Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Instant Gratification

A true fashionista, I may suffer for beauty (and believe me I'm counting the days to get back to my six inch heels that make Chinese foot binding look like a day at the beach), but I'm all about pain relief. While the headaches over insurance and healthcare throb on I'm looking for an over-the-counter quick fix for my woes.

Some finds worth sharing:
Pills to pop...
  • Arnica - this homeopathic remedy actually works to prevent and help heal bruising and swelling. The sooner you start the less blue you'll be (inside and out). Pop these sweet little globules sub lingually several times a day. Also available in a topical cream and gel - apply to affect area as directed.
Patches to slap on STAT!
  • SALONPAS - these nifty little aspirin patches work wonders for immediate ouch relief. No gooey mess, no eau de ben gay smell, these flexible discrete patches stay in place for hours and come in a bunch of sizes. And they're cheap! A pack of 40 patches is about $6.
Other nifty fixes...
  • BodyGlide - Get your mind out of the gutter, this product is totally G-rated. Originally made for surfers help to prevent chaffing, this non-waxy deodorant looking stick helps against any skin friction. HEY, dirty bird, not that kind of friction! Next time your new shoes leave you with blisters, you'll wish you'd taken my advice! BodyGlide is available at most sports stores but recently BandAid started making a similar product which is now at most drug stores.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When all you need is a little TLC ...Taxi & Limousine Commission, that is.

We've all been there... patiently waiting for a taxi, guarding our turf only to see some stiletto'ed diva strut straight passed, up the Avenue against traffic, her manicured hand poised to snap out to intercept the first free taxi. Normally this is when a good-footed New Yorker would hop to it and move quick to overtake her. Well sometimes our health gets in the way and adds a whole new handicap to our game.

As zen as we may be, the promise of a future of miserable taxi karma sure to befall our well-heeled though inconsiderate citizen may provide momentary consolation but still won't get us get us where we need to go. What to do?

A few tips on how to beat the elements (bitches included) and still get around the city:

Keep your eyes peeled for the MTA's "new" buses -
For the able-bodied or the infirmed, the only thing worse than waiting for a bus is finally being on one and feeling the driver shift it to park, unclip his seat belt and slowly waddle to the back of the bus to start the loading of a wheelchair passenger. If it wasn't bad enough that the whole process took so damn long, pissing off literally a bus load of hurried New Yorkers, the poor wheelchairee must wait as the bus lets out a loud deflating fart before mounting from the back door. Well, cherish those memories my dear commuters because pretty soon those old buses will be a thing of the past. The new buses have a ramp that flips open from the front door in half the time with not nearly as much effort. Good for the lazy drivers, the impatient passengers and most of all, us handicapped MetroCard carriers who are really just
trying not to make such a scene.

Gypsy cabs-
Don't be thrown by the chaos on the other end of the line at dispatch. These services are safe, cheap and they always seem to have a car within minutes of wherever you are. Strangely they seem a lot less sketchy when you've called and are expecting them.
A few of my favorites:
Dial 7 - 212-777-7777
Delancey - 212-228-3301
Carmel- 212-666-6666

Call 311 -
As it turns out that non-emergency number actually serves a purpose! Thanks to a partnership between TLC and the City of New York, we invalids can call 311, request a handicap taxi and provided you can haul yourself to the curb, they'll send one of those snazzy wheelchair accessible minivan cabs to come and get you. And not to worry, the rules state that the cabbie can only turn on the meter once they've picked you up.

Worth noting:
  • This service is not affiliated with Access-A-Ride (which is a good thing), so there's no need to register far in advance
  • Plan ahead but be flexible. Passengers can call to schedule a car in advance (up to 24 hours) but also must allow for a 1 hour window of tardiness (they'll usually call to tell you if your car is running late)
  • No cheating! A disclaimer states passengers must be handicapped or else risk being fined

So go on fellow limpers, get out there!
More soon...

Monday, December 28, 2009

What to wear with a cam walker?

One Nor'easter behind us but that nasty snow/rain anime continues to taunt our 5 day forecasts. For many this is nothing more than a sweet reminder to give your locks a much needed day off from the straightening iron, don your wellies and leave the suede at home. Well, for cam walker clad invalids like myself who have suffered broken hoofs or similar ill-fated tumbles, a rainy day in the city presents more than a fashion crisis - it is nothing short of hell.

Tips for the invalid trying to keep dry:

Cover up that bootie!
Sadly the manufacturers of our glorious cam walkers didn't have the foresight to develop a bootie to keep our socks from getting soaked. I don't know about you but I've got places to be and a little rain shower is definitely not going to keep me cooped up. Don't bother calling the surgical supply stores - i already tried. You need something with a good sole that covers the whole boot. Here are your options....

  • Motorcycle boot covers. Serious bikers ride in the rain and you better believe they have rain gear to keep them going the distance. Buy a men's size and buy a size up - better safe than sorry. Sadly there aren't too many stores in the city that carry motorcycle rain gear so plan ahead and order onlineFrogg Toggs Leggs Boots get the best reviews (and are the most stylish of the lot) ">

  • Overshoes by NEO. These things were designed for Artic adventures so they were sure to keep my tootsies toasty. A men's XXL fit my medium sized cam walker. They're more expensive than the motorcycle boot covers but these do the trick and are available at serious camping stores like NYC's Tents and Trails.

  • Extra large men's galosh and lots of black duck tape. It might have to comet to this, and if it does don't forget to tape up the excess toe space. The only thing worse than looking like a gimp is looking like a clutzy gimp who has tripped over her own foot.

Two problems still remain....
1) no matter what shoe you wear on your good foot, you seem to be uneven, and 2) how can you possibly mask an Artic snow shoe?!

Thanks to Blythe Danner who recently walked a red carpet in a camwalker and clog we learned that they are a perfect match (well, at least height-wise). Sadly, clogs don't hug my narrow heels and I'm protecting my good foot at all costs (if another reason were needed please see above on reasons to avoid gimpish falls).

Several hours and $71 later i found my match on ebay....A fabulous pair of vintage Roluc black goat hair boots!

Any big black boot will have the same effect. At 30 years old and 5'9", the thought of spending money on an orthodic lift is simply obscene so I made do with a few thick insoles and a few pairs of cashmere socks.

More to come but this girl's got places to go....