Assistive Devices · daily life · Hypermobility Basics · physical therapy

March 2018 Favorites: Chronic Illness Edition

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I’m in an awkward sort of communication limbo right now because I’m having trouble with my voice now too, not just with reading and writing!  Luckily I’ve found a good speech pathologist.  And yes, the difficulty is related to my connective tissue disorder, but it’s too much to explain my exact situation right now.  Instead, I’d like to share with you some chronic illness-related things that I’ve found helpful over the last few months.

This video  from the Hypermobility Syndromes Association discusses how having a connective tissue disorder affects swallowing and speaking.  It definitely helped me understand what’s going on with my body, and it had a few helpful tips too.

Another video from the Hypermobility Syndromes Association explains how people with connective tissue disorders may need higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals to be healthy.  Researchers are currently looking into this, so there aren’t any specific dietary recommendations yet, but it’s nice to see a hypothesis that wasn’t inspired by a diet fad.

A blog post by physical therapy student Christy that explains how she has hypermobile joints even though she doesn’t have a connective tissue disorder.  I’ve often wondered how it was that so many people in my ballet classes were so flexible and yet never became chronically ill like me.  She also talks about the challenges people can face even when their hypermobility isn’t from an underlying disease.

An assistive device called an eyedrop squeezer.  Because where I live there is no such thing as an eyedrop bottle that is easy to squeeze and doesn’t have a child-proof cap.  So if I get the kind with a normal cap, I can use this to squeeze it.


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The blue thing attached to my eyedrop bottle is the eyedrop squeezer.


An accupressure mat. My physical therapist suggested that I try using one to improve  my proprioception (spatial awareness) of my feet.  I actually put a couple of pillow slips on it before I stand on it so I don’t poke my feet too hard.  I have to be careful to keep the weight evenly distributed while I stand on it and be very careful getting off and on so I don’t hurt myself.  But it has really helped.  I can actually feel the texture of the carpet on days that I use it, and my feet don’t turn purple for no apparent reason so much anymore.  I don’t recommend doing this unless a therapist or doctor says to though, because sometimes purple, numb feet are caused by something more serious than proprioception problems.


My accupressure mat.


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A close-up of the texture of my accupressure mat.


Anyway, hopefully this blog post has been helpful! 🙂

~ Clare


Credits: Snail photo from Pixabay.  All other photos are my own.



6 thoughts on “March 2018 Favorites: Chronic Illness Edition

  1. I have used the same accupuncture mat for my back before. Didn’t find it helped much with the pain, but it kind of itched afterwards and the spikiness took some getting used to. I didn’t feel any of the relaxation or pain relief others talked of. Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your voice. Wish you the best with your therapist! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t help you! I don’t think I’d enjoy laying on it for pain relief either! Although I suppose maybe for some people it loosens up tight muscles?

      Thank you! So far I’ve only had one appointment with the speech therapist, but he is really nice, so that’s a good sign.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Clare, I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been doing well recently! But I really admire the way you are still forging ahead and finding new resources and ideas. That’s the way I try to handle the not so good times myself– by remembering there are solutions out there that I haven’t yet tried. I thought the part about the acupressure mat being good for improving proprioception was particularly interesting.

    I really hope things start looking up for you soon. And of course, thank you for linking to my blog post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Christy! Thank you! It has been difficult, but I really like being able to share what I’ve learned with other people.

    You’re welcome! 🙂 I really appreciate how you make the science of physical therapy easier to understand on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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