Do you drop things? Knock everything over? Accidentally throw things?
Dropping things can be a feature of many neurological, muscular and joint conditions. It may result from altered sensation, weakness, loss of coordination, loss of proprioception (our sense of our bodies’ position and movement), involuntary movements, or a combination of factors.
It can be pretty frustrating – especially, when you used to have your morning routine down pat, but now there’s always something broken, or a spill to clean up.
As with many things, treating the underlying condition will help. But this is not always possible, and damage can’t always be repaired.
Realistically, if you can give yourself more time, and practice slowing down and paying attention to what you’re doing, you can learn to compensate (but yes, it is tiring practicing these new habits all the time).
- If it is a condition localised to your hands, occupational therapy and certain aides/splints may help
- Slow down
- No more multitasking – do one thing at a time and look at what you’re doing
- Declutter shelves/drawers, so that you only have your most used items to contend with when rushing in the morning
- Set things out the night before
- Non-slip rubber liners for drawers and shelves can help keep things in place, and cushion the blow if you do drop something
- Keep your hands warm, so you can feel what you’re trying to pick up
- Make sure you’re standing on an even (and not slippery) surface
- Make sure your shoes are on securely
- I am not a fan of plastic – but sometimes it is better to use the plastic container, rather than the glass container I break every week
- Ask for help if you need it
- My hands have a threshold of activity they can tolerate – if I know I’m close to the limit, or I’ve overdone it, I delegate or leave it to the next day (which is why work tasks get priority and home admin often has to wait)
- Overdoing it also goes for that coffee I dropped over the floor – too much caffeine and I get shaky, so I have to moderate my intake