Sunday, November 21, 2021


Mini-review of a small pen

Who would have imagined that a plastic "Y", designed for use by people with arthritis, would be the greatest thing since sliced bread for quadriplegics. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but hear me out. I need both hands to sign my name with a straight pen, which is quite frustrating. This pen (see below) slips over my forefinger. I can use it even though I have no grip at all. You don't need finger mobility, but you do need to be able to use your arms. I've experimented with other pens with a narrower "V" and they did not work for me. The brand I use is called PenAgain. It is possible to get an employer (I did) or other entity to pay for them.

I previously used a cuff, which wraps around my hand and is held in place with velcro. A pen or pencil slides into a long narrow pocket, such that the pen sticks out between thumb and forefinger, but perpendicular to your forefinger, or the other way, past your pinky and at right angles to it. In practice, the cuff loosens and rotates unhelpfully around your hand. It works, but not well. Also I could not hold my hand in what felt like a natural position.

The pens are not perfect. The ink cartridges don't last long, and the separate piece that covers or uncovers the pen tip breaks off easily. And they're not particularly cheap. Fifteen years ago they cost about $3.50.

No comments: