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Thread: how do you keep your hands clean (ish)?

  1. #1
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    how do you keep your hands clean (ish)?

    Hi, my name is Z, I'm brand new here, and I really hope I'm posting this in the right place.

    in the interest of full disclosure, I don't actually have an SCI - but I do have ehlers-danlos syndrome, which affect all my joints and makes it very difficult and very, very painful for me to stand or walk for more than a couple minutes. I've seen at least one other person with EDS around here, so I hope it's okay for non-SCI wheelchair users to post?

    Now that that's out of the way, my actual question: I just got my first wheelchair (invacare a4 titanium: have a crappy phone pic), and I'm having trouble keeping my fingers clean. I wear fingerless bicycle gloves because braking on the handrims burns my hands, but my fingers turn black from dirt within a few minutes of leaving my house, and it's getting really annoying. Is this just something all wheelchair users put up with? I usually push with the heel of my hand and sometimes my thumbs on the wheel, because it gives me a better grip. Am I doing it totally wrong?

    edit: when I say 'on the wheel,' what I mean is pushing on the tire instead of the handrim.
    Last edited by koschei; 06-24-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2
    You could wear full finger gloves. I let actual wheelchair users to put in their individual input for recommendations.

    pbr

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    hi to a fellow EDSer!

    I wear gloves. I wear both wrist braces and gloves, I absolutely need gloves to protect my braces from the friction and also because my skin tears up so easily. Its been hard trying to find gloves I like. Currently I wear those nitrile/rubber dipped work gloves, with the fingers cut off. My roommate is given tons of them at work so he brings me them. I cut the fingers off, and then use a lighter to melt any loose threads. I also like that the long cuff almost totally covers my wrist braces, so it looks more like longer gloves and the braces aren't as noticeable. My braces are white and grey, and the gloves are white with grey for the coating on the palm. Currently I'm using them with full thumbs, and just the fingers cut. Since I don't have money, this works well for me now. I've gone through a couple pairs of bike gloves that the palm just wore through to holes super fast. I'm sure thats from my wrist braces increasing the friction.

    I'd like to get a good pair of deerskin gloves at some point. During the winter I bought a pair of mittens that I could just slip over my gloves when outside, after reading that tip here.

    I never push on the tire, so I don't have any further issues with my hands. I use natural fit LT pushrims, are you familiar with them? They're oval shaped and have a thumb ridge as well. They're ergonomic and supposed to be better for your joints, I know I have less pain in my hands and wrists as a result. They can also help replace grabbing the tire for some people.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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    In rehab, PT recommended fingerless gloves and my fingertips were always dirty. I got a pair of deerskin batter's gloves and found that they helped me grip the pushrims better as well as in braking. I've never gone back to fingerless.

    I also use Aloe Vesta foaming cleanser for cleaning up if I have a urinary leak. I put a couple of ounces of it in a small plastic lotion bottle, and when I am pushing inside at school day, I squirt a little on my hands a couple of times a day and scrub them together. You don't need to rinse it off, and it keeps my hands softer.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

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    hello, Lin! It's always nice to meet fellow EDSers.

    I don't brace my wrists at the moment, although I probably should. I just haven't really found a brace that works for me, since neoprene tends to irritate my skin. My gloves are pretty simple (front, back), but I find they actually do a good job of keeping my hand joints in place. The first week or two of using my chair I had horrible pain all along my metacarpals on the outsides of my hands, I think from my ring and pinky fingers being rotated out of socket while pushing? But since I realized what it was, I've been a lot more careful to push more straight on instead of sideways. My hands are still a little sore and can't be squeezed certain ways, but it's getting better slowly, and a small price to pay for the mobility and energy my chair gives me. I've been eyeing the natural fit handrims for a while, but alas, they're a little too expensive for me right now, and I'm worried they'd make my chair wider? It's already a little wider than I'd like (seat is 18x17), though I haven't yet met a door I couldn't fit through.

    Donno - that's a good tip about the cleanser, thanks!

  6. #6
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    I think the NF's can make your chair a little wider. I believe if you use them without the thumb ridge and short tabs its the same as regular pushrims though? Not entirely sure, so someone may correct me on that!

    If you can get away without wrist braces right now, stay that way as long as you can. I'm sure you already know this but the downside to bracing is increasing hypotonia. Damn EDS, you have to find that balance between increasing joint damage by subluxations and increasing weakness (which increases damage) by bracing. Same with the chair. Are you able to walk short distances with forearm crutches or anything? I try to use mine as much as I can around the house to balance out further damaging my legs with further damaging my shoulders by pushing lol. I have forearm crutches with a shock absorber/spring, and ergonomic grip (the hand grip and the angle are both ergonomic.) My service dog also helps a lot with trying to balance stuff out.

    I know what you mean about finding the right braces! I can't use completely rigid braces because they actually force things into subluxation. Except for rigid knee brace, when it comes to those I can't wear ones that have any material around the knee. I can't tolerate pressure on my knee cap from closed ones, and the open knee cap ones cause fluid retention around my knee that increases pain. But I don't have rigid stays in my ankle braces, and the ones in my wrist braces are slightly flexible. That allows me to correct minor subluxations without removing them and stops the subluxations from completely rigid ones. And my skin reacts to so much! I was originally diagnosed hypermobility type, but my geneticist now thinks I'm classical. Involvement everywhere, I wish I had just one body system that wasn't affected by EDS!
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, my wrists aren't actually that bad yet? I definitely have some carpal tunnel stuff and I get a fair amount of pain, but they hardly ever sublux. my right hip is for sure my worst joint, closely followed by my knees and fingers, and my right shoulder. I want to get silver ring splints, as my biggest problem with my fingers is they just bend backwards and become useless whenever I try to do stuff with my hands (hold a pencil, tie my shoes). My orthopedist just gave me some neoprene and metal hinged knee braces that have a J shaped ridge to prevent the kneecap from slipping towards the outside of the knee, which might be great, except my kneecaps slip to the INSIDE of my legs, so the braces actually just make it worse. Not to mention the neoprene isn't rigid enough to correct hyperextension or locking.

    I actually just walk in my house when I have to (to get to the bathroom, get food, etc), as it couldn't really be less accessible, and a little walking is good for my bones. Standing is my biggest problem. If I have to stand for more than 5 or so minutes in an hour, my legs start to shake and give out (not to mention it's extremely painful).

    I really want to look into getting a service dog! Having a dog to pick up things i drop, help me up from sitting/the floor, pull my wheelchair, and hold open doors would help me so much. Did you train yours, or go through an organization?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Donno View Post
    I got a pair of deerskin batter's gloves and found that they helped me grip the pushrims better as well as in braking.
    Do you know the particular brand or model? Looking for something on amazon to solve just this issue.
    Last edited by xsfxsf; 06-25-2012 at 04:58 AM.

  9. #9
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    you really should push on the handrim, it creates less pressure on the shoulders. i dont use gloves (i feel as if i cant feel the wheel thru them plus they are pain to put on and dont match my outfits haha) but just wash my hands thoroughly before i eat (if i remember haha) but i always wash them before cooking anything/making a salad.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
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  10. #10
    Washing hands and pushing with the handrim, don't listen to her that is crazy talk! It may seem like an obvious answer but all the cool wheelchair users use lead lined vinyl gloves http://www.universalmedicalinc.com/L...p/100v-dbl.htm

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