Vanity squished

I’ve never been very confident in my appearance.  My best feature (in my opinion) is my hands

 Seriously, that was always the one part of my body that I took a lot of pride in.  Well, autoimmune arthritis has decided my vanity in that area needed to be squished.  This is what my hands look like now.

Puffy, sore, red.  Plain old painful.  For years my disease mainly impacted my ankles.  Walking was so difficult.  After breaking my left ankle, my disease shifted to my hands, hips, and back.  I struggle daily to type, clean, open items.  Driving is not always fun.  Not being able to use my hands effectively is horrible.  I know people have it so much worse, so I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Instead I need to figure out how to manage life with bum hands.  I’ve already started purchasing items as my mobility has decreased over the years. All of these products are my personal choices.  I do not endorse nor am I affiliated in any way.
Opening Jars:  
I love this Pampered Chef jar opener.  It makes opening jars really easy.  I’ve used it for kitchen jars and even to open a shampoo bottle.  It’s a keeper.
Scissors hurt.  I found these babies online and love them.  My hand doesn’t cramp.  Not as comfy as regular scissors (when my hand is normal size) but overall, a good aide.
Controlling swelling:
Compression gloves.  Hate them and love them equally.  I have various pairs, but I use these the most often b/c they are inconspicuous.
Most importantly 😉  I needed an easy way to open a bottle of wine.  This one is economical (I don’t drink a lot of wine) and it works great.
I just bought gloves that have gel that can ice to reduce swelling.  I’m looking in to Dragon Dictation.  I’ll see you that goes.  What devices/gadgets you use to cope with the decreased ability to use your hands?  
I’m hoping being proactive will get me out of this funk I’m stuck in.  Hit me with your ideas…

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

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