In a message dated 4/1/2004 6:48:25 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
You mention many times on your website to pick a dominant hand
and go with it for signing one handed things. I have arthritis
in my dominant hand and some days have to fingerspell with the
other- is it better to retrain that hand to spell more
efficiently or switch to it only on bad days?
1. Do both. Retrain your hand to spell more efficiently, and only switch to it on bad days. :) It is up to you. Not a big deal either way.
I recommend though that you don't switch back and forth during the same conversation because that would become a
distraction. But if it is a matter of switching back and forth or not communicating, then by all means
communicate in whatever fashion works for you.
2. The real issue here is your arthritis. Are you aggressively
fighting your arthritis? Ask yourself:
- Have you read at least 10 books on the topic?
- Have you invested in a paraffin wax bath for your hands?
- Do you stretch your hands in careful but deliberate ways that
extend the muscles and ligaments?
- Do you take a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral?
- Are you taking glucosamine.
- Are you taking fish oil capsules and/or flax seed oil? (
Provides eicosapentaenoic acid)
- Are you working up a sweat at least three times a week? I mean
breathing hard and actually breaking into a mild sweat?
If you aren't doing the above then you should seriously consider
You don't need to spend an arm and a leg on this stuff either.
Go to a dollar store and look for glucosamine in the "health
section." Also look for huge paraffin candles that you can melt
down for a wax bath for your hands (study up on this so you
don't burn your hands). Buy fish oil capsules at your grocery
store, Sam's Club, or Costco (ask for a one day "pass") in the
biggest bottle you can and store it in the fridge so you get the
lowest cost per pill.
I know you didn't write me for health advice, but the REAL
answer to your problem is to solve your arthritis issue. Note: My doctorate is in Education, NOT in medicine, so,
if I had a lawyer I'm sure he'd tell me to tell you that you'd best
check with your medical doctor before starting any exercise
program, immersing your hands into wax, or taking any supplement that might conflict with
p.s. Doing ASL is generally considered therapeutic for arthritis because it promotes circulation and
movement. You might want to check into the possibility of having your doctor "prescribe" your ASL
classes--thus enabling you to deduct the cost of your classes, books, and travel as medical expenses. Ask
your "tax advisor" about this.