I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous...Now Read My HIPS!

Now Read My HIPS! is returning very soon. My blog is currently under construction. I am doing some minor renovating and will begin blogging for the New Year, possibly before. I can't wait to start up again. I have missed all of my followers! I love every single one of you! You have helped me to become who I am today! I could never have continued my blog without all of your support. Please be patient, and please continue to support this blog as well as my other blog Chronically Mommy. Pass this information on to anyone that you know may be interested in knowing...To be continued...

I had my shoulder and both hips replaced, and I am changing things up a bit on this blog! I began belly dancing in 2010! Yes you read that correctly!! I am going to be blogging about my experience as a woman with several joint diseases and conditions who had her shoulder and both hips replaced who now belly dances and performs! I still have pain, but I want to blog about how I have fun too! Now Read My HIPS! Please read Chronically Mommy (chronicallymommy.blogspot.com) for info on health/pain.

Hi, I have avascular necrosis in my shoulders, hips, and knees, psoriatic arthritis, sjogren's, fibromyalgia, and hypermobility. I found out that I have autoimmune arthritis in my cervical spine and a bulging disk in my lumbar spine. Seven years ago my spine orthopaedic surgeon told me I had a small amount of autoimmune arthritis in my SI joint. The question still remains: Is the spinal involvement due to Psoriatic Spondylitis, which is a more severe form of Psoriatic Arthritis or is it a new diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis? Whatever the diagnosis, the treatment will remain the same. I had my left hip replaced in 2003 & my right shoulder replaced in March of 2010. I literally gave my right arm to be ambidextrous! LOL! Lastly, I had my right hip replaced on May 10th, 2012.

I began belly dancing. Yes that's correct! I began belly dancing in 2010, so now it is time to "read my hips." Pain is still another part of my life. It is just a question of when, where and how much, but I would like to use this blog to write about my experience as a woman with several joint diseases and conditions who had both hips and a shoulder replaced and now spends her free time belly dancing and performing! I belong to a dance troupe since February of 2014, Seshambeh Dance Company. I am dancing weekly with my troupe in an advanced class and on Saturdays with another class which focuses on exercise and being a strong woman. I am performing a lot more often now, at least 4 or 5 times per year! Join me in my journey!

At times, I take 16 to 20 pills a day. I go every 4 weeks to the to get a 2 hour IV for my autoimmune arthritis diseases. Just when one thing seems to be doing better, something else goes downhill! My attitude, however, is always going uphill! I am 42 years old, have been married 16 years, and my husband and I adopted Mick in Dec. of 2010! I have a lot on my plate right now, but I take it one moment at a time. I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle. However, I do need to learn to ask for help sometimes instead of always doing it by myself!



(Formerly "I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous!")

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these daya are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

Now Read My HIPS!

Now Read My HIPS!
Asmara "Beautiful Butterfly"

Blog with Integrity

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting Crafty With My Arthritis!

The next edition of ChronicBabe Blog Carnival is live on August 24, 2010, and the theme is Arts & Crafts. It is all about how you design creative idea to make life easier when you have pain and joint problems.








I have to say that as far as arts and crafts go, I'm not all that clever or creative, but when you have arthritis and other pain conditions like I have, sometimes you realize that creativity often presents itself when it comes to necessity.


I think that my most creative invention ever was my Intuition razor extention. When I had my hip replaced in 2003, I relied on my hubby to shave my legs, help me with taking a shower, and even washing my hair when I couldn't walk the steps up to the shower.  When I was finally able to use the shower, and I knew that the hubby really didn't want to shave my legs anymore (after all, he had to sit on the floor in our one-person shower stall with the water spraying him in the face, while he shaved my legs), I had to think of a clever way to shave my own legs without bending over to do so. I ended up using my Intuition razor and the long handle to my shower sponge. I cut the sponge off the handle, and I attached the handle to my Intuition razor with 5 hair rubberbands. It worked out great. I do not have it anymore to show you my creative invention, so the next time I make one, I'll be sure to take pics!


