Archive for ‘Exercise’

April 30, 2019

“Paw-blem” Solving

HollysBoots

Holly is still with us, despite her diagnosis in December 2017.

Unlike the boys, Harley and Murphy, Holly is more high maintenance, which is understandable, given her rough beginning. “Just like her ‘mamma’,” says my husband! (RA tends to make one high maintenance, but that’s a post for another day.)

She has an inexplicable skin condition, which is extremely itchy. Her nerves are impacted because of the location of the tumour. As a result, she doesn’t feel when she has the urge to poop. The solution is to put a diaper on her when she is in the house.

She drags her feet when we go on walks, which has worn down her nails so much, that several of them bleed. Whenever we go out, we now have to put boots on her. It’s like getting a toddler ready to go out to play in below zero weather. It takes us about 10 minutes just to get out the door. It is what it is, though.

It’s a challenge to find something that is suitable for both of us. With my loss of hand strength and dexterity, it is difficult to tighten the straps enough so that the boots stay on during our walks. It helps if the straps are long enough so that I can get a good grip on them.

Here are some of boots we’ve bought (and returned):

  • Jawz for Paws Dog Boots  – Impossible for me to stretch the boot enough to get it onto the  “Jawz” – the device that is supposed to make it easy to put on.
  • Puppy Socks – I liked these, but they wore out in 1 week. It says that the toe is covered in rubber. If that were the case, I’m sure that they would have lasted longer.
  • North Fetch Silicone Dog Boots  – I brought XXXL home from the pet store. Couldn’t even get it on her foot. Even if they were a proper size, they’re not tall enough, so you couldn’t tie the boots on tight enough.
  • Waterproof Mesh Dog Boots – My husband uses these. I find that the velcro is not long enough for me to pinch and give a good tightening tug.

Since I couldn’t find any boots that worked, I decided to get some made for Holly. (I’d do it myself, but I don’t have a heavy-duty sewing machine.) We had an old boot that belonged to Harley, which worked pretty well, until she wore a hole in it.

I stopped at the shoemaker to ask him to sew a pair for Holly from a pattern I had traced from Harley’s boot. He told me that he didn’t have any appropriate material from which to make it.

Undaunted, I stopped a thrift store, where I found a pair of men’s heavy duty work gloves that would work. I brought them and my pattern back to the shoemaker. To prolong the life of the boots, I asked him to sew leather over the toes. They were ready in a couple of hours.

DogBoots

To keep them on, I wrap a strip of velcro around the boot and off we go. If they do fall off, which isn’t often, when I can get the velcro pulled tight enough, the bright orange boots are easy to spot.

“Pawblem”solved!

March 27, 2019

#566 – Live Better with RA – Tip #3

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Tip #3 – Move/Exercise

The last thing you may feel like doing is moving, when even talking hurts. The adage “move it or lose it” applies, especially when you have RA. If you’re concerned that you are doing more damage, consult a physiotherapist for appropriate exercises for RA.

In addition to keeping you mobile, strong and flexible, the right amount of exercise can help kick inflammation to the curb. I always notice a huge improvement in mobility, particularly after my swim.

UC San Diego Health has this to say about exercise as an anti-inflammatory:

The brain and sympathetic nervous system — a pathway that serves to accelerate heart rate and raise blood pressure, among other things — are activated during exercise to enable the body to carry out work. Hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood stream and trigger adrenergic receptors, which immune cells possess.

This activation process during exercise produces immunological responses, which include the production of many cytokines, or proteins, one of which is TNF — a key regulator of local and systemic inflammation that also helps boost immune responses.

Speaking of moving and exercising, I’d like to share what Rick, my online acquaintance, has accomplished. His go-to exercise is cycling, which combined with healthy eating (see Tip #2), has allowed him to become, in his own words “a big loser.” Way to go, Rick!

A big round of applause to all of us who are losers, and to some of us who have been on the weight-loss/weight-gain teeter-totter and have finally settled into a good place/weight.

In case you are in the midst of a major flare, I’m swimming two extra lengths just for you! (It’s my new thing. Consider it an energetic gift for someone who is unable to move/exercise. 🙂 Whether I’m stretching, lifting weights, swimming or dog walking, I’m finishing my “usual” routine by doing two more – be it lengths, blocks, lifts, reps, minutes or holds.)

Can you guess what Tip #4 will be?

