Jul 29

It wasn’t long ago that athletics was viewed as impossibly dangerous for Type 1 diabetics and America’s most well known diabetic was, perhaps, Mary Tyler Moore.

Today, with new technology, Type 1 diabetics compete strenuously, many with their doctors’ blessings. And the modern face of diabetes includes basketball players, long-distance swimmers, triathletes and Ironmen.

Their goal: To have an entire team of Type 1s compete in the Tour de France in five to seven years.

Read the story

Jul 28

The Knork is a combination fork-knife that allows foods to be cut and lifted to the mouth using just one hand.

The outside tines are beveled and curved, forming cutting edges that are not serrated or sharp to the touch. The Knork’s solid stainless steel cleans up easily in the dishwasher and has more heft to it than the average fork, which helps with the cutting.

We find the Knork cuts through tough foods, such as steak and even the rind of a watermelon, and could prove helpful to people with limited use of their hands due to a stroke or a temporary arthritis flare-up.

At $5.50, the Knork seems ideal for college students who eat and study at the same time, young mothers with babes in arms and campers and tailgaters who want minimum cleanup.

Jul 27

Weeding Glasses “Weeding Glasses” are sun-tint reading glasses for those of us who want to weed, read, and do close-work outdoors but don’t need expensive prescription sunglasses. They come in seven hand-colored patterns in six magnifications from 1.5 to 3.

We wear Weeding Glasses when we cheat on the New York Times Puzzles on the patio on sunny mornings and read on the chaise lounge (when it’s not in use by the dogs).

If you’re light sensitive, they also protect from the glare of harsh fluorescent lights found in many offices and stores.

We both have light-sensitive eyes: Marty inherited her’s from her mother. Cait got her’s from dragging herself miles to school through the snows of Manitoba, where teachers today actually warn parents to equip their children with sunglasses to prevent snow blindness, something they didn’t do when Cait was a child.

Weeding Glasses are cute and small enough that people won’t wonder if you’re wearing them inside because you have a hangover or fancy yourself a celebrity.

Jul 22

Storm the Belgian Shepherd has received the world’s first prosthetic paw after having his front leg amputated because of a tumor.

The technique, previously used only in human fingers, attached a titanium alloy implant to the main bone of Storm’s leg.

The process someday may be of benefit to human legs, says Storm’s doctor.

Watch the video

Jul 21

After several years on the market, the remarkable iBot 4000 remains the only wheelchair that can power across sand, gravel and uneven terrain, climb steps up to 5 inches and rise to eye-level - even on the move.

Developed by DEKA Corp., the same engineers who brought us the amazing Segway, the iBot’s balance system is programmed to the user’s center of gravity to monitor and respond to subtle changes in motion.

Reach forward to shake hands, and the iBot leans with you. Lean back and it moves away as well. The iBOT constantly realigns and adjusts to keep the user upright and stable, even when driving up and down curbs or inclines.

We remain in awe of the iBot and the Segway, and would love to own them but their prices make us feel like poor kids outside the candy store looking in.

The iBot’s price remains around $30,000 while the price of a conventional powered wheelchair starts at around $4,000.

Granted, the Segway is much cheaper than the iBot at around $5,000 to start, but still an enormous price for what essentially is a fancy, upright scooter. (Forgive me Dean Kamen.)

At a cost of an estimated $200 million, the iBot was, by far, the most costly wheelchair ever developed. Reportedly, only a few hundred have been sold - far fewer than the thousands of sales Johnson & Johnson were hoping for.

So much for so few when there are so many of us out here.

Jul 20

Have a friend in recovery? A relative losing their hair to cancer treatment? A coworker diagnosed with diabetes?

If you’ve looked, you know there are too few cards out there that say anything appropriate for the situation. “Caring Path” cards are helping change that.

Caring Path cards deal with Gimpiness of all sorts in a direct, caring and often off-beat way. Cait sent one to her mother when she was finishing up radiation treatments. The card stock was of high quality and the message unique.

Don’t be put off by the slightly sappy web site. There’s good stuff in there like the Take a look.

Take a look. We will be ordering more.

Jul 14

Fashion Freaks know how hard it is for wheelchair users to find good looking clothes that fit.

Skirts are too short in back, pants are too tight in the crotch and jackets travel forward with every move until the shoulder pads form extra boobs!

Fashion Freaks, in Stockholm, has designed a web site about creating clothing for wheelchair users. Their site has patterns for downloading, sewing instructions, and useful tips to create a wardrobe you actually like. Imagine!

The Fashion Freaks site was funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund, which supports the development of activities for people with disabilities so those people, in turn, can have a greater influence on society.

Cait & Marty, having many talents, sewing not among them, believe the Fashion Freaks have good ideas which can be adapted if you are a wheelchair user who sews or knows someone who will do it for you.

Visit them

Jul 12

As Boomers enter their 60s, they find themselves jacking the volume on their televisions, cringing at boisterous parties and shouting “What?” into their cellphones.

Sound technologists eager to tap into a huge new market are developing devices to attract age-phobic, style-conscious boomers, who once made fun of hearing aids and may be afraid to admit hearing loss.

The new hearing aids no longer look like a chewed circus peanut or feel like we’re hearing through a tin can. Rather, today’s newest devices look like the offspring of iPods and Bluetooth with the quality of Bose speakers.

Read the story

Jul 11

I have often thought it would be a blessing
if each human being were stricken blind and deaf
for a few days during early adult life.

Darkness would make one more appreciative of sight
and silence would teach one the joy of sound.

Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Learn more about her

Her movie “The Miracle Worker”

Jul 9

We were reluctant to try something that had an infomercial, but George’s grill comes close to its hype. We Gimpy could almost live easy with an electric water kettle, a mini fridge, a microwave and The Grill.

Our hamburgers cooked moist and tender in half the time it takes on the stove. Ditto grilled-cheese sandwiches and yogurt-marinated chicken on skewers. The Grill did justice to veggies too, rendering asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms tender, juicy, flavorful and nicely hashed with brown grill marks.

We usually hate to cook bacon, yet we found The Grill to be a bacon-making machine! Because the lid closes there is no splattering hot grease, which makes cleanup easy and cooking safer, especially for a Little Person or someone cooking at eye level from a wheelchair or atop a stool. People with vision problems have one less step because they don’t have to flip the bacon to get it crispy.

In our tests thus far, The Grill’s one failure seems to be eggs, which turned rubbery despite my varying the temperature with the one large easy-to-use knob. Leave the eggs for your stovetop cooking.

The Grill comes with a cookbook and five dishwasher friendly interchangeable plates that makes everything from steaks, fish, kabobs and sandwiches to pancakes and waffles, which we have yet to try.

As you can see, we are jazzed about George’s Grill and will keep you apprised of our future successes and failures.


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