Monday, October 13, 2014

After a Stroke~ It's the Little Things That Irritate

After a stroke attempting to do anything "normal" is grounds for frustration. I've talked about quite a few on this blog. I got around washing dishes (because we use so few) by doing them in the bathroom sink.

The Problem
For two years, I've been asking OTs for a solution for washing glasses by hand. It took this month to find an answer that works and it was mine. Inside of the glasses... no problem, but the outside...woah, Nellie!

I was so-o-o-o-o frustrated I was even looking at replacing my 16 oz glasses that I bought a month before my stroke for some square ones just so I could wash the outsides more easily. Not to mention that I've broken 8 out of 12 just trying to wash them. Four glasses are plenty for the two of us. If more than four are needed there is always paper or plastic, or a coffee mug.

I tried everything. Nonslip pads, towels bunched up and rolled, and even using other dishes to semi hold the glass in place while I washed the outside of the glass. Let's face it the shape is rounded and it rolls, and worse yet it's slippery especially with soap and water on it. You end up washing half a glass's outside over and over again. The other side, not so much. It just irritated me. I could wash an entire kitchen sink full of dishes one handed, including silverware, in the time it took me to wash one, stinking glass. But I refuse to drink most of my drinks in those one serving containers, but prefer a glass.

The Solution
So my new-ish OT were talking about this problem. We were bouncing ideas off each other. Most of hers, I'd tried and failed (broke the glass or failed to get it clean). They must teach these in OT school or something. I told her what I needed was one of those thing-a-bobs bartenders used to wash glasses with. It washes both the inside and outside of the glass. The kind that suctioned cup to the bottom of the sink.

She pulled out the adaptability supply catalog and nothing of the sort was offered.  Then the light bulb went off in my head. I was an executive chef once upon a time and still got restaurant supply catalogs. They were priced between $45-$65. I never thought of it as sticker shock when I was buying supplies for the restaurants I worked for. But now, my mouth hit the floor. Kind of steep in price. But I was frustrated enough to start rolling pennies again. Heck, I'd have to roll pennies again for new glasses too.

Well, Saturday, my grandsons came over to do the yard work so I had time to go shopping. Not the know what you are going to buy and shop, but look around and search type shopping. I had to go out and find some smaller shirts for my husband anyhow. Might as well look for brushes I could convert into a glasses brush like the one pictured above.

My shopping was done at thrift stores like church stores, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Just because something is second hand doesn't mean it's trash. Most of the clothing has been gently used. I don't want to invest a lot of money into my husband's shirts. He just has lost so much weight that his regular medium shirts looked like XXL on him. Granted his rib cage is still the same size but there's no fat or muscle padding them. Men do have their egos and vanity to consider. I've learned to tread very lightly on them.

While looking through the odds and ends, what do you think I found. You guessed it. AND for $2.99! Well within my price range. So I bought him one less shirt than I originally planned. I still bought five, button down, dress shirts. The aides hate having to button the buttons but he hates polo shirts and t-shirts.

Polder is not a top of the line brand of bartender equipment, but it will do for my purposes. Replacement brushes are anywhere between $15 to $32 depending on where I get them if I need them. It's still cheaper than the models I was looking at brand new. So still it's a win-win situation.

The other thing I found that is a real godsend is the handle scrubbers(palm scrubbers by O Cedar). They come in nylon, steel, and copper. I've even found them at the Dollar Tree, the local dollar store. Needless to say, I buy them there now. It sure beats $3.99 at the grocery store.

I still have my dishrags for therapy, elbow extension
Shamelessly fishing for compliments :)
exercises, while cleaning my counters. It sure saves my finger nails and cuticles too. Not that I'm into fashion nails or polish, nor the glamorous life. Torn finger nails and cuticles are just painful. Cute, huh? Why thank you. I made them.

Living post stroke is a daily challenge at the very least. But with a little brainstorming, feedback, and some ingenious inventor out there, it can be done.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Wow! There's nothing like ingenuity and persistence!


  2. Great solution to the glass washing problem.

    I wash some things on a wet sponge set on the bottom of the sink. The friction of the sponge against the sink as I push down holds it in place, which is especially helpful when the potatoes need a serious scrub on the coarse side of sponges like Scotch-Brite.
    BTW, I have identical glasses, but also a dishwasher, so hand washing is rare here.

  3. Zan Marie, Got tired of persistently breaking my glasses. Broken glass ware and blood thinners is not a good combination.

    Barb, If my hubby and I had normal appetites I could see running the dishwasher, but a couple of plates, one or two pots, and silverware? It's a waste of expensive electricity.

    I've been lucky so far. No extremely dirty veges that my spray hose couldn't take care of after digging them up.

  4. Hi Jo - that's good news re the glass washer .. and all the other adaptions you've adopted ... clever ideas - cheers Hilary


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