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January 17, 2019

#562 – An Exercise Tip for Lazy Bones

 

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I make sure I get some form of exercise on a daily basis. I sleep better, but the big pay-off is that I feel better.

Having Holly helps, as dogs need to be walked in rain, hail, sleet or sun. However, there are days when I feel like a lazy bones. Marianna’s Law as Applied to Exercise usually gets me to the pool. As incentive, I agree to do half my swim. Invariably, I end up doing the full workout, since I’m already in the water.

If I’m feeling lazy I recall all the times in the past when everything hurt to move. When I was in excruciating pain before my hip replacements. How my feet felt before forefoot reconstructive surgery (Warning! Graphic image on that page!) When I even needed help pulling the blankets up at night. Yes, I think about that. Then, I reflect upon how grateful I am that I can go for a Holly dog walk, or enjoy a refreshing swim.

Listening to my body means that unless I am in agony or are in dire need of rest, I give my lazy bones a wake-up shake and make sure I do something physical, even if it’s only to get up and dance around the living room. Dancing just isn’t Holly’s thing.  Her predecessor, Murphy, would often join me whenever I said, “Murphy, dance!”

Mobility – please don’t take it for granted! The best way I know to honour my mobility, is to move. Plus, it’s a great way to build in the practice of gratitude, which has enormous health benefits.

This also goes for all you able-bodied people who prefer the couch. If you can move easily, do so! Do it for those who cannot.

Move it, don’t lose it! If you’ve got it back, be grateful and move it again!

December 18, 2018

#560 – Even More Gift Ideas

More posts mean more gift ideas. Rather than sending you back to #493 More Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Who Have Arthritis, I’ve updated the list with even more gift ideas for loved ones with arthritis or mobility issues. There are suggestions here to suit every budget.

Apparel

  1. Elastic or curly shoe laces.
  2. Bracelet Helper.
  3. If you’re buying clothing, consider the weight of the garments. Also, the ease of opening and closing buttons or using zippers.
  4. Shoes, such as these from L. L. Bean.
  5. Light-weight purse or wallet.
  6. bathing suit from L.L.Bean.
  7. Spray-On pantyhose.
  8. Dry-cleaning or laundry service vouchers.
  9. Three piece pajama set – a hot flash helper. As I discovered, a post-surgery helper, too.
  10. A multi tool – jewellry, zippers and button helper.
  11. wristlet to carry your essentials.
  12. Here’s another wallet option.
  13. This wallet converts into a fanny pack.
  14. Travel with a silver lining – a light-weight purse.
  15. Use this to make putting on necklaces a snap – a click!
  16. Sore feet? How about some orthotics?

Auto

  1. Adhesive side view mirrors.
  2. Interior rear view mirror.
  3. A key bumper.

Garden

  1. Kitchen and garden tools that are light-weight and have large easy-to-grip handles, such at this Bypass Pruner from Fiskars.
  2. Telescoping trowel.
  3. Hose connector.
  4. Watering Can.

Exercise and Hobbies

  1. Drawing From the Right Side of the Brain.
  2. Hula hoop.
  3. Rolling back pack for exercise gear.
  4. Uplifting reading materials, such as From Chopin and Beyond – Part 1 and Part 2.
  5. Light-weight books or an e-reader.
  6. Gel pens.
  7. Battery-operated eraser.
  8. Magazine subscription.
  9. Movie gift certificate.
  10. Prepare and freeze some meals or goodies to be used on those days when energy is waning.
  11. Exercise DVD, such as When You Hurt All Over.
  12. Exercise balls.
  13. Books, and more books.
  14. Meet a character with RA in And the Mountains Echoed.
  15. Mesh bag for toiletries.
  16. For the beach-goer: water shoes with velcro.

Home

  1. Heavy non-slip floor mat.
  2. Small tray.
  3. FootstoolLaundry HelperFootstool.
  4. Pillows: Feathering My Nest – Part 2Not Only for a King.
  5. Purchase and install grab bars for the shower or tub area.
  6. Rubber bath mat.
  7. Install a handicapped toilet.
  8. Battery-powered scrubber.
  9. Telephone headset.
  10. Dictation software.
  11. Office chair.
  12. Fiskars Paper Trimmer.
  13. Shower curtain.
  14. Vacuum.
  15. Basket.
  16. A firm, supportive recliner: Nodding OffMy Perch.
  17. Zip-it Opener for Blister Packs and Clam Shells.
  18. My readers offered up some great suggestions to help put an end to duvet wrestling.

