The Grip family

Easy and the Dr., bringing help to the manually afflicted. As I become less and less able to hold onto objects, lift them, use tools and utensils, open jars and bottles, and so on — no longer able to coordinate small muscles or summon the strength for many everyday actions, and obliged to endure considerable pain to accomplish the things I can manage —  I have come to rely on Easy Grip utensils and tools from the OXO company and on the Dr. Grip pens from the Pilot company, with their thick bodies and slightly flared front ends.

The Dr. has been a friend of mine since I suffered significant ulnar nerve damage in my right arm in 2003 — damaging or disabling various muscles in my right hand, so that I had to switch as much as I could to my left hand (but handwriting was unswitchable, so that unless I wrote very slowly and carefully, even I often couldn’t decipher the result); and leaving me with constant low-grade pain in that arm and hand, with occasional sharp strikes of electric pain. There wasn’t much to do about that pain, but I could improve my handwriting with well-designed pens from the Dr.

Then, in a separate development, osteoarthritis advanced upon me, appearing in different joints on different days, sometimes with crippling pain. More recently, it has settled pretty much constantly in the joints of my hands, both hands, sometimes making them red and swollen and painful to the touch. Most recently, two fingers on my left hand have developed trigger finger, in which the finger gets locked in a bent position and will release, painfully, with a pop. Dr. Grip has become even more significant in my life, and I’m now appealing to Easy Grip more and more just to manage simple tasks.

The Dr. for writing. The basic ballpoint (gel pens are also available):

(#1) Note the thick body and the bit of flare, both of which make the pen much easier to handle than other writing implements — very nicely designed

The pens come in three point sizes (fine, medium, and broad); a number of ink colors; and a wide assortment of pen body colors.

Easy for the kitchen (among other things). Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve been tentatively venturing out to some restaurants within my mobility range. Only to discover that the flatware is too heavy and too thin and slippery for me to handle easily. At a family Saturday breakfast two weeks ago, I ended up having to have my daughter cut up my huevos rancheros with carnitas for me, and I still had trouble eating it.

The OXO company to the rescue. They started with a set of peelers designed for the arthritic (specifically, for the founder’s arthritic wife):

(#2) It’s mostly in those eminently grippable handles

Now they make lots of stuff, including a line of flatware. The basic three-utensil set:

(#3) Spoon, knife, and fork, all excellently grippable

I now have two sets: one that lives by my place at the table, another that lives in a washable drawstring bag that goes with me to restaurants. Nice.

Now I’m working on my problems in opening jars and bottles. I have a simple plastic device that helps, but some containers are beyond its abilities (I have to ask my helper Kim to take care of these for me), and in any case it’s difficult, and rather painful, for me to use it. OXO has a device that looks promising. Stay tuned for a report.

2 Responses to “The Grip family”

  1. Doug Harris Says:

    Arnold, I have to admit I haven’t been following you closely in recent months. Trying to get more writing done, in hope I might eventually accumulate a book’s worth of tales from my highly uncommon life.
    I had NO idea your health had deteriorated so much. I am truly sympathetic. You are a treasure, and we — your broad audience — needs you to keep writing your informative posts.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Oh my, thank you, Doug. I’ve had several other afflictions I haven’t posted about — because it will just look like I’m always whining, and because my health problems consume so much of my time that I need to carve out enough to do one real posting a day to show that I’m Not Dead Yet.

      Meanwhile, managing the blog takes an enormous amount of time: blocking spam comments; dealing with people who want to insert their advertising on the blog (I actually pay WP not to put ads on it, but others send me e-mail); indexing the blog with Pages giving links on specific topics; providing ways for people — apparently, most of my readers — who don’t want to subscribe to my blog to get notification elsewhere of my postings (on Twitter and Facebook, especially); responding as best I can with comments on my postings that consequently appear in many different places; and so on.This on top of the 5-10 hours it takes me to prepare a typical posting (much more on some); I work very slowly, with a lot of research time and then with many revisions and a lot of editing that involves paring things down and also removing material to post as separate essays when things threaten to get out of hand.

      This is demanding work, but satisfying. It’s my job, seven days a week, taking as much time as I can get from the bare tasks of surviving. So it pleases me mightily that I have readers who appreciate what I do.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: