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Thread: TYPING (& other 'Q' HAND functional uses/tools)

  1. #1

    TYPING (& other 'Q' HAND functional uses/tools)

    Timaru was interested in my typing, so I thought I'd start a new thread combining a couple of pics I had previously posted. There have been other threads on typing tools, but I thought it might be helpful to have a thread for any tricks or tools quads have for their ADL's or other - specially hand function/use.

    *Please add your ideas and any Quad Hand Tricks and Tools you have*

    TYPING (below pic):
    I type punching one letter at a time, using a stick made from a toothbrush.
    I prefer this than the standard adaptive typing stick, because it is more secure and I have greater control (but this may differ greatly depending on one's hand tightness/flaccidity). I used to use markers (see top pic below) but the tip would usually be too wide, causing more errors, but I liked the thickness of the markers due to it staying more securely in between fingers (had used various markers/pens/pencils/lipgloss, etc).

    I then started to use the end of a toothbrush - specifically 'Oral-B' since it has a thick rubbery handle, that aids in holding the handle very securely btwn fingers. I can hit pretty hard and the brush not move, whereas other thinner/smoother handles would move. No finger control; passive function.

    Problem: No wrist flexion, so wrist extends back and remains in tight extension, almost hyper ext. Wrist extended/locked back helps in typing, but can quickly become strained and weakened, causing pain and/or numbness esp. if typing for extended periods. Right wrist/arm tends to want to supinate, w/hand flopping back. Wrist support can help. If anyone has similar issues, take care not to over-stress and watch for long-term wear/tear.

    Cutting off the brush head and melting the tip smooths edges and rounds the end off.
    **warning: melts and burns quickly**
    The narrow tapered tip helps to hit keys fairly accurately.

    As seen in top pic, I weave a steak knife similarly thru my fist.
    I prefer to keep fingers curled under, to help keep tone as much as possible.
    More knife pics in FOOD forum 'Quad food tips'.
    Last edited by chick; 03-02-2008 at 11:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Louis, Missouri
    chick, do your fingers tend to curl in at a resting state? My fingers stay flat unless I use tenodysis (sp?) and they come in...when I was in icu they consistently put my hands in splints so they never curl in now. I type with my thumbs by keeping my hands flat on the key panel and pushing into keys with the sides of my thumbs. I've gotten pretty quick with it now. If my descriptions don't make sense let me know, I'm usually bad at explaining myself on the first try
    Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
    -Dorothy Thompson

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    In your nightmares
    Off-topic- what pretty hands you have there.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by kkmay
    Off-topic- what pretty hands you have there.
    You are correct, sir! Chick has beautiful hands.

    The toothbrush typing stick is a great idea I got from chick. Before, I used a Sharpie which works pretty well, but the toothbrush adds a little more weight which helps with control, and toothbrushes with rubber on the handle, like the Oral-B pictured, help with "traction" for sure.

  5. #5
    I wore splints for over a year, because I wanted normal looking hands, I find my 'claws' are far more functional. I love the idea of using a toothbrush with rubber grips as I think i'd be able to type faster and more accurately than I currently do using a regular typing aid (the strap around the palm and pointer kind) or using the edge of one knuckle.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    You are quite innovative there Chick, as one has to be. I got an idea here to build on your. Me being a para though, but say if one took a scissor, maybe one of them plastic ones, and break it in half. Then used the halves where the thumb normally is going in by putting the thumb sideways into the thumbhole and make the handle and the rest of it be threaded through the fingers the same way you hold the modified toothbrush. The tip of the half scissor also would have to be modified like on the toothbrush of course, to best suit the keyboard buttons. Would that make it more stable, and avoid the “handle” to slip through the fingers when typing? Maybe some could test it.

    To use the part of the scissor with the thumbhole I mean. The part of the scissor whit the upper thumbhole like on this image. The best-suited scissor has to be found of course, like you like the Oral-B toothbrush. This image is just to show which part of the scissor I mean for this. One has to find one of them plastic ones to modify of course or maybe modify the metal ones by making the blade dull.

    And not like this of course
    Last edited by Leif; 03-04-2008 at 03:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Ashley, (first time was a charm, this time )
    yes, my fingers curl in at rest. The right hand (typing) pretty much stays curled under like a fist, as in the pics. My left hand (top pic holding potato) is looser, but still slightly curls under a bit. The left hand can utilize tendo, as it opens/closes a bit while in teno motion. The right side doesn't.

    I actually try to keep fingers on both hands tucked under during rest (or at all times actually) as much as possible - when I use hand to lean on (lap or any surface), I make sure it is tucked, so it doesn't get stretched out. It's been 20 yrs, so does feel loosened/weakened, with thumb joints stressed.

    I hated splints. Took them off often during rehab and eventually stopped. It creates a weird feeling in my hand, which is very uncomfortable. I still don't like the feeling of fingers being opened/stretched. I'm glad I didn't wear the splints long, as my hands are pretty useful to me tight - tho different degrees for L/R, so they enable different functions.

    • Right side is fairly tight (tho can be pulled open). Thumb is bent in at the knuckle, which helps me to wrap fingers around tools/objects and have a relatively firm 'grip'. So, as in pics, I use this to hold typing stick, knife, utensils, comb, hair dryer, broom, pan handles, coffee decanter, etc.
      Don't use cuffs, but did for my dog's grooming brushes (really helps in trying to get out matted hair on as golden!).

    • Left side is more flaccid, but curls enough for me to use teno to pick up small objects - from cards to coins, paper, and hold cans soda, etc. (tackiness helps, so gotta love spit!). Right hand can hold small objects too, but usually can't just pick up cuz need some resistance when putting/forcing in between fingers.

    If I type with just hand, it would be pounding using the base of my right hand, that protruding knuckle at my inner wrist, or flip hand over and use the pinky knuckle. Both ways usually end up with my punching a couple keys at once, so not really do it for typing anything, cept maybe quick word or two replies. Also can use left index finger knuckle, but this slow and tiresome, tho more accurate.

    if youy see medeo gthis... i guss hyou know hos im typing ... swo, uswually dongt bothdfr exce4p-in im'[sw oer swo0mweth.
    Tip: nIf ypu gt sck of my ramblin g posts, hidew all my toiotb erushews, maerkjers and an ty eongated objecxrts!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Louis, Missouri
    hahaha well I doubt you'll ever be on my bad side for me to hide your typing tools I kind of hate that they put my hands in splints so much. Hindsight I would've taken them off because my 'grip' would've been more functional, but of course at the time I had no idea about what was helpful or not. Also, my spasms cause my fingers to open straight out and so I never form a fist, and I think that aids in my hands staying flat.
    Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
    -Dorothy Thompson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Landon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have semi-rigid fists, but fingers can uncurl easily to wrap around can, pick things up w tenodisis, put rugby gloves on, etc. When my hands spazz they clinch a tight fist. As for typing, I started w/ one of those brown pokey things that slide over hand, they have an eraser-like tip so it doesnt slip off desired key when typing. I was always losing the eraser thing. Now I always type w/ my wrists extended up and use the knuckles closest to my thumb nails, I've gotten pretty quick.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies...

  10. #10
    I used to use a pen but now use the side of my knuckles on my little fingers. Of course what I really should be using is my dragon software

    Chick my left hand teno is better too, I bet you were a righty prior. I don't pick up too much with my right hand probably should to increase it's strength. I keep my fingers tucked also but they're not as tight as yours. Luckily my rehab never put them in splints except a teno one for writing that I haven't used in 20 years.
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

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