Kitchen

  1. China mugChina MugsHow it’s Handled Makes a Difference.
  2. Food processor.
  3. Pressure Cooker.
  4. Vegetable Peeler, such as this one from Starfrit.
  5. Jar Opener: Starfrit Mightigrip Jar OpenerThe Boa Constrictor Strap Wrench.
  6. Electric Potato Peeler from Starfrit.
  7. A Starfrit electric Salt and Pepper Mill.
  8. Electric juicer.
  9. Egg Slicer.
  10. Apple Wedger.
  11. Electric can opener or an electric jar opener.
  12. Light-weight dishes.
  13. Knives.
  14. Clothes pins.
  15. Scrub brush.
  16. Folding Stool.
  17. This piece of rubber makes peeling garlic easy.
  18. Jar of dry ingredients and recipe for baked goods.
  19. The right kind of pastry blender to do more than make pastry.
  20. An electric jar opener.

Miscellaneous

  1. Nutcracker.
  2. Have wheels – Double Duty LuggageRoll In, Roll Out,
  3. Shopping bag carriers.
  4. Travel mug.
  5. Consider contracting a service that can make light of difficult chores. For example, a housekeeping service such as Capital House Cleaning, a gardening service or car cleaning service.
  6. Prepare and freeze some meals or goodies to be used on those days when energy is waning.
  7. A copy of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis by Lene Andersen.
  8. A gift of your time to help with whatever needs doing – laundry, clean the windows, vacuum, wash the floors or tidy up.
  9. Arrange an outing. You do the driving.
  10. Do you have an idea for a unique tool? Consider talking over your idea with Maarten Meerman to see if he could make it for you.
  11. emWave ® Personal Stress Reliever : My Givens and a Giveaway. I have these in stock. Please email me at info@auntiestress.ca for further information. (*emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.)
  12. Tea to help quell those sweet cravings, or to soothe your senses.
  13. Collapsible water bottle.
  14. Gift card to a flotation tank. *Check first that they are able to get onto the floor, or into a tub.
  15. Chronic Christmas by Lene Andersen.

Personal Care

  1. Long-handled shoe horn.
  2. Dental floss wand.
  3. Easy-to-use shower curtain.
  4. Scalp massage/shampoo tool.
  5. If the person is travelling to The Big Island of Hawai’i, a session with Sarah-Lynn Joy.
  6. Stool/Cane.
  7. Dosettes: Large and Small.
  8. Anti-Swan Neck Deformity ring.
  9. Neck Brace.
  10. Hot packs or ice packs.
  11. Small Flashlight: Light the NightRoll Away Flashlight
  12. Portable John and Jane.
  13. Portable toilet seat.
  14. Massage Tools.
  15. Tennis Balls.
  16. Scalp Scrubber.
  17. Shoe Grips.
  18. Heel Care Cream.
  19. Toe Nail Clipper.
  20. Gloves: WorkSurgical.
  21. Reacher.
  22. Self-care can be difficult – manicure, pedicure or a massage gift certificates, such as one from The Body Mechanics Massage Therapy.
  23. Rolling backpack.
  24. Walker.
  25. The right kind of tweezers.
  26. When you don’t have access to an ice-pack.
  27. These cleaning wipes for glasses would make a great stocking stuffer.
  28. Support for that aching back.
  29. Use this device to squeeze out toothpaste or any product that comes in a tube.
  30. Physicool helps to cool those hot joints.
  31. Lens CPR.
  32. Even buttons and zippers can present a challenge in the midst of a flare-up. Help is on the way!
  33. Put together a foot soak pampering kit.
  34. Helichrysum essential oil for bruises.
  35. Headache Relief Serum.
  36. Long-handled lotion applicator.
  37. Stress coaching. (I have many options available. Email me to find the just-right one.)

Pets

  1. A raised food and water bowl set.
  2. Ball Launcher.
  3. Nail clippers for the dog.

Work

  1. Folding Stool.
  2. Telephone headset.
  3. Dictation software.
  4. A second mouse.
  5. Office chair.
  6. Fiskars Paper Trimmer.
  7. Gel pens.
  8. Battery-operated eraser.
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