Thursday Doors – a step back in time

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Hello everyone

It’s been too long between Thursday Doors posts however if you follow my blog or Instagram account you’ll know that I had a shoulder replacement last October so things like exercise and looking after myself have taken priority

I thought I’d combine my surgery and arthritis pain manage techniques and love of doors in the one post today

Have you heard of the use of guided imagery to manage stress, pain etc.?

I use a similar technique (except I’m my own guide) when I have to have injections, blood tests or if I’m in pain as a distraction technique

Most guided imagery relaxation scenarios that I’ve experienced focus on beaches, lakes and beautiful peaceful places which I enjoy

I do however also like to relive walks I’ve taken in some of the beautiful cities and towns I’ve visited

I hope you enjoy some of the doors I’ve seen and taken a peek into on my travels between the years 1986 and 1998

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Doors, doors, doors and more doors!

An entrance to the very elegant Place de Vosges in the Marais area of Paris

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Rue St Jacques, Paris

Baguettes and fromage are picked up on my stroll back to my hotel after a visit to the beautiful Jardin du Luxumbourg which is located nearby

If only all grocery shopping could be so stylish

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Another stylish shopping encounter

I love the details on and around this beautiful pharmacy door in Barcelona

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A stark window and door found in the empty streets of a small town on Lesbos, Greece during siesta time

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful to return home to this delightful balcony and door after wandering around the medieval streets within the ancient Diocletian Palace in Split Croatia

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After exploring the small marbled side streets of Dubrovnik, I come across a scene of quiet reflection through the grand doors of St Blaise church on a street usually teeming with tourists

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Quintessential Vietnemese door in Hoi An complete with flag and a sleeping sandy coloured dog

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Dilapitated beauty in Hoi An, Vietnam

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Wandering through the old areas of Lisbon is like a lovely step back in time

This is one of my favourite doorways which from memory is near the Alfama district

Wherever one wanders in Lisbon, there always time for a bica (coffee) and pastel de nata (custard tart)

The Thursday Doors feature is hosted by Norm from the Norm 2.0 blog

Please take time to check out some of the other posts

 

Copyright msmary_p

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Tips not trips – tips for the bathroom after joint replacement

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I know …. I promised I was going to do a followup on tips for the kitchen after shoulder surgery however as my bathroom was tidier than my kitchen, I decided to do tips for the bathroom instead

After a joint replacement, it’s going to take a few weeks before you look or feel as glamorous as Audrey Hepburn in the bathroom however I hope you find these tips useful after your joint replacement on your way to recovery

Many of the tips outlined below I found really useful after my shoulder replacement late last year and when I had hip and knee replacements a few years ago

As discussed in a previous blog post, before you go in for surgery – assess and organise your bathroom and toilet before you go into hospital

In Australia, you can browse the website of the Independent Living Centre or go into the centre closest to you to see where you can purchase or hire any items you need

The Independent Living Centre has just published a great little booklet Making Choices, Finding Solutions Guide. Click here to download the digital copy

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If you don’t have easy to turn on taps, work out how you are going to turn on your taps easily using one arm

Click here to see the various type of tap turners available

SHOWERING

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You may need to shower with a shower sling

Assess whether you need grip rails installed in your shower/bathing area

A shower chair is great for when you get out of hospital and feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything let alone stand in a shower (I felt a little bit dizzy at times when I first got out of hospital so I felt safer having a shower chair knowing I could sit down)

If you have had a knee or hip replacement you will need to sit down to wash your legs and feet

I have quite a large shower space so I was lucky to be able to fit a shower chair comfortably in the shower

If you do not have a walk in shower (my previous apartment had a shower over a bath tub) you may need to purchase or hire a bath board

Click here to see the different types shower chairs available and here for bath boards

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Use a long handled shower sponge or brush to wash yourself

If you’ve had a shoulder replacement, you should be able to reach and wash under both underarms with a long handled shower sponge/brush

After a hip or knee replacement, you may also need to use long handled toe washes and toe dryers

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My handy pump containers have made a reappearance (see my post Slippery Soap Solutions)

If you have one arm in a sling or sore wrists and hand joints, it’s easier to use a pump bottle in the shower or at the hand basin

