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Thread: Writing

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Writing

    Hi! My boyfriend recently broke his c6 and cannot move his hands
    one of his concerns is writing on his own...is this possible? We tried writing today and he can hold pens and make letters with arm and wrist movements but he is unable to grip writing utensils or apply pressure to actually make marks

    Are there any devices that help this? If yes are they lacking in any way? How do other c6 quadriplegics write?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Absolutely! It'll just take a lot of practice.

    Here's a good thread with tips, tricks and tools for quads...
    TYPING (& other 'Q' HAND functional uses/tools)

    There's a lot of great info in that thread! A post I made in it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
    My wrist extensor on my right is a grade 4, not quite "normal" function of a 5, so I'm a functional C-6 even though my right side is a little weak. Neither of my hands are closed up like chick's right hand, which she's shown can be very helpful, but my fingers aren't straight out either, so my tenodesis is still pretty useful. I sometimes trigger a spasm to temporarily grip something tighter to pick up off the floor or something. The special tools I use most are the Wanchik writer, a typing stick (or a pen if my stick isn't handy), a zipper pull/button hook. I try to go "adaptation-free" whenever possible so I'm not stuck needing help if I don't have a tool handy.

    I think the images below are self explanatory, I think...


    Samples of my handwriting, with and without using my Wanchik writer...


    In the drawing colored in Photoshop, I used a mouse. I still need practive with my Wacom tablet...

  3. #3
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    Wow, thanks! You're drawings are beautiful!!

  4. #4
    He should be working with a good OT on "desktop skills" including writing and typing, and also identifying any adaptive writing or typing/keyboarding tools that will help him with this. Most people at a C6 injury level are able to write and keyboard well with practice and the right tools.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Use ultra fine felt tip pens (like the ultra fine Flair) WITHOUT rollerballs. They require very little pressure. I stick mine between my forefinger and middle finger. When I pull my wrist back, the two fingers touch the top of the pen near the point and the thumb rises up to close under the pen. There is very little tension holding the pen in place, but you don't need any with a felt pen. If you want more tension, you can slide on those foam rubber pencil grips, but I don't bother, since it isn't necessary.

    But, in reality, in todays world, I do very little writing. Even signatures, I often do by inserting a scan of my signature onto a digital or scan of a document. And mice are not a problem for C6. For keyboard work, try to keep at least one finger on each hand straight (straighten it all the time to keep it from curling), but, if not, you can always slide like a long thimble on one finger of each hand. I used to use those, but now I just hold my wrists high, with my hand dangling straight down. Since the middle finger is longer, it is the only finger to hit the keys. It helps to have chiclet type keyboards (like from Apple, where the keys don't need to travel down far to engage). I also found that typing on the iPad touch keypad is very easy. Of course, with voice recognition software, that even becomes less necessary.

    But, for writing checks and whatnot, the felt pen works fine. It takes a practice to learn to write well using your forearm more than your wrist, but it isn't hard.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  6. #6
    Those are amazing Rus. Must take patience, with or without hand restrictions.
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Very Nice, Scorp!
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    BTW - this is unsolicited advice for a newbie from a guy who has been injured for a very long time, who has lived independently in my own home without any caregivers for 20+ years, who was a very normal high school science teacher except that I sat all the time, and who uses very few assistive devices anymore: The OT's are going to try to get him to use all these splints and cuffs and holders and stuff because it makes him functional very quickly. But, he should try as much as possible to avoid using them. If you use them, you become dependent on them and never learn how to use your hands. He will never learn how to eat with a normal fork if he uses a cuff. Then he'll always have to bring his cuff everywhere. Cuff's and stuff are a pain to put on and take off, and tell the world that you are disabled, and they get lost and break, etc. In many ways, this is the same philosophy why many C6's and below choose to use a manual chair. I actually take the opposite view now after struggling with a manual chair for over 10 years and ruining my shoulder, but that is a different discussion. Anyway, the point is to have him continually practice using his hands. I can reach down and pick a coin off the floor in a matter of seconds without really any thought. Not many quads can accomplish that. The first time I tried it took me over 10 hours. But that is because I always want to do things on my own and figure out eventually how to do them. I might not be successful at first, and it may take me a really long time, but by doing it on my own without devices, I eventually figure out that it can be done and my hands and fingers sort of adapt. Work with what you got, but use it or lose it.

