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Jul. 30th, 2008 @ 12:08 pm Brake When you See the Wall
Jay Leno would get that one at a glance...

And it's Brake not break.


Things change good and bad but when things pile up on me,

I find a distraction and take a break from whatever is stressing me out.

This is Shiny my wife has RA her joints are twisting she needs a knee brace to stand up and she has them but the time it takes to put one on.

I should be thankful I have the borrowed time to spend but I must admit to being grumpy in the early morning hours woken.

Her knee has begun to bend sideways and surgery is not an option so I thought and got a few things and my welder and made her a quick release leg brace that is well padded and allows full movement of the knee in the normal direction but locks out any lateral movement. When standing the slip joint is fully inserted and provide maximum stabilization and when in a 90 like when sitting is almost fully extendedand has a tiny amount of slop built in so it becomes just a loose hold since there is less stress on the knee in that position and her feet will sit flat to the floor.

I even managed to break a sewing machine so I got a puzzle out of the deal.



1.75 Inch Travel

90 Degrees


180 or So

I tried it on and ran full tilt for a bit or even two bits worth and it just felt like having a tight Ace bandage on and I can put it on her in about 15 seconds...
About this Entry
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 30th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
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Nice! What does she think of it?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 30th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)

It Dropped her Stress a Bit

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Her joints are twisting bad from the RA and they won't do surgery because the meds for it comprimise her immune system. Her knee was starting to go sideways, this is really padded soft lightweight and works so it is saving some stress when we lift her.

I can curl her but I also have a few disks ruptured in my back from the wreck that pick the worse times to remind me of thier presence...

I made her a nightstand with a grab rail secured to the wall so now between the two she is relatively calm again getting to her feet.

Nice to meet you btw.

I'm mike.


[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 30th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)


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Hey Lady!

Best I can think of is Abbot and Costella.

You know I forget as soon as I look away I didn't recognize your icon!

Honest LOL.

Be Well.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 30th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)

Re: It Dropped her Stress a Bit

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I thought I had made a post or two on your jounal, but maybe not. But nice to meet you :) too. I'm Galadriel. (Really.) I'm in FL too, closer to Gainesville. I got to your lj account via one of your posts on instructables, have read a fair bit of your lj archive. You're an interesting person, and you have a lot of great gizmos and creations you've put together.

I can sympathize with your back. I had to have mine fused in '05 when it turned out the reason I couldn't walk without help anymore was that one of the disks had ruptured and was *gone*. I can't imagine trying to be the active one, in a relationship! You're astounding.

And you're so creative, coming up with things to make her life and your life better. I love to see the things you make :)

~ ~ ~

I had a turtle shell brace after my back surgery, which I hated. I've tried to come up with something that's more flexible but still supportive, that I can wear when my back is too fatigued to keep going on its own. So I'm *definitely* interested in braces of various kinds! Looks like this one is nothing that I could use, but still fascinating, and I do hope it serves its purpose. I can't imagine trying to help somebody up and down with a bad back; I don't think I could do it!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 30th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)

Added You

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I want to get the disk between my shoulder blades fused instead of repaired because it's in an area that gets almost no movement but I had L4 and L5 shaved a long time ago.

I made her a half vest from the leather jacket for emergencies and secured an anchor to the ceiling with a ten inch bolt through wood glued and screwed perpendicular to my trusses and got a double set of pulleys so if worse comes to worse she can slip this on and even a child could lift her to her feet.

You can put it on someone if they can just sit up a little since it only goes halfway down the back and I had points on the shoulders for carabiners but I need to tweak it a bit and I think since her spine curves anchors a few inches below the shoulders so she isn't forced to straigten up completely.

It lifts me up fine lol but this is strictly if I am so hurt one day I can't lift her and she absolutely needs to get to her feet even a very small person could help her up enough for her to grab the hand rails and that's all she needs to get up.