As mentioned in my previous post, the containers need to sit on a hard, flat and stable surface (I use a sturdy plastic stool in the shower)

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I set up and area where I could dry myself and had all the basic bathroom necessities I needed close at hand when I got out of the shower

Drying yourself with one arm in a sling is not fun. I purchased a sturdy chair which I placed a towel over so I could sit down and jiggle about to dry my back

It also felt safer sitting down to dry my legs and feet (this is especially important if you’ve had a hip or knee replacement)

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I used small lightweight towels to dry my body using one arm

My OT showed me a technique where you fling the towel over your unoperated shoulder with your unoperated arm so it settles down your back; you then drag the towel up gently (Check with your own health team for advice on drying techniques)

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Organise everything you’ll need post shower in one handy spot in lightweight unbreakable containers

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I placed all my necessities like cotton buds in these handy containers with easy to remove lids

Try to avoid moisturisers etc in tubs with large lids that you have to screw open

If your favourite cream is in a large tub, you can use the Etac Fix Preparation Board mentioned in my last post to screw open the lid

TOILETING

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If you have had a hip or knee replacement you may need to purchase or hire an over the toilet frame so you don’t have to crouch too low with painful knees and hips to sit down

Click here to see the various types of frames available

DENTAL CARE

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If you have arthritis and don’t already have an electric toothbrush, consider getting one as they are much easier to use than a regular toothbrush

Use flossettes instead of regular dental floss. I find I am able to get a better grip on the brand of flossettes called Caredent as they are a bit bigger and sturdier than some other brands

If flossettes are still too small for you, you may prefer floss handles. Click here to see an example

While we’re on the subject of dental care and joint replacement, you should avoid having any major dental work a few months before or after a joint replacement (seek advice from your health care professionals)

Click here for an easy to read article about dental work and joint replacement surgery from the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

If you already have joint replacements, check with your surgeon or doctor about the protocols for dental procedures and joint replacements

HAIRCARE & GROOMING

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Consider getting your hair cut just before your surgery date into the easiest style you can manage using one arm (You may have to go shorter)

Place your shampoo and conditioner in pump bottles as mentioned above

If you cannot reach your hair with your ‘good’ arm you can use long handled hair washers and combs. Click here and here to see what is available

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I used a microfibre hair turban to dry my hair

I could drape it over my head (like a hoodie) and squeeze excess moisture from my hair with one arm

I found the turban pictured above that I purchased it from Red Dot the easiest to use

The other hair wraps I tried had elasticised edges which made the wraps fit tightly on my head and were difficult to put on and off with one arm

When I bothered to dry my hair, I used a light weight travel hair dryer

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To put on moisturiser or sun screen, I used a little plastic paddle that came with a tub of moisturiser

I laid it on a flat surface, squeezed the cream onto the paddle then dabbed the cream on my face. I was then able to rub the moisturiser into my face with my hand

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Spray on deodorant is the easiest to use when your arm is in a sling. If you have a good aim, you can spray the deodorant under your ‘good’ arm as well

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While your arm is in a sling, keep your makeup routine simple

If you want to wear earrings, find some that are easy to put on and clasp shut with one hand such as the pair pictured above

Mascara might be hard to put on especially if your dominant arm is in a sling. An eyelash curler is the next best thing to masacara

Add some lipstick or lipgloss and you’ll feel like you’re all dressed up  💋

 

Check out my other blog posts Shoulder Surgery -ms mary’s musings and Floored by the Boards tips for the kitchen after shoulder replacement to get more tips

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Perth – Miyu Life Store  (also at Westfield Carousel)     Worldwide – Daiso and Muji

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Perth – The Reject Store      Worldwide – Daiso and Muji

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Perth and Australia – Caredent Eeziflossers available at Coles Supermarkets

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Perth   Daily Living Products   Independent Living Centre   Variety Stores

IMG_4010 Audrey Hepburn – Paris When it Sizzles via Pinterest

800px-Veronica_Lake_still Veronica Lake photo via wiki commons public domain

 

Floored by the Boards – tips for the kitchen after shoulder replacement

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Hello, I’m back! It’s taken quite a while to get back to blogging since my surgery (whoa am I out of practice)