    Which brings me to advice for you and his family. Don't do stuff for him just because it is easy or convenient, you are doing him a disservice. Expect him to do independently nearly anything that an able body person does in the course of a day. Don't get the milk, don't pick up something he has dropped. Don't butter his bread (but do get things down from high shelves). He will learn how to do these things, trust me, and he will be that much more confident for the level of independence he has gained. In this game, self esteem comes from the level of independence and control one has over one's own life. The less one has to rely on others, the more capable one feels, the more confident one becomes in their ability to accomplish and live a normal life.

    And relationships are so much healthier if you don't feel like he is dependent on you being there to assist him. So many relationships break up post injury, not because the feelings stopped, but because the relationship became one-sided. The AB wears out and gets overwhelmed. And, believe it or not, the disabled person actually begins to resent the other because he has become so dependent on them.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  9. #9

    Scorpion / Kulea / My Helpful tricks

    As Scorpion and Kulea / me
    I am a high level very independent stubborn lady quad I dont like it when ppl think of me as a name Quad so i'll leave the quad word out of my name

    But for the 3 of us it is a thing we create and make happen because our minds tell us there is no True No's you cant do it in our lives

    That Golf cart picture in my profile I use a crutch or wooden stick I keep on my side of the seat to operate the pedals I done that for years .

    For myself It is one of those parts of life I dont like people doing things for me

    I know it is frustrating trust me it surely is but never give up on being creative in your mind
    This is weird but works I dont even use the fancy shoe things threapists were pushing on me while I was inb the health center they call Rehab


    Years ago My Stupid bent up crooked finger became my new shoe horn

    I placed my pencils / felt markers / pens similar to Scorpion in my cramped up hurting hand My hands kill me but I never give up all these years later .

    Today My worker friend came by afternoon today and I had to sighn a few papers I almost instantly put the pen in my mouth but thought where has his pen been lmao So I did the Scorpion Trick

    Usually many of times I can do my writing with my mouth . or if My hands arent spasming bad then Scorpion trick


    My signatures gotten neater because I refuse to give up

    It will take time and patience but If I could type on a keyboard with a pen or chopstick in my mouth at times when my hands cramp up I never give up here I am I am just doing that My ol chopstick idea lol it works for me




    You can and will do things in your life at your pace and way / style as you heal up and find ways Trust all of us We are 100% behind you I am for sure Always count on that and please trust me .


    Kulea has some beautiful advice Thank you Kulea sooo much;

    He will never learn how to eat with a normal fork if he uses a cuff. Then he'll always have to bring his cuff everywhere. Cuff's and stuff are a pain to put on and take off, and tell the world that you are disabled, and they get lost and break, etc. In many ways, this is the same philosophy why many C6's and below choose to use a manual chair. I actually take the opposite view now after struggling with a manual chair for over 10 years and ruining my shoulder, but that is a different discussion. Anyway, the point is to have him continually practice using his hands. I can reach down and pick a coin off the floor in a matter of seconds without really any thought. Not many quads can accomplish that. The first time I tried it took me over 10 hours. But that is because I always want to do things on my own and figure out eventually how to do them. I might not be successful at first, and it may take me a really long time, but by doing it on my own without devices, I eventually figure out that it can be done and my hands and fingers sort of adapt. Work with what you got, but use it or lose it.

    Which brings me to advice for you and his family. Don't do stuff for him just because it is easy or convenient, you are doing him a disservice. Expect him to do independently nearly anything that an able body person does in the course of a day. Don't get the milk, don't pick up something he has dropped. Don't butter his bread (but do get things down from high shelves). He will learn how to do these things, trust me, and he will be that much more confident for the level of independence he has gained. In this game, self esteem comes from the level of independence and control one has over one's own life. The less one has to rely on others, the more capable one feels, the more confident one becomes in their ability to accomplish and live a normal life.


    People call me subborn for my persistence

    Everyday I have tried to do something that is different for me with my hands body any part of me including my face

    My hands are bent up but sometimes it is a good thing
    My signatures gotten neater because I refuse to give up

    It is one of those parts of life I dont like people doing things for me
    I know it is frustrating trust me it surely is but never give up on being creative
    It will take time and patience

    I bought several gophers and different reaching poles from homedepo etc...
    When I drink my water out of clear bottles I unscrew the caps with my mouth

    Every person has their own way of adaptation and I wish you all the best in life

    Think Positive


    Have a nice weekend and keep smiling



    Always
    GL

  10. #10
    Stunning work, Rus. That's just good.

    JCA, tendon transfers to increase function and independence are an option. A number of us here at CC have had these. The surgeries and therapy post-op made a world of difference for those of us who have gone that route.

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