Tag Archives: Melissa McPherson

The Mobility Device That I Couldn’t Live Without

As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I think I have used every type of mobility device in existence. In my 31 years I have utilized everything from a power wheelchair to a cane for getting around. I have even been known to use non-traditional means of mobility, including, but not limited to: a trashcan, a laundry basket, my sisters’ children and a rake; but that, my friends, is a post for another day. Today, I want to talk about a mobility device that changed my life, one that I have been using for over 15 years; The Hurri-cane Crutch.

I got my first pair of Hurri-cane Crutches when I was 15 years old. Until that point I had been using a pair of traditional, lofstrand forearm crutches as my primary means of mobility. I had the usual complaints. My hands were callused and blistered from the handles, they often slid out from under me causing me to fall, and they were next to impossible to adjust.

Compared to the traditional lofstrand forearm crutch, the Hurri-cane Crutch has a number of things going for it:

  • They have ergonomic handles, which decreases the amount of pressure on your hands. I haven’t had a callus or a blister in years
  • The flexible tips are made so that the bottom makes full contact with the ground each time you take a step. Although they can still slip on certain surfaces, this has greatly reduced my number of falls.
  • To make an adjustment on the Hurri-cane Crutch, you remove a screw with the supplied allen wrench (which is conveniently located in the handle) and then adjust the pin. Because the pin is not exposed, it does not rust or get stuck, making adjustments super easy.
  • The arm cuff rotates in a circle instead of up and down. If you reach for something, (or have to scratch your nose) they are less likely to fall off your arm.
  • The Hurri-cane Crutch is made of lightweight aluminum, but it has a square design, making it super strong.
  • The Hurri-cane Crutch comes in a variety of colors, and the paint job lasts longer than it did on my old crutches.
  • The Hurri-cane Crutch can be used as a crutch or a cane.

Once I started using the Hurri-cane Crutch, I couldn’t see myself using anything else. My first pair lasted me over ten years, through most of high school, all of college and the first few years after. They saw sand, water (oceans, lakes and pools), and plenty of snow. They took quite a beating and were replaced only after the grip was gouged by something sharp and started to get uncomfortable. Fortunately, the Hurri-cane Crutch comes with a life time warranty and my crutches were replaced for free! I quickly got my second pair and I love them just as much as the first pair.

 

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.

 

Slow-Cookers: Cooking Safely and Easily with a Disability

Cooking is a huge part of living independently, and it is something that nearly every young adult struggles with in the beginning. For people with disabilities, cooking is about more than learning recipes; it is a physical challenge, one that can sometimes be dangerous. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I deal with things like poor fine motor skills, a startle reflex, muscle spasms and balance issues that aren’t exactly compatible with hot surfaces, boiling water or sizzling oil.

For a long time I resorted to cooking prepackaged meals. I ate a lot of frozen and instant foods, and when I was feeling really adventurous, I would make Hamburger Helper. This wasn’t exactly healthy or appetizing. When my husband and I bought our first house, complete with a large and spacious kitchen, I decided to get serious about cooking.

For months I would spend hours in the kitchen after work, trying to put together the meals I saw on the cooking channel. It looked so easy; but by the time the meal was complete, my feet hurt, my back hurt, I was sweating profusely, and I usually had at least one minor injury. My food tasted okay, but I knew there had to be an easier way.

My Mother-in-Law was the one who suggested a slow-cooker. She bought me a programmable Crockpot and suggested I give it a try. I was skeptical. My own mother had never used a slow-cooker, and the only things I had ever seen come out of one were chili and those little cocktail wieners they have at graduation parties. Since, I didn’t have a better idea; I decided to give it a try.

I quickly discovered that the slow-cooker was the answer I’d been searching for. It cut the time and effort I spent in kitchen in half; and it was safer than the stove or the oven. I also discovered that there are literally thousands of recipes that can be made in a slow-cooker from classics like pot roast and macaroni and cheese, to desserts and even drinks. Hundreds of books and websites are dedicated to slow-cooker recipes. My favorites include Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes and allrecipes.com

Of course, the down-side to slow-cookers is that they are slow. In order to be successful, dinners must be prepped in the morning so they can cook all day; and let’s be honest, most of us don’t like getting up earlier than we have too. Perhaps the best discovery I’ve made is that slow-cookers can cook foods that are frozen. This means that you can prep a week’s worth of meals ahead of time and then freeze them, cutting out the daily prep altogether. One of my favorite resources for freezer recipes is this ebook: From Your Freezer to Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes.

Of course, I don’t use my slow-cooker every day, but it has made life in my kitchen a whole lot easier; and I think it is safe to say, my husband doesn’t miss the hamburger helper.

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.

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