In my continuing quest to become a cyborg I had a reverse shoulder replacement of my left shoulder late last year (I’m running out of joints to replace)

The operation went well and as anyone who’s had a shoulder replacement knows, it’s a long hard road to recovery. When I say hard, I’m talking about having to using one arm for a period of time and then mustering up the disipline you need to exercise your shoulder every day to rebuild muscles and get maximum range from the new joint

Anyway as mentioned, all went well as far as the shoulder is concerned however as soon as my sling came off after almost eight weeks (which coincided with me going off prednisolone after many years) my joints decided to flare up

Before I had my surgery I prepared my home so I could be as independent as possible even having one arm in a sling and anticipating that sometimes there would be no one around to help me do things like opening jars and cooking. I didnt want to have to ask friends, family and neighbors to open things for me all the time

Even if you live with people you can call on to open things etc, it’s great to have a bit of independence and have a feeling of accomplishment when you can do things on your own

I originally named this post My Swedish Love Affair because I’m totally in love with my ETAC Fix preparation board and don’t know how I’ve lived this long without one

The board is designed and made in Sweden and it made life so much easier post surgery and it continues to do so as I still use it almost every day

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The board has little nails you can place vegetables, fruit etc onto for chopping

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Removable suction cups

I didn’t use the ETAC board for chopping fruits and vegetables as I didn’t want to wash such a bulky item with one arm

I used it primarily for opening things so it stayed fixed on my kitchen counter in a handy spot and is still there

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The little rods and lever can be moved depending on the size of the item that needs to be opened or stabilised

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Some of the many items I opened and the gadgets I used (some I talked about in a blog post a while back Attack of the Orange Gadgets)IMG_1647

I buttered toast and chopped fruit and vegetables on the Plastic Spread Board pictured above

You can place some grip liner under the board to stop it slipping

The spikes can be easily removed (even with one hand) and washed easily

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The raised ledges on the board stop bread or toast from moving around

I will be posting some more general tips for the kitchen, bathroom and grooming after shoulder surgery SOON

Click here for my blog post Shoulder Surgery – ms mary’s musings which is about getting prepared for surgery

In the meantime checkout the one armed action below from my Instagram posts and click on the links to find out more about these wonderful boards and where you can purchase them

I purchased the ETAC Fix preparation board and the Plastic Spread Board at Daily Living Products which has various locations throughout Perth

In Australia check with your local Independent Living Centre as to where you can purchase the boards

ETAC official site

I’ve noticed I get a few readers from Singapore and Malaysia

The Etac Fix Preparation Board appears on the site of Assisted Living (Singapore) and Pinang Medical Supplies (Malaysia)

Grip liner can be easily purchased in variety stores,  supermarkets and places that specialise in daily living products

Happy New Year 2017

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Hello!

Just a short blog post to wish you all a wonderful New Year 2017

2016 was such a horrendous year as far as world events go however I hope for all of you on a personal level it was a happy and successful year

I spent the second half of the year waiting for surgery (the date was moved a couple of times), having surgery and recovering from surgery

Now that I’m on the mend from a reverse shoulder replacement I intend to get back into blogging again (it was too difficult to take photos using one arm)

I hope you enjoy the songs that I’ve  included on the Cocktail Hour playlist. There’s a selection of jazz, blues,swing and a couple of crooners thrown into the mix

I’m not doing much on New Years Eve apart from having a cocktail, listening to Cocktail Hour and having a chuckle at some of the lyrics such as ‘he’s a flip flopping, finger tapping jukebox maniac’ sung by LaVern Baker in Whipper Snapper

Happy New Year 💋💋💋 Enjoy

 

 

spring sunsets playlist

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We’re three weeks into Spring and there have been some subtle sunsets and some rather spectacular sunsets

Here is my playlist for Spring 2016 which I like to listen to at the end of the day sitting on my balcony, sipping a coffee or a drink and of course watching colours in the sky change around sunset

Scroll down to see the colours of a gorgeous sunset from a couple of weeks ago

Also if you live in Perth, two of the artists on the playlist (Gwenno & Cate Le Bon)  will be playing at Mojos in Fremantle in early October

Enjoy!

 

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