I’ve had Cerebral Palsy for my entire life. One would think that by now there wouldn’t be any surprises left; however, every once and a while, I come across a new problem that needs a solution. Last week, I was at the dentist and received the news that I have a cavity. I brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush, and have not had a cavity in years. This one creeped in at the side of my tooth and is a direct result of not flossing. It is no secret that nobody likes to floss, but when you have the fine motor issues that come with Cerebral Palsy, this dreaded task becomes more than just annoying. I have been attempting to find a solution to the complicated process of flossing for most my life. Those little one-time use pick flossers are too small for me to grip and the handle flossers have replacement heads that are really difficult to remove and replace. I was lucky for a while, my electric toothbrush seemed to be doing the job. But this last appointment proved that the flossing problem was not going away; I was going to have to find a solution. I decided to try a Waterpik. I have seen them on display when I go to my dentist; not that they ever suggested one to me, but when I looked them up online, I found that most people like them. I decided to try it out and purchased the Cordless Plus Water Flosser. This flosser is cordless and rechargeable, so I can use it anywhere and don’t have to worry about the cord being too long, too short or having to wrap it up after each use. I charged it for 24 hours and then unplugged it. The manufacturer says it can remain plugged in to charge between uses, but user reviews said this ruins the rechargeability of the device. It is easy to fill with water and comes with 4 tips: two general use, one plaque seeker, and one for braces. They snap on easily and are removed by pushing a button; which is much easier than the standard handled flossers I have tried before. The stream of water is quite powerful, even on low; and it will make a bit of a mess, so make sure that you are leaning over the sink when you use it. Also, use warm water, I used cold the first time and it was a bit painful. So far it seems to be doing the job; my teeth do feel cleaner and it leaves my gums with a tingly feeling that it not unpleasant. Obviously, I won’t know whether this product really works until I go back to the dentist in November; but I feel like even if it is not the perfect solution, it is better than not flossing at all. Plus, shelling out $40 once beats multiple trips to the dentist any day.
When I fractured my hip it presented my children with a problem. My small house had just one bathroom that consisted of a full tub with glass doors. Obviously this wasn’t going to work for an 80 year old woman just out of rehab and living alone !
Luckily my two sons are self employed in the remodeling and building industry. So, while I was in the hospital, they removed the old tub unit and installed a walk-in shower that made it very easy for me. At first I had a rubberized no-slip chair that I could sit on and with the use of the hand held shower extension it worked very well.
As I grew stronger I realized I could stand to shower but we had forgotten about installing grab bars. They were definitely a necessity but I rebelled against having them as permanent fixtures. So I was relieved when the Physical Therapist who came twice a week suggested that I try the removable suction cup type. …and that’s what we did.
We bought two of them and they were installed straight from the package. It was very easy. You just release the levers, put the bars where you want them, and push the levers in. You can feel the suction taking hold as they adhere to the surface.
However, the PT guy warned me of one thing (AND IT’S A BIG CONCERN) You need to release the bars and re-suction them every month at least. They will lose the gripping ability over time and the last thing any of us need to do is to grab hold and have the bar come loose from the wall.
Obviously grab bars permanently adhered to the wall are the best option for anyone with mobility or balance problems … but the suction ones were the answer for my immediate concern and I was very happy with the solution.
Scroll back to June 7th to see why my blogger-mate Peggy, below knee amputee, travels with one.
At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.
Blog entry by Ginnie, proud member of the UNlimiters team.