I mentioned that the hubby had to also help me wash my hair when there was no way for me to go up the steps to get to our shower.  We tried several different ways to wash my hair,--in the kitchen sink, in the half-bath sink--but the best way to do it was to take a water basin that you use to wash dishes. Put some warm tapwater in it to begin. I layed on my back with my head off the sofabed. The hubby used a big plastic cup and filled it with some of the warm water in the basin, and he carefully poured it over my head. Then he added the shampoo to my hair and rinsed it the same way that he wet my hair to begin. Then he conditioned it and rinsed again with the cup. It worked wonders! They do sell hair washing basins and hand-held sprayers, but they can cost a fortune. This was an inexpensive way to have your hubby or significant other or caretaker wash your hair with no fuss!


I have found that washing your dishes can be really hard when you have arthritis in your hands. The dishes slip out and slide out of your hands! I found that the rubber mat that you put in your tub works great in your kitchen sink. The rubber mat keeps the dishes from slipping in the shiny sink, and then you don't have to worry about them sliding out of your hands and spill water all over or even break the dish!

When making my bed, I use a pizza paddle to tuck in the sheets! This is a great idea if you have trouble with your hands and fingers trying to tuck sheets in by hand. It can be hard and very painful, but the pizza paddle helps tremendously!

Sometimes using a wash cloth or spongy or scrubby can be difficult to hold onto on really bad painful days. I like to use a wash mitt. You don't have to grasp anything then, so if your hands hurt badly, you won't have to hold onto anything, just wear the mitt. They are easy to make with old towels and a sewing machine!

I do have a shower chair from when I had my hip replaced, but it is big and bulky so we have it in storage. I do find that there are some very bad pain days where I cannot sit all the way down in the tub, and I am too fatigued to even stand for a quick shower. I use an all-weather garden chair in the shower. It is a lot less huge and easier to handle.

I keep a gripper in the tub/shower next to the faucet knobs. On some days, the pain is so bad, I cannot even turn the water on or adjust the temperature. I use a gripper to grasp the knobs and make it easier to turn. I just use the same gripper that I use in the kitchen for opening jars. I have like 3 of them, so I keep the one in the kitchen, one in my bathroom, and another in the guest bathroom.

I use a toothpaste squeezer device to squeeze out the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. I cannot squeeze the tube with my hands because it is hard to make a fist. You can find them at the dollar store even!

If you have a regular toothbrush, try putting a large foam hair roller on it to make it bigger and fatter to hold easier--you can do this with eating utensils too. Otherwise, if you get an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, they are bigger and fatter and easy to grasp as well. For flossing, I use the reach flosser. It has a handle to hold the floss, and it makes it easier to hold than those tiny dental floss strings in your hand.  You can also use a large foam hair roller on it as well. Use the same idea with your foam hair roller on anything with a handle like hairbrushes.


When it comes to filing your nails, it can be a lot easier if you take an emery board and glue it to a large sponge. You can more easily grasp the sponge than a tiny emery board. It is a lot easier on your hands!

Anything that is aerosol in a can--shave gel, hairspray, and even my olive oil that I use to coat pans--the lids can be difficult to take off and put on. I just keep them off all the time!

You can loop a scarf around certain handles to pull them open with your forarm instead of your hands and fingers.  A good example for this use is on the refrigerator, if you have those type of handles that you can tie a scarf around.

Keys can be hard to turn. Have your keys made with a large plastic handle that is easier to grip or put your key in a stiff sleeve to make it easier to turn.

You can put a laundry basket in your car attached to the floor with electrical tape. This way, when you have groceries, you can place them in the basket. They will be easier to reach, and you don't have to worry about bags falling over in the car.

I hope my ideas and creativity helps you out! Just remember, if something is hard for you, try to think of a better way of doing it. Let those creative juices flow!!!


4 comments:

Selena said...

Wow Dana, you are a regular McGyver when it comes to making things more arthritis-friendly around your house! :-)

Nessie said...

Great post! Thanks for the lovely tips.

Kathy said...

Great Tips, I esp. like the foam roller ideas.

Lenka said...

Awesome! I agree with Selena- you are McGyver :)

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