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As I began to experience return in my hands I was only able to move the four fingers together, independent movement would come much later.
Taking my thumb and moving it across the palm of my hand towards my pinky finger is something else I was initially unable to do. To build the strength back in my fingers and thumbs I was given putty and pieces of foam to provide resistances.
The process of building up my hand strength was frustratingly slow. For many months I ate and brushed my teeth only through the aid of my universal cuff which was velcro'd in my hand and had a slot to hold my fork/tooth brush.
The larger size of the tooth brush stretched out the cuff and made it difficult to eat meals because the fork kept slipping out. To solve this problem I simply got two cuffs and used each only for one purpose.
As my hand strength improved I began to be able to lose the cuff and use silverware with fat handles or by building up the handle. We used foam that was designed for such purposes but I am sure there are many was to accomplish this with items in your home.
Buttons and zippers were my next big challenge. With practice I was able to become proficient with a piece of adaptive equipment known as a button hook. There are numerous different varieties of them available. The one I liked best had a hook on the handle on the opposite end of the button hook that allowed me to hook and then operate my zippers.
Elastic waist bands in shorts and pants, bib overalls with big and easy to use fasteners, and pull over shirts allowed me to dress myself while making trips to the bathroom less frustrating.
This page was last modified: July 18, 2006