Give a Girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world. ~Marilyn Monroe
This story is an example of just one of the many struggles that I can relate to… I love shoes! I now have many pairs I cannot wear anymore because they are heels or simply just too hard to get on and off my feet because of the weakness in my hands.
Like Tonni and Wes, I also went on a trek for cute shoes that weren’t high heels, flip flops or slides, and have found there are some really adorable footwear choices out there that I can wear without fear of falling or getting stressed out because they are too hard to get on. Vionic has some really cute strappy sandals and Skechers Go Walks come in fun colors and styles, both are super comfy. So far, I have bought Vionic Rest Paros Strappy sandals, Skechers GOwalk 3 Pulse Women’s Walking and Performance Women’s GOwalk 3-Digitize Walking (shown above). Fighting the constant battle of tying shoe laces also sent me on another venture to the find any easy alternative. I tried a pair of the elastic no tie shoe laces but my hands are too weak to hold the shoe open and get it on my foot. Zubits Magnetic Shoe Closures (also shown above) were the perfect answer to that fight. I got a set for each pair of my shoes with laces from Amazon and absolutely love them.
Problem: Opening jars and bottles (especially small water bottles) can be a daunting task, not only for people suffering from motor neuron disease, but arthritis and just plain getting old! My hands just don’t have the strength and it can get pretty frustrating. I love to cook but there is not always someone here to help if I need it, and let’s face it, I already use my teeth for more things than I probably should! Solution: The EZ Off Jar Opener. It gives me independence and it will still work in a power outage! Pretty simple. It mounts under a cabinet, can’t even see it. You can use both hands and it works with very little effort. If you can turn the jar, it WILL open. Hey, it even opens fingernail polish!
As I started losing strength in my arms and hands, it was getting increasingly more difficult to use my big clunky hair dryer, so I ordered this little baby. When it came in the mail, I was concerned about it’s size and strength to dry my hair, but the Berta 1000 is awesome!! It dries my hair in less time than the monster 2.4 pound hair dryer I was using. It only weighs 10 ounces and has a nice long cord. It’s all about the little things that make my life easier. Plus, it just happens to come in my favorite color…Pink! LOVE IT!!!
I have learned two important lessons since being diagnosed with ALS; 1) You have to keep moving (stretching and exercise are mandatory) 2) More is not necessarily better (don’t wear yourself out, it doesn’t help). This was one of my first additions to the 2X a day stretch regimen I do daily (this is non-negotiable for me). Stretching is vital as muscles get progressively weak and fatigued. The calf muscle is one that can get very tight and makes already difficult walking an even bigger challenge. I used the calf stretch wedge in PT and my husband Randy, a very talented woodworker, built me one to use at home. We adjusted the plans a bit from what I found online. You can get the non-skid tape at Menards or Amazon. I actually ordered only a few
and Amazon sent me a big roll by mistake. I will send strips (as long as they last) to anyone who has a need, just message me where to send. Randy will also build a wedge for anyone, $20 plus shipping cost or we can email plans (contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org). Anyone who has tight calf muscles will benefit from the calf stretching wedge no matter what the cause. Good article about tight calf muscles, http://bit.ly/1YMORzd. I stretch both legs at a time for about 1-2 minutes. When it comes to stretching, more is definitely better, and it feels awesome!