Thanks to everyone who reached out after last week’s article on holiday gifts. So many of you sent in additional ideas that we wound up with enough suggestions to fill a whole ‘nother post. So here it is. We didn’t divide the list into arm/leg categories this time, but the assortment includes something for everyone. Getting right down to business:
The ideal place to start is Henry Lee Bryant’s Five Toes Down store. Santa could fill his whole sleigh at this one website. The performance gear section alone runs to 11 pages and more than 100 products. You can also shop for backpacks and duffels, bath mats, travel mugs, scarves, skirts, bracelets . . . . we’re just scratching the surface. The stated mission of this amputee-owned business is “to bring an emotional connection to individuals affected by amputation through products that help along the path of acceptance.” Happy browsing.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for a limb-different kid, Born Just Right has a terrific selection of stuff for tweens, teens, and related species. Why not a phone case for the screen-addicted youngster in your life? Also worth a look: skateboards, notebooks, hoodies, and plenