Door Knob Turner For My Weak Grip

Turning a round door knob can be an impossible task for people with weak hand grip. That was how I got trapped twice in the same accessible toilet at the Penang International Airport a few years ago. Since then, I have a phobia of using toilets with such knobs affixed to the door.

Most of the doors in the house have round knobs, too. I should replace all the knobs with levers but never got around to doing it. That was why the bedroom doors were seldom closed. I was afraid I could not turn the knob to open them.

Door knob extender - door knob turner
Door knob extender for people with weak hand grip.

The other solution, short of replacing the knob, is to install adaptive devices called the door knob extender or door knob turner to the knob. These devices make it convenient for people with weak grips to turn the knob by way of a lever. They are difficult to find in Malaysia. A lot of online stores carry such items but they are rather expensive.

A few weeks ago, while I was browsing at the newly-opened Daiso at 1 Utama, I found a door knob extender for RM5 only. All items at Daiso are priced at RM5. What I like about this extender is that it is easy to attach and remove. All that is need to slot it into a knob and turn. My only gripe is that the lever is rather flimsy as it is hollow.

Door knob extender - door knob turner
Door knob turner for people with weak hand grip.

When I went to Daiso again, they had run out of that particular device but had another that was smaller. I bought one to see if I could actually use it because it looked a tad too small for a comfortable grip. After attaching it to the door, I found that it has a more solid feel to it and provided a better grip despite its size. This one is going into my wheelchair bag for those accessible public toilets that still use the round door knobs.

Overworking My Middle Finger

There is this ache deep in my left forearm that radiates from just below the elbow all the way to the middle finger. It has been bugging me for the past couple of years. It aches every time I move my forearm. Massaging has not worked.

I thought it was age-related. At my age, body aches are nothing out of the ordinary. My shoulders and right knee occasionally ache too, usually a day or two before a rainstorm. I am that accurate when it comes to predicting when rain will fall!

The discomfort is especially bad today. Although it does not restrict the already limited function of my hand, the constant aching is disconcerting. I have to stop every now and then to massage the spot although I know that will not bring any relief at all. And then realisation struck when I saw how I was handling the mouse.

Using the mouse with my left hand
Using the mouse with the left hand.

My right hand is clawed. None of the fingers have the dexterity to depress the mouse buttons. My left hand is more functional. I use it more than my right hand although I am right handed. I have been using my left hand to operate the mouse since I got a PC that ran on Windows 3.1 back in 1993.

I click the mouse buttons with the middle finger of my left hand. That finger has a limited range of movement but that is the only finger I can use on the mouse because I have most control over it. Even then, it takes a some wrist movements and a little more effort from the finger to depress the buttons. Using the scroll wheel is easier. I place my finger on the wheel and flex or extend my wrist to roll it.

After 17 years of the same movements day in and day out, I guess something has to give. I must have caused repetitive strain injury (RSI) to the flexor muscle of the left arm. Come to think of it, the constant twitching of the thumb, index and little fingers could be related to RSI also. They twitch non-stop whenever my hands are relaxed.

Perhaps I should revert to the touchpad instead. I seldom use it because I needed two hands for functions like dragging a file from one folder to another when I could accomplish that with just one hand using the mouse.

Or maybe I should rub some of my Ah Mah’s hong eu to the ache. The reasons that are holding me back are the greasiness, the stains and the odour it leaves behind on anything it comes into contact with. Otherwise, I swear by its efficacy to relieve bodily aches and pains from the effects of hong sip (rheumatism), strained muscles and minor sprains.