features a magnet, key ring and emery board

Hand Key-per, an 8-way Swiss Army travel gadget that opens bags, envelopes, medicine jars, pop-top cans, aspirin bottles and turns keys and features a magnet, key ring and emery board

If your budget falls more in the line of the less-than-ten-dollars category, check out the more practical Hand Key-per traveling opener. It has eight helpful  functions — and it weighs just 2.2 ounces.  You can learn more about it by clicking here.

And if you’d like to see the flip-flop or skid-mark “safes” or 24 other wild gadgets, check out Mike Richard’s travel gadget column at ttp://tinyurl.com/yg3cfn2

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Make life a little happier – spread sunshine!

How will you spread sunshine today?  Please let us know!

How will you spread sunshine today? Please let us know!

Some days are just sunnier than others, thanks to wonderful people who share good news and good will.

Such was the case today when I received this letter from Mary John Thomas of Newnan, Georgia.

“Dear Janet,

You cannot imagine how THRILLED I am to be able to buy a replacement UNSKRU jar opener.  Since mine broke several years ago (after more than ten years of use), I have been trying to find one just like it. During this time, I’ve bought several “fool-proof” jar openers – even one from a shop for the disabled.  All were unsatisfactory!

This is, by far, the BEST jar opener that I’ve ever had.  There is no strain on your wrists and you don’t need THREE HANDS to try to open a stubborn jar lid.  It is everything you say it is and I just love it.

Enclosed is my order form for 3 openers.

You may use any part of this letter for your web site.”

Have you spread some sunshine lately?  I vow to look for proof of things that work properly, that fulfill their promise(s) and that make my life easier, and let the people responsible for that success know I appreciate them.

Meanwhile, thank you, Mary, for brightening my day and for letting us know that our product makes your life easier!

“Power” handshake can strain fingers, joints

A "power" handshake put Cindy McCain's arm in a sling. Use courtesy and caution to avoid hand injury.

A "power" handshake put Cindy McCain's arm in a sling. Use courtesy and caution to avoid hand injury.

Avoid the gorilla grip when shaking hands

Didn’t you sympathize with Cindy McCain when she was injured during her husband’s campaign by a “power” handshake? Cindy has had surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome, and the overly energetic handshake exacerbated her condition.

The accumulated damage of sports injuries and car accidents has taken its toll on my hands and wrists, so I find myself in a vulnerable position during hand-shaking “opportunities.”  I’ve encountered these power-shakers in many places:  businesses,  school functions, even church. The shakers look friendly, eager to mingle and happy to meet me. We’re introduced, and they offer a hand to shake.

He or she could be the size of a linebacker, and I’m afraid they might inadvertently hurt my hand.  What to do?

He or she has no idea how vulnerable my hand is, from injury, arthritis or simply a matter of time.

We don’t have to put our arms in a sling as Cindy did, to protect ourselves, nor do we have to run screaming, or hide behind someone, or mumble about being of “an advanced age.”

This is the defensive position I’ve taken to protect my hands. I give a genuine smile and offer my right hand, using my left hand to “present” my right hand, almost as if offering a plate. I keep my hand close to my body as I do this, so he or she sees I’m protecting it. Then I just say, “It’s sprained. Please be gentle.” Only then do I extend my hand.

The reaction is beautiful. People would never want to intentionally hurt us, so they’re amazingly responsive, often taking my hand in both of theirs in a protective embrace. Very nice!

White lie? Not really.  My hand-shaking equipment *is* strained, with injury and age. My hand is in a vulnerable position and it is easy to sprain. this method is polite, doesn’t require a lengthy discussion about aging and infirmities, while still allowing the warmth of meeting someone to come through – without the danger.

What’s your “healthy-hand strategy” against the power hand-shake?

4 E’s of hand injury prevention

Be your own advocate for hand health

Be your own advocate for hand health

When thinking of my past injuries, which include tendonitis, sprained wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome and a host of others, it occurred to me that most of these injuries could have been prevented by what my mother called moderation.

In a recent blog, Marji Hajic, a certified hand therapist from California, agrees. Her 4 E’s of hand injury prevention:

1. ERGONOMICS – using body mechanics and common sense when completing tasks to avoid excessive wear and tear.

2. EXERCISE – WARM-UP and STRETCHING – It’s just as important to stretch the hands before and during a strenuous hand-related workout as it is to stretch hamstrings before running.

3. EDUCATION – learn how to “address” the keyboard – posture, wrist position, finger position. Even the length of your fingernails can affect hand health.

4. ENERGY – healthy hand habits will not only prevent injury but help the body heal from strenuous hand workout sessions.

Read more about the 4 E’s of hand health at Marji’s blog, http://handpain.blogspot.com

Do you have tips for hand health? Your comments count!  Share with us by clicking on Nocomments or comments, below.

Banish morning stiffness with hand-happy hobbies

Gardening

Follow Mother Earth's lead and wake up your hands this spring

Welcome, spring!

Oh, what a beautiful morning – for the senses, the delightful fragrance of lilacs and honeysuckle;  for the spirit, because spring inspires; and for the heart, which feels younger in the presence of renewal.