The muscle in her right leg separated from the tendon and she can walk some but it needs to be in a brace and she can't quite pull herself up from sitting to standing alone.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)

Re: Added You

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That lifting vest sounds NIFTY. Have you posted it anywhere? I thought I'd seen all the helpful gadgets you'd posted already, but I missed this one.

Could *she* pull herself up with the vest and those pulleys? Loop it over herself and then pull, or even just hold one side with one hand and pull with the other? (I mention this mostly because I hate it when I need help.)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)

She is very frail

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She's had both shoulders and hips and this knee replaced and can barely hold things.

RA is pretty agressive so no she couldn't do it but the vest is basically a harness that is easy to slip on someone laying down and pulleys have been around for a long time. I used to like to climb from time to time so I could pull myself up yes or you could use the vest to hoist someone up a cliff or something.

It is more for emergencies.

When I get it tweaked I'll do an instructable for it cause I was thinking it could be used with a Hoyer lift but the thing is made from a black leather jacket I cut the arms off of and cut the bottom half off, then reinforced it with the rainbow colored webbing and added chrome rings and 3 bayonet clasps so I'm a tad worried if I post a picture of it people are gonna start making riding crop jokes...

Date:July 31st, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)

what a husband...

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your mind never quits - i am sure your lady appreciates everything you do for her. me i am pleased that there are folks like you taking care of those they care about...

thanks for being mike - blessings...palestar
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)


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I was in a slump and needed a distraction.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)

Nicely done!

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My mother had RA. She was very resistant to wearing any braces because she was claustrophobic and even had to wear very loose clothing (I think that might have been a side effect of her meds). Your brace is an amazing piece of work: I'm sure orthopedists and orthotics makers will be studying and copying it!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)

I Sent it to Group

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"The Open Prosthetics Project is producing useful innovations in the field of prosthetics and giving the designs away for free. By substituting public good for profits we believe that we can generate far more societal benefit than if we commercialized and sold our ideas. This project is an open source collaboration between users, designers and funders with the goal of making our creations freely available for anyone to use and build upon.

There motto is Prosthetics shouldn't cost an arm or a leg LOL.

I'm also gonna drop off the drawings at the place she got her titanium brace from.

The guy there and his wife are doing a solo operation for now and fabricates some of his stuff and gave me a full tour and demo of epoxies and such when I took the wife there.

I like small businesses so maybe he can do something with it.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
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Fascinating thread you have created here.

I just wanted to say,



Please, for the ignorant, what is RA?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)

RA is Rheumatoid Arthritus

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It's very crippling and is effecting all her joints.

She has trouble even holding silverware and the meds for it are both unbeleavably expensive and tear up the Immune system so I try and keep her away from people with colds and such.

It makes the joints twist and swell and lock in place and they won't try surgery on her knee again but it was bowing so far sideways I worried if she slipped and broke it that way they would amputate her leg.

This thing really does work well she was up three times last night but I could put it on her, stand her up, walk her to the bathroom, put her back to bed and take it off and still keep my dream state.

Her titanium $1800 brace takes me a good five minutes just to get on her.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 31st, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)


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You are far from Ignorant...

Build your Ark.

Date:August 3rd, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)

You are so beautiful

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now that is L O V E!!!!
was so worth the wait....
sending you and the wife some love, light, and healing....
thank you.....

you know I have a bad knee too.... severed tendons... wobbles... have had surgery... 20 staples.... same same same.....
I love the touch of rainbow....
ty ty ty ty
Robin (mom g lovin' Ro)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:August 3rd, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)

The Rainbow is for my Favorite Kid

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She lives over in Texas and we don't see her often.

Work work work!

At the top step of the stairs to the guest suite I have two floor boards I saved cause the wood had a different color and were short enough I could make an equal sign for her when I put in the flooring, LOL.

I'm not sure she ever noticed but she did see I worked it into the brick columns at the head of the driveway.
Date:August 5th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)


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its a lot of hair for a woman's leg.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:August 5th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)

LOL Yes it Is!

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That's my leg I wanted to be sure it didn't bind up so I wore it an hour and ran with the thing on to test it.