Rock Creature
That's me taking a picture of it at Newport Beach R.I. Notice its head on the right, one eye is showing. It appears to have a trunk or some sort of a beak. On the left of the body you can see its big fat tail that curled up as it died. It has a big round body. Its legs are not seen, they're under the body. I call it the Rock Creature because it has the ability to blend in with the many boulders along Newport shores.

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The Best Gadget of All

Is that a folding cane in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

~With apologies to Mae West

Ok, so the man in the picture may not look as if he needs a cane, but he could’ve. He may have had knee or hip replacement surgery? Then he would’ve needed it, for at least a while.
Anyway, by “gadgets” I mean the various aids that one with limited mobility would use to help with walking, getting dressed, picking up and manipulating objects or just in making his life easier in general.
Recently I gave a talk on these “gadgets” to the NJ Spondylitis Support Group. With me I brought a big bag full of these “toys.”
There were a couple of different reachers, an extended toenail clipper, a sock puller, extra long shoe horn and my favorite, of my own design, the 24” long pliers which are used to work the Velcro straps on shoes and sneakers.
No, I didn’t have a folding cane. The guy on the beach threw it into the ocean.
When I finished passing these gadgets around, along with some literature, I reached into the bag and pulled out a pair of stretch tubing. I then told the group that this is the best gadget of all.
I went on to explain how regular exercise can help reduce and in some cases eliminate the need for those other gadgets.
A good stretch tubing book is, The Great Stretch Tubing Handbook

The Spondylitis Association of America has an excellent exercise DVD for people with arthritis.

Another good exercise book is: Walk Tall. Last year this support group had a Physical Therapist from the Atlantic Rehab Institute of Morristown, NJ give a talk and a demonstration of Sara Meek’s exercise routines. Many of her exercises lend themselves to use by people with arthritis.
The problem people with limited mobility face when starting an exercise routine is avoiding further injury. Some exercise routines may not be appropriate for your specific disability. Always consult your doctor for advice. He, of course, would likely refer you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist turned me on to stretch tubing, and that’s a topic for a future story.

August 2010