Keep Yourself Together!

A girl has to have color options!

My Mom can fix anything with tape.  Black electrical tape, masking tape, Scotch tape, duct tape.  Of course being a nurse there’s white first-aid tape.  Her taping skills and finesse know no bounds of creativity, nor limits to pride.  Her prowess is legendary.  So you can imagine the gasp which sounded through family and friends when I one-upped her in taping expertise!  Yup, that’s right — I out-taped my Mother, and even she had do concede defeat.

My properly taped kneecap ready to be encased in its colorful brace for the day.



This compression brace is incredible and keeps the now weakened knee much more stable, though I do still use a cane at the direction of my physical therapist.

When I dislocated my kneecap — in bed mind you — I immediately needed a physical therapist.  However, it had always been my experience that PT was too rough for me and I could not keep the pace they expected.  My pain would unexplainably increase and I would end up quitting.  Since being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) I’ve learned that I should use a “manual” therapist.  A specialty in physical therapy, the manual therapist works at a gentler level and slower pace, often employing message techniques, not just strictly exercises.  So I found a manual therapist, and, for the first time, I had a therapist with whom I could stick it out and receive lasting benefit.  My therapist really helped me from the very first visit.  Unfortunately, I experienced a second dislocation, also in bed.  It was at this point that my therapist  pulled out the “big guns,” so to speak.  She taught me how to keep myself together — with tape!  Yes, really; I tape myself together. And does it ever work!  I immediately felt the benefit in the easing of pain.  I am now an unabashed, non-apologetic, no-holds-barred, completely addicted, taper!

Using Kinesiology Tape, not to be confused with athletic tape, I learned how to properly tape the kneecap and thus reduce the chances of repeated injury.  The medical theory behind Kinesiology Tape is fairly complex but in short, it is thought to decrease pain by reducing muscular spasms, improving circulation, and helping to keep joint positions aligned.  By some, this is thought to simply by a placebo effect.  All I know is that it helps ME.  For my kneecap, it was a total game-changer in my physical therapy program.  

Pink Argyle – too fun! The silver ring splint provides support behind the joint where the rings come together and keep the joint from collapsing backward. Another huge help in pain management.

I have since learned how to use this medical marvel for my thumbs.  My carpo-metacarpal (CMC) joints — the very base of the thumb where it meets the wrist — are so loose that writing, painting, or other common tasks can cause them to subluxate (partially dislocate).  They can become swollen, bruised, and terribly painful from ordinary undertakings such as kitchen food prep, and washing my hair.  This was becoming especially problematic with my artwork for Illustrated Evangelism.  Something drastic had to be done.  And fast!

Enter: Kinesiology Tape!  As long as I tape my thumbs, my pain and swelling are sufficiently reduced, thereby increasing my productivity.  Next, I need to work on my right elbow which has a habit of sliding out of place, yep, you guessed it, in bed (learn here why bed is so dangerous).  YouTube actually has tutorials sponsored by KT, the brand of tape I use.  And maybe my hips … hmmm.  

I have to admit, I’m exceeding impressed and thoroughly smitten by this soft, moderately stretchy, and colorful cotton tape.    

And I’m very impressed that I taught my Mom some new tape tricks!

Driving is actually quite painful for my thumbs as is pushing a grocery cart. Because I was going out, I decided to be neutral in my color choice using barely noticeable beige.

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