It may not be so pleasant, however, if your hands creak like an old iron gate, first thing in the morning. If they do, here are some tips to get your hands up to par with the rest of you.

Hot Tub for Your Hands
Pamper your hands with a warm-water soak. While soaking, take the time to consider this new day of your life, your “present” for the day, the beautiful here and now. Plan your day, remembering to include a small treat for yourself after you’ve accomplished any necessary tasks.
The treat can be an activity you never have time for – for this day, give yourself the gift of time, fifteen minutes to relax in the hammock or glider, fifteen minutes in the sun without rushing, fifteen minutes on the phone with a good friend.  You decide, and you can anticipate your reward all day long!

Hire a “Personal Trainer” for your hands – you!
What is that saying?  “Busy hands are happy hands.”  Take the plunge into the soft spring soil and garden. Plant something beautiful or delicious.  Or take the plunge into skeins of gorgeous living colors and start a knitting project.  Let your hands dance across the keyboard, and compose a song or write a poem, or a story, or a journal entry for your children or grandchildren.

Go slowly – avoid repetitive hand motions.  Listen to your hands and tendons, and take breaks and stretches so you don’t overdo it.  Build strength in your hand by keeping a stress ball or tennis ball handy. Squeeze gently at first, then gradually increase, and always stop if it feels painful.  This is a nice, limbering-up exercise for your hands, and a good stress reliever, too.

What are your favorite spring activities?  Do you have hand-happy hobbies?  Share them by clicking on comments, below.

Mother’s Day Contest – win gift basket or buy/save with $6 off code!

Mother's Day gift basket is filled to over-flowing with hand care openers - the UN-SKRU, the Hand Key-per and DOORNUTS! Doorknob/faucet turners. Also dreamy soft gloves & moisturizing lotion!

Great way to pamper Mom's hands! Mother's Day gift basket is filled to over-flowing with hand care openers - the UN-SKRU, the Hand Key-per and DOORNUTS! Doorknob/faucet turners. Also dreamy soft gloves & moisturizing lotion! Win it, or buy it and use the special code to take $6 off!

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT BASKET – Overflowing with hand-friendly household openers and whisper-soft night-time gloves and lotion for overnight skin pampering.  $42.95 + $8 S/H

(continental US only)

WIN IT FOR FREE, OR BUY AND USE THIS SPECIAL CODE TO TAKE SIX DOLLARS OFF: Code MDGB0905

DEADLINE May 5 TO WIN IT:

Write a short story (100-200 words) of the best Mother’s Day present you’ve given or received in the past, and why it was so great, and you could win first prize in our “Best Mother’s Day Present” contest.  Then you can give your mom or grandmother this beautiful hand care gift basket filled with helpful household openers … the UN-SKRU under-cabinet jar opener, the HAND KEY-PER 8-way traveling opener, and DOORNUTS! doorknob and faucet turners.  We’ve also included a soft, nurturing pair of night gloves and moisturizing lotion to pamper her.

Best Mother’s Day Present Contest Rules

Send a short story (100-200 words) of the best Mother’s Day present you’ve given or received in the past.  If you have a photo, send that along, too, and we’ll post it with your story.  If your story is chosen, we’ll send you a FREE hand-care gift basket.

Send by e-mail or as a comment right after this post by clicking just after this article on the link that says “no comment” or “o comment” (it really should say something like “click here to comment), and if you have one, email the photo.   Or you can e-mail us directly at:  multimarketing @ comcast.net (take out the spaces before and after the @-sign.)

We WILL NOT SELL, SHARE OR LOAN your address or e-mail address to any firm or organization.  This is just a fun contest to celebrate our customers, Mother’s day, spring, and effective ways to protect and pamper our hands.

So, you have nothing to lose, and a lovely Mother’s Day present to win.  C’mon.  Send us your story!  DEADLINE:  Stories must be received  by May 5, 2009.

TOO BUSY FOR A CONTEST?  SKIP IT AND ORDER THE BASKET:  Call 1-800-506-0248.  Multi Marketing & Mfg., hand-friendly household products since 1977.

I can’t cut my pills in half? Who says?

We deserve freedom to minimize prescription costs

We deserve freedom to minimize prescription costs

by Janet Penaligon

I’ve mellowed enough that it takes a lot to get my blood boiling, but this recent article in The Denver Post pushed me to that point quickly.

It seems insurance companies are refusing to allow people to save money on the outrageously high prescriptions they need by increasing the dosage and cutting the pills in half.

Why would they do that?  They might save the co-pay fee, but they’ll still have to shell out an additional $80 to $150 for the pills.  Why can’t they see that?  Who’s their accountant?

Kudos to United Healthcare, who invites their people to consider slicing their pills and even offers a plastic, razor-edge pill splitter for free.

Shame on Cigna HealthCare, who doesn’t.  Shame on Kaizer Permanente Colorado, who is among the companies that forces customers to pay the same amount for 15 pills to split in half as they would for 30 pills to swallow whole.

You can read the entire article at The Denver Post-Cut Pills Split Insurers.

What’s your insurance company’s stance?  Do you split pills?

Share your experiences with us by clicking on comments, below.