RA Blog Week 2017 Day 2: Tips & Tricks



Tips and tricks – What are the ways you have learned to work around the physical difficulties and limitations of your autoimmune condition.

I remember being at one of those home kitchen tools parties years ago and I friend said something about not wanting to buy “gadgets” because that are just junk you don’t need.  I didn’t say anything at the time (while ogling a salad spinner), because everyone around the table pretty much agreed.  It seemed the consensus in the group was that these gadgets were just clutter.  In hindsight, I wish I spoke up because without gadgets, I wouldn’t be able to cook, open things, cut, or do various household tasks independently.  I’m going to post my favorite gadget tips.  I am not endorsing any products.  There are simply items that work for me.  I’m happy to tell you where I purchased these items if you direct message me.

One of my favorite tools is this jar opener.  It opens lidded containers of various sizes so easily.  I’ve tried others, but this one is fool proof.  It hasn’t met a jar or a bottle it couldn’t open.  Honestly, this is my favorite kitchen item.f7efa-2677_product-1.jpg

To shower, I use a shower chair.  Standing while washing/rinsing my hair and shaving my legs is just way too hard after working all day.  This shower chair is a simple fix and makes life a bit easier.  My cats also like to nap on it….


To help with hand swelling, I use compression gloves. I love them and hate the need for them equally.


Cutting can be so hard on my hands.  Especially at Christmas time when I need to wrap presents.  Most of the time, I just use bags to “wrap” presents.  But when I do have to wrap something, I use these adapted scissors.  They require less pressure and thus, my hands don’t hurt as much.


This next tips was an emotional one to get.  I used to work in six elementary schools.  I would drive between buildings throughout the day and often, would have to walk a far distance with heavy bags because there was no parking.  My rheumatologist at the time suggested the parking placard.  I debated for a while until I found out that a janitor at one of the schools was parking in the handicapped spot because he didn’t want his car to get scratched by parking on the street. (GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!).  I don’t always use my placard but when I grocery shop or have to walk through large buildings it is a life saver.



And finally…..my most favorite gadget is my wine bottle opener.  It is so smooth and simple.  It doesn’t stress my hands and isn’t as pricey as some of the automated devices.


These items may be gadgets that clutter my home, but they do make my life much simpler.  I’ve found that investing in tools that make life simpler is something that works for me….plus, I love to shop.  It’s a win, win!!


I’m honored to be participating in RA blog week for the third year in a row.  Check out all the other blogs posted on this topic (and others, here: http://radiabetes.com/blog_week17/day2.html


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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.

3 thoughts on “RA Blog Week 2017 Day 2: Tips & Tricks

  1. I have two rubber disks in two sizes to open jars with. They have been most helpful! Oh, that wine bottle opener sounds like a wonderful tool to have on hand for family celebrations. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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