Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Cripper Arrives!
I wrote a while ago about a quad reacher called The Cripper. It was on my wish list after I saw how it worked because I needed a reacher that would fit me properly and save as much energy as possible. Living alone can involve a lot of reaching issues, especially when your arms are paralyzed. It's a real drag to risk falling out of your wheelchair or wait for someone else to come over to get some things done. So I ordered The Cripper a few weeks ago. I've tried out a lot of quad reachers, so I'll admit I was wondering if my money would be well spent or once again wasted.
Today my custom made Cripper came. I was thrilled with the speed of delivery. The first thing I noticed when I slipped it on was how well it fit (see photo of Cripper on my hand and arm above). I had to take a moment or two to figure out exactly how far to push my arm into the device, but once I had my wrist and forearm in the right place, the Cripper felt comfortable , like a new arm. And the next time I put it on, my arm went exactly into the right place without a second thought. I love that kind of ease of use.
I began right away to pick items up. Letters, envelopes, plates and coins were first. I noticed that instead of my arm getting tired, it felt supported by the Cripper. Since using it only involves a slight raise of your wrist, I was able to do much than usual without stopping to rest my arm. I also seem to be able to pick up items that are heavier without hurting my arm. I could easily reach my printer and hit the buttons with more accuracy. (See photo at right).
The paperwork that comes with it suggests practicing a bit and there were certain items I tried to pick up that took a few tries. I'm not concerned about this because I'm learning new ways to use it every time I put it on. The grippers on the end aren't the usual dull plastic I'm used to, but have edges. So when I picked up a plastic fruit cup with a clear cover on it, the Cripper not only put it on the table but opened it as well. I'm looking forward to using that feature since opening items is difficult, particularly many of those single serving snack packets that are handy to keep around, but are packaged in a way that require assistance. The Cripper also effortlessly holds slippery items such as pens. (See photo at left).
The workmanship on the Cripper is very impressive. I was relieved when I saw that, since years ago I spent at least twice as much on a quad reacher that broke easily and often. I'm a busy and active person who needs equipment that can keep up with me and prefer items that are durable and don't require frequent replacement. In fact, the Cripper comes with paperwork that assures that ordering parts at a minimal cost is possible - even if your arm changes sizes. The good thing about this reacher is that there aren't many parts, unlike other quad reachers I tried.
If you're a quadriplegic with use of your tenodesis muscle, I recommend the Cripper. The web site can be found here. A video demonstrating it is shown below.