Try These Apps for Glare Sensitivity

sunglasses-emoji-png-transparent-imagef.lux and Twilight are apps that allow you to adjust the brightness of your computer or cellphone screens, not only by dimming them, but by giving them a rosy glow; effectively taking the sting out of any screen by eliminating the painful bright whites that are so glaring. After installing f.lux on my computer, I’ve been able to significantly increase my computer time without increasing any of my symptoms or disturbing my sleep patterns.

That’s not all these apps are good for. f.lux and Twilight were created to dim your computer or smartphone at night to prevent the disruption of your natural circadian rhythms. f.lux, which I’m using on my computer now, can even dim it gradually with sunset so it happens naturally. I’m not certain about twilight as I haven’t tried it out, yet. What this function does is to help you return to your natural circadian rhythms, which can easily be upset by bright light, possibly aiding in better, more restorative sleep and a calmer nervous system.

You can also adjust your daytime screen to any level of softness that works for you. I use a slightly rosy glow for daytime and let it dim significantly at night, sometimes making adjustments when working on images to ensure I have full resolution. It’s easy to make adjustments or disable it temporarily.

With both the reduction in migraine inducing glare and the added benefit of working to enhance circadian rhythms rather than the usual disruption screen glare can cause, programs like these could be a big win for any spoonie who suffers from migraines, glare sensitivity, and sleep issues. Both of these apps are free. You can find Twilight here or in the app store on your android phone and f.lux offers free downloads here for your computer. Upon searching there appear to be others, as well. If one doesn’t work well for your needs, you can always try another. It definitely beats turning your brightness all the way down and wearing sunglasses!

 

 

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New Shower Chair in Town

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Not having a walk/roll in shower, I have searched long and hard for a shower chair that will accommodate a traditional shower/bath combo. I finally found it! The Spa Seat Shower Stool goes for $37.99 (-5% if you use your target credit or debit card). It will hold 265 lbs and is designed to fit even the smallest tub, unlike the bench style seats because it has a sturdy 3 legged metal design with slip resistant feet that hold it in place. It even came fully assembled.

With The Spa Seat, you can use it in an apartment or without the expensive upgrades to your bathroom. You can use it throughout your shower, as a foot stool to prop up your legs to shave, or to take short breaks during any portion of your shower. It’s compact enough, there’s room enough for you to stand while it’s in there with you. You can’t really lounge on it per se, but you can’t so much even in the backed version of the other shower chair. They just aren’t that comfortable no matter how many bells and whistles they come with. It is good and sturdy though and I feel quite comfortable scrubbing away perched on the Spa Seat.

It works really well if you have orthostatic intolerance issues, as standing in one place under a fountain of hot water is about the worst thing you can do if you have POTS, NMH or another common blood pressure or blood volume issue. Not only are these two things a problem, add in raising your arms over your head for a good shampooing and you’re just asking for disaster to strike.

The drawback? It’s not quite as stable and secure as the traditional bench seat, so it’s not going to be the right shower stool for every disabled person.  The bench style seats come in several models including a version that comes with a back and arm rests and a heavy duty version for people up to 450 lbs, providing added security for people of size and people who have stability/mobility issues. However, the bench style seat won’t fit a traditional bathtub or bath/shower combo at all.

For those who still have decent mobility and fairly good stability, this seat will work just fine. For me, since I’ve never had a shower that will accommodate the other type of chair and we rent, I’ve been stuck taking baths for the last two years almost exclusively. Some days I still won’t be able to sit up on this chair because I simply won’t have the energy it requires. When I do, it will give me the freedom to shower instead of bathe, do additional treatments on my hair I can’t do in the bath, and save me from sitting on the hard tub floor when my back or hips hurt.

My only concern with the product itself is how long it will last. While it seems to be of good quality materials and construction, it seems to me it would have been wise from an engineering standpoint to add in some crossbars for added support to ensure a long life of the product, but I guess if I have to replace it every couple of years, at $38 it won’t break the bank. Other than that, I think they’ve come up with a pretty great product and I’m happy to share it with you here on DD, as I am trying to do with all the neat stuff I find that helps make my life a little easier.

Now to find a detachable shower head to go with it!

Winners: Ease CFS Helper App

Thanks to everyone who entered to win an Ease CFS Helper App download and those who helped to get the word out!  Without further ado, here are our contest winners by twitter handle:

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@petitionSFCEM

@lissiebeachgirl

@painactivist

@Eramys

@MelaniesJourney

 

I will contact each winner via twitter direct message with a code redeemable for one free copy of the Ease CFS Helper App.

I had a lot of fun getting to know some new people, making a few friends and learning about this spiffy new app made by another #pwME. I hope the winners enjoy it and will come back to let us know what they think and how it’s benefiting their lives.

