May 2, 2013
On Gas and Ulnar Drift, Christine asked me whether I had a trick to remove the gas cap.
I keep a wrench in the car, which allows me to have a tool-assisted grip.
It’s not perfect; you still have to torque your wrist, but at least it gives your fingers a break. That’s an improvement over feeling like it’s breaking your fingers!
April 2, 2013
Since I’m not always able to drive to Richmond to fill up at their wonderful full-serve gas stations, and I’m not willing to be extorted at the full service bay, I usually fill up my gas tank myself.
In Canada, unlike in the United States, we need to apply continuous pressure on the trigger of the gas nozzle to maintain the flow of gas. The amount of pressure required to squeeze the trigger is not only hard to do, but tends to accentuate ulnar drift—the swelling in the MCP joints (big knuckles of the hand) causes the fingers to drift towards the baby finger.
I’ve found that when I turn my back to the car, and face the pump, it is easier on my hand. Then when I squeeze the lever, it appears to counter-act the tendency to push my fingers into an ulnar drift.
If you do try this, please let me know if it makes fueling up a little easier for you.
March 22, 2013
On It’s in the Bag, I told you about a time-saving security tip I use at the pool.
Now, some of you curious types might be wondering what I have in that bag.
If you really want to know – my ear plugs, goggles, bathing cap, scalp massager, scrub puff, liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Since I don’t take my glasses out to the pool deck, I have trouble reading small print. I’ve devised a system that ensures I use the correct product in the right order, in the right place.
I write a giant S on the mini shampoo bottle, and a C on the conditioner bottle. I’ve further refined this by changing to two different shapes of bottles. As a result, I don’t even have to look when I reach my hand into the bag. I know which one is which, simply by feeling the shape of the bottle.
Systems work. Systems keep your life organized. Systems save time and energy. A bonus for anyone living with a chronic illness.
March 19, 2013
Even if you’re not on any immunosuppressant medication, you may wish to adopt this birthday tradition. Not only does it reduce the spread of germs; it also incorporates the whimsical Power of the Wish. Wouldn’t it be great if the power behind those wishes is amplified, just because people combined their wishes?
You can always count on a creative and unique twist when you interact with Maarten. I have a new birthday tradition, thanks to his twist on the traditional birthday ritual of blowing out the candles on the cake.
Along with a slice of cake, we each received a hand-crafted votive, and with tea-lights brightly glowing, the birthday girl asked us to make our wishes. Then, upon her signal, and with a collective breath, we blew out our respective candles.
I don’t know if any of those wishes have yet come to life, but in my imagination, I see those wishes bubbling, effervescing and gurgling below the ground of our consciousness, until they push up, and break through, just like a newly formed spring.
I have since implemented a version of The Power of the Wish at our family birthday celebrations. So along with wishes of good health and well-being, we’re keeping anyone who may have a compromised immune system safe.