A square peg looking uncomfortable in a round hole

It Feels Like Life Should Be Easier

Don’t tell my husband this, but I often stay in bed after he has gotten up because I know when he gets up first, he will make coffee. I love to get out of bed to a freshly brewed pot of coffee.

Sure, I could set the timer on my coffee maker but isn’t it more fun to see if I can just wait it out?

But first, coffee.

My coffee plan didn’t work out for me this morning. I was the first one up, so I came downstairs knowing that I would need to brew the coffee. Only, when I opened the coffee canister, it was empty. Our coffee is shipped to us each week, so I had to open the box that the coffee was shipped in. I managed that without the scissors.

I just pulled at the corner of the packing tape and off it came! I unfolded the top of the bag of coffee and remembered what a pain the vacuum-sealed coffee package is to open. I need those scissors, after all.

I try cutting multiple places on the bag. I hold the scissors in multiple positions. Is it my hands or is it the bag?

UGH! Finally, I open the scissors and stab the bag with the pointy end of the sharpest blade and slice through it, and finish ripping it like a bear rips a bag with his claws. Why does this have to be so hard?

My painful hands

My hands have taken the brunt of my psoriatic arthritis damage. Both hands are weak. I have a wrist fusion in my right hand and a metal rod from my forearm to my index finger. There are times when my index finger insists on remaining straight when I want it to bend.

My wrist doesn’t bend at all because of the fusion. On top of all of this, I don’t have much patience, especially when I haven’t had coffee. It is nothing short of a miracle that the dramatic coffee bag opening scene didn't result in coffee grounds all over the floor.

There are times when it feels like life isn’t designed for me. Manufacturers aren’t thinking about me when they make a new product. They don’t wonder if I will be able to open it, manage it, use it or otherwise make it work.

Well, why isn't it for me?

Truthfully, I’m not often thinking of it, either. When I was a child, my mom used to say to me, “that’s not for you.” Obviously, that was a statement based on her own insecurities. Sadly, it stayed with me and I still feel this way very often.

For example, I can’t use a retractable dog leash because I don’t have enough strength in my thumb to retract it if my dog starts running. I have always just assumed, “this isn’t a product for me.” Until now, it has never occurred to me to write to the manufacturer and ask them to consider alternative placement, such as a handgrip, for people like me.

Just because it seems that items aren’t designed for those of us who have disabilities doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t expect them to be. As a community, we need to stand up and ask for what we need.

What product changes would make your life easier?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.