I hope you’ll all keep coming back and if anyone else has a new app, gadget or gizmo they want to feature on the Disability Depot, I’d be happy to do this again 🙂 Just shoot me a note on our contact form, direct message me on twitter @caplestrange, or come visit the @disabilitydepotblog community on FB! 🙂

 

The Sophistication of the Ease ME/CFS Helper App

zxhHi8wQAs I mentioned on the contest page, the Ease CFS Helper App was created by a person with ME/CFS, so I asked him what he felt was the best and most original feature in his app and what set it apart from the other apps already on the market. Boy am I glad I did! I was a bit blown away by the answer, which revealed a level of sophistication I really didn’t expect. It also highlights just how keenly he understands the ways and means of mitochondrial energy deficits:

A great feature of the app is being able to save locations based on the impact they have on your energy levels. For example, I spend most of my time at home or at work. The first time I am at each of these locations I save them as restful and demanding, respectively.  Once the location impacts have been saved as such the app will automatically increase my ‘spoons’ while I am at home and automatically decrease them while I am at work. The app also automatically decreases them when I am travelling in between saved locations. Even without logging anything the app is already counting my ‘spoons’ based on how I spend my day. This is great because let’s be honest it’s nice to free yourself from having to record your every move – especially on a bad day.

Having to micro-manage my energy is actually the reason I have only looked at using one of these apps and have never actually done it. It always sounded like it would take up as much of my energy to use it as the help it would provide. Knowing Ease only requires initial setup for my usual locations with their usual activities, now that sounds very doable for this cranky ME/CFS and FM pickled brain! Clearly, this app and it’s programmer get spoonie life 🙂

If you haven’t entered to win a free download of this app yet, be sure to here! There are many other wonderful, helpful features waiting to help get you back to the life you loved. You have until Friday, July 15th. Good luck!

To buy or learn more about the app, go here.

Win an Ease ME/CFS Helper App

screen322x5722Recently, I had the pleasure of getting to know a person with ME/CFS from down under with some big motivations-to help other ME/CFS sufferers find the improved health and vitality he’s been able to find for himself-using his great new app for iphone and he was gracious enough to give me five codes to raffle off here on Disability Depot (DD) so folks have a chance to try out his new app and see the great results he has seen for himself.

Enter to Win Ease FREE – CONTEST EXTENDED!

Ease is very affordable on the Apple istore and is available for iphone and ipad, but right now, you may be able to get your free copy by doing a few simple things. Simply follow @caplestrange and @easecfs, tweet the text below (you can copy and paste it) and you will be eligible to receive one of five free copies:

Enter to win @easecfs helper from @caplestrange on Disability Depot Blog and you can, too! Follow both+RT to win! #Mecfs #cfs #spoonie

Winners will be announced here Friday, July 15 Friday, July 22, 2016 and will be contacted on twitter.

What is Ease?

Ease is a simple energy pacing helper developed specifically for management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

Energy pacing is crucial to managing symptoms of ME/CFS. The Ease App is designed to help you keep track of daily activities and rest.
Ease works by allocating a certain amount of energy or ‘energy credits’ to you each day.
Any activity that you log will reduce this amount of energy.
Any rest that you log will increase this amount of energy.
Using Ease each day will help you find the right balance of rest and activity to avoid overexertion.

Features Include:

– Ability to log rest.
– Ability to create and log your own activities.
– Ability to save locations based on energy impact e.g. restful locations as opposed to demanding locations etc.
– Automatic updates to your energy credits based on time you spend at each saved location.
– Automatic background location monitoring (if available on your iOS device).
– Short and long term progress tracking.
– Ease calculations adjust depending on how you are progressing in both the short and long term.
– Day planner feature allows you to plan your day in advance by adding rest, activities and locations to a diary layout. Ease calculates and displays the energy credits you have remaining for the planned day as you go.

screen322x572Want to know how many “spoons” you really have? This is the program for you. No more guessing and spending days in bed because you got it wrong again, or didn’t take the time to really plan things out. This application takes the guess work out of it and helps combat the problems of trying to remember how it went the last time, because it’s all right there, recorded in the app for you to see.

Best part is it was made by someone who has ME/CFS and not by someone who just thinks they know what it requires to manage the energy deficits this disease creates. That’s what excites me about this program the most. Science has thus far failed us. The plus side to that is that we get to enjoy the ingenuity of creative and healthy solutions our fellow sufferers come up with out of desperation. Necessity is truly the mother of invention and our need is great. Programs like these are an opportunity to save a lot of people a great deal of suffering through their own trial and error.

Currently, there is no android version, but there are some hints that may be changing in the coming months. Once you use the program, please post some feedback or give @easecfs your feedback personally. I know he’d love to hear about your experiences and he’s an awfully nice fellow.

Learn more about how the Ease CFS Helper App works here.