Another great day working with a client right here in my workshop…
Dolly’s CMC it pretty much fused but the MCP joint at her thumb has gone into hyper-extension to the point of subluxation. All this fancy talk to say that her thumb is very painful and if we could stabilize it, much of the pain of joint fatigue and tendon fatigue would go away.
Together we made her a sterling silver thumb splint with an expansion bracelet to hold it into place. We also added a palmar support to stop her thumb from collapsing at the MCP. (Same splint as the picture shown)
That was yesterday, today she sent us this note…
“Thanks Derek. I am so glad I went yesterday. I cannot believe the difference 12 hours makes. My splint is amazing. What a difference. I noticed today the usual pain I have in my hand, arm, shoulder & neck is nearly gone. I stopped taking my extra pain meds & so far I don’t need them.
I enjoyed our chat. Thanks again. Have an awesome day & stay warm.
We have been building splints for over 18 years now and I still love coming to work everyday. To make something that somebody “needs” as opposed to making something that somebody “wants” is truly rewarding.
I just had a reminder last week of how time flies! A client contacted us to say that her splint had broken and was wondering if it could be fixed. After looking up the original invoice we noted that this splint was originally purchased in 1998… That’s 16 years!
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we needed lasted that long???More
I used to say that I actually see 1 client out of 10 orders that come through the fax machine or by email… but that has changed in the last year or so. We have had clients come to see us from coast to coast and when they call to make an appointment with me right at my workbench and are within a two hour drive, I usually say “you’re local!” We have had people drive up to 18 hours to make an appointment and I love the opportunity to sit with clients and fit each splint, one ring at a time to make that perfect fit while making it a little bit more personal.
This week has been a good week. Besides having six individual clients making the drive to Exeter, we have put out 14 separate orders, each ranging from one splint per order to eight custom orthopedic finger splints. Those orders came from therapists from several Provinces. Along with that, six measuring kits have been sent out to British Columbia to new therapists that have never used our splints before!
Quite often, when sitting with clients in my workshop, I hear them say that their doctor has said there is nothing that can be done about your arthritis. It bothers me… sure, one of the first things that I say or admit is that I can’t “fix” it… that being the deviations that happen to those precious finger joints, but I’m pretty sure that we can stop the progression of deviation that happens from the disease by applying continuous-passive-pressure to certain points of the finger to slow down or in some cases even stop the deviation that occurs. This is why; when I am speaking to therapists and Rheumatologists, I say it is better to be pro-active as opposed to re-active. Let’s get it at an early stage so that it does not progress to a point where it is difficult to pick up change or dig out our car keys, and doing something is better than sitting back and doing nothing!
If we are going to do something, let’s do it in a way where the splints you need do not look like splints. If you have to wear a splint every day for the rest of your life… then let’s do it in a way that preserves your dignity. Therapists love the custom splints we build because compliance is not an issue. People wear Digisplints as recommended by therapists/physicians and client love wearing the splints because they do not look like splints!