Archive for Amputee

New! Double loop 1-UP

Here’s a quick and dirty video I did tonight to show the new double loop 1-UP One Hand Hair Tie I recently created.

In one of my videos that I created for stroke survivors, I had suggested that people tie a loop in their 1-UP. I realised that this was an ineffective option.

This new version of the 1-UP has a button on one end, which creates a sliding loop that can be used to assist people with creating tension for making the perfect ponytail with a 1-UP one hand hair tie.

The loop can be put over residual limbs, a paralysed arm, plaster casts, toes/feet for the stand up method or other things, such as part of wheel chair.

If the design is popular I will branch out into other styles of buttons and cord colours. Once released, the loop can be shrunk down to the button, to be left hanging, wrapped or pinned like the long end of the regular 1-UP.

Look for ‘double loop‘ in the online shop.

Imperfectly Perfect

It’s that time again, it’s my ampuversary. My 10th ampuversary. Which is a big deal, because I had hoped that by my 10th year I’d have a new arm just like Luke Skywalker. I’ll just have to settle for dabbling with 3D Printing for now.

Some of you know that I usually make amputee gingerbread men and, in exchange, ask people to drop a couple of coins in a box for a worthy charity.

This year, as it’s hard to post baked goods, I went with a different approach. I wanted to do something tangible. My first plan was to get some cute gingerbread stress toys – until I realised that postage would be 3 times the price of the actual toy. Great!

So I was sitting here scratching my head and I realised that I had a bunch of shrinky paper, jump rings and cord that I could something with; and I came up with these designs that you can buy.

$8.00 from every sale will go to Limbs4Life who have been very supportive of me an many other limbless people here in Australia.

Some of my limb different friends wanted in on the cuteness, I need to give thanks to the following for their awesome drawings:

Each design is as imperfectly perfect as I am. (That’s code for they’re not jewellery store quality….)

I had fun making these, and was learning and growing with each one.

I hope you like them too!

If you don’t wish to purchase on of the below designs, you should consider donating direct to Limbs4Life via their website.


One Handed Exercise

Have you met Paul De Gelder before? He’s a lovely fella. If you’ve read his book, you’ll know that he’s a bit of a fitness nut – he was exercising in his hospital bed while recovering from his amputations.

When I saw a Facebook post of Paul at the gym last year, I had to find out what he was using. It’s just a weightlifting hook that you can buy from the sports store.

I was pretty quick to copy him. And after a bit of a play, I’ve adapted mine by drilling two holes in the metal part and adding different size carabiners. The holes and carabiners add an extra level of security and functionality. I can loop the carabiner around a kettle bell, hook on to the cable systems, pull the rower and even do assisted chin ups.

Depending on the exercise, I wear it either on my forearm or, above the elbow.

This thing is an equalizer! Before I could not use half the stuff at the gym, now, the boys have to wait their turn until I finish my reps!

Last week Paul put out this video, showing all the stuff he uses at the gym.

The next morning, inspired by his video, I got my personal trainer to take a few snaps during our arm session.

I’m no where near as buff as Paul, but I’m working on it. Maybe you will too!

workout with weightlifting hook

New adventures

SUP1Last year I celebrated my birthday during our annual trip to scuba dive with Grey Nurse sharks. This year I wanted to do something that any of my family or friends could participate in.

As you all know, I’m always keen to try out new activities. There’s a bit of a craze for Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) going on around here, I thought that would be a fun day out for everyone.

I found the Boatshed, a local hire shop, conveniently located next to a park, so I set up a Paddle & Picnic day. And what a perfect day it was. August is the end of winter here, usually accompanied by horrible cold westerly winds, but we had clear sunny skies and no wind.

On top of the perfect weather, I found that I could paddle my way around on a SUP – no problems! The only time I fell in was when I was faffing around with my camera and got distracted.

I knew from past experience with paddling a canoe that I would need to protect my stump from chafing. So I was doubly protected on the day with my rash vest not only stopping the chafe, but saving me from a case of sunburn.

I was definitely stronger paddling on my right, the power in the pull of my good hand shows how much that gym time is strengthening my body.

When paddling on my short side, I would use the crook of my elbow to pull. And when I got to the end of the stroke, I’d pivot the fin pole on my left hip as a way to finish the stroke.
Fish hunting with my wee mate Rhys

I’m definitely going to be doing this again, and again and again. Maybe you’ll give it a go too??

One Hand Tips – Hair Straightening

As promised, here’s the video of me, straightening out my bed head mop with an InStyler – one handed.

Hopefully this video will give you a bit of inspiration to experiment with techniques that match your abilities (or at least you can now consider purchasing a straightener – or adding it to your birthday present wish list).

I have not yet perfected my straight and sleek look! I will get better (and faster) with a bit more practice.

In reality I can use my residual limb to make the whole process go faster, but I wanted to show those of you that are truly one handed that this may be a new trick you could add to your bag – and gain another handful of independence.

If any of you have tips or tricks for hair straightening, please do not hesitate to add it to the comments.

Ampuversary – 8 years

It’s my ampuversary! 8 years since life got interesting. Once again I celebrated by being kooky and making some “amputee” cookies (finger less hands and legless gingerbread men). The cookies tasted so good that I couldn’t help but eat them – forget about decorating them!

I felt a bit guilty after eating all those cookies, so I went for a bike ride along the beach. 20km later I felt a little less guilty and a lot wobbly in the legs.

I usually ride my bike with out a prosthetic, but I’d recently started using a hand attachment in spin classes at the gym. I use the same socket as my hook, it pops out and in pops the hand. The hand is a heavy bugger, it’s just a static device to help stabilize you.

I’m still not sure yet if it’s better to ride with it or with out it.  It did cause a stir at one point on my bike ride – I dismounted from the bike and the hand stayed attached to the handle bar. Prosthetics, they can be amusing!