Enabling a good life.

What a nice day. Sure, there was lots of work getting all sorts of things off my desk, but I had pre-graduation weekend prep to take care of too...and I have adorabibble Alex Cassetti home. I am such a fortunate girl! I got the stuff done and out.

Saw the Physical Therapist to the Stars, a one, Mr. Jim Cunningham who I love and adore. He is a delight, kind and truly puts this body up on the jacks and whales on this stiff, swollen ankle. Though sometimes  being in the presence of Mr. Cunningham is not much of a party, chatting it up about his world of iron men competitions, 50 mile bike rides, and what it is to truly be a master in the PT world makes up for any ouches or oohs. We are working on stepping over my bright orange cane (I am pretending I am jumping over the broom as in a marriage ceremony and it makes it a bit more festive), on lateral movement with a band, and some stretching. After my 40 minutes with the Physical Therapist to the Stars, I am feeling a bit run over, and frankly, around 9 p.m. it is hard to function though I must admit, sleep never fails me (which is a huge gift).

 Nabee Socks

Nabee Socks

Jim approves of the compression sock torture I am doing. And he approves of my new shoes (I needed more of a solid platform with a bit more support--Merrills--matte black clog type things). As an aside, look at these cute compression socks from Nabee>>. They are the best so far. The days of the granny socks are almost over (though Jim tells me that the black diamond pattern is better than the flesh colored ones...no duh...but we have to do better than that!) I really feel there is a huge opportunity for those who need "aids" like canes, compression socks, crutches, wheelchairs and the like to create good looking things so being enabled is more than just having tools to live the best life you can-- but enabling to live the best life you can and do it in a way that is fun, functional and stylish. Why is being enabled such a functional thing? For those in need of help, they are the ones that most need a spiritual lift, a happy factor in those tools to make them not just enabled, but cool...not pathetic "poor thing" but "hey, way to go!". This is an opportunity to allow all of us who have been given time to live our lives happily, do do it in the most enriched way possible. And why does making something stylish need to cost a zillion more dollars? If IKEA can bring good design affordably into every house in the freaking WORLD... what is the IKEA for these types of tools, these types of choices? I am seeking them out. If anything, its a list with links. But there should be something/ some entity that takes this all seriously. Living life fully is a serious matter.

Here are some resources:

Canes: OMHU canes.
"Omhu is a design concern that makes premium medical equipment and accessories. Danish for “with great care,” Omhu was founded on the belief that life is imperfect and beautiful. Creative Director and President, Rie Nørregaard began work on OMHU in 2009 with its now signature cane. Yet Omhu began by virtue of necessity. When Rie’s family faced the need to outfit the rapidly changing lives of four aging parents, she eagerly took on the task of finding the best-designed aids for daily living. She found she had ventured into a sea of grey; found nothing bearing even the minimum evidence of acceptable design acumen. As the mother of two small children, Rie had seen the proliferation of diversifying baby products and accessories: products that explored different brand identities, price points, and design principles. The abundance in baby gear juxtaposed against the dearth of well designed mobility aids for anyone past infancy felt especially stark. It was obvious to the trained designer what needed to be done. Having worked for years at companies like Smart Design and Frog Design—working at the former in a small pioneering team that designed and launched OXO kitchen tools — Rie understood superior performance and vibrant design were not mutually exclusive. She then teamed with Susy Korb and Susan Towers—two experienced luxury marketing strategists — to take on the curious task of outfitting the differently abled. Omhu has become a movement on top of being a business, with an attitude toward design as well as the circumstances of life. Because with great care, life may be imperfect, and also beautiful."

I believe that OMHU has a relationship with SABI with their canes being marketed at the SabiRoam>> Sabi has Yves Behar / fuse project working on pillboxes, pill management and storage for them. I think there is something here..but feels a bit TBD, and not fleshed out enough to match my fantasy of the IKEA for enabling.

 Quickstep Crutches

Quickstep Crutches

Then there is this amazing company I stumbled over while trying to figure out a cool crutch should I have needed it post wheelchair: Thomas Fetterman , a trained product designer who had to use crutches since his childhood due to contracting polio. The dude knows what he is doing. He has crutches with customized tips that can take you from walking on the beach, to ice, to rain. He has focused on materials to really make using a crutch not such a jarring, harsh experience, but a honed tool, designed for each environment--again, enabling life to continue in the tullest way. Plus, he has cool crutches from all over the world that can fill all the needs that life throws you.

I found Fetterman because I had found these Quickstep folding crutches in Europe and wanted to see if they had them here. Of course, the expert has them at Fettermans.

Wheelchairs, I have yet to pursue. But the idea of a wheelchair in it's updated form still relies on the form /factor of the wheelchairs one sees in images from the Civil War and earlier. Now that we have new materials, micro and nano technology, computers, ports, USBs etc. why shouldn't the wheelchair become more than wheels to move you from location to location. Why shouldn't it be able to move up and down as well as horizontally? Why shouldn't it be able to climb stairs, and negotiate odd terrain? Why shouldn't it be able to be connected with Google Earth? or MapQuest and take you from here to there without steering? Why shouldn't there be better storage/hauling? And the list goes on.

Time does not. Need to wink out for now. To quote our yute (the way they say "Youth" in NYC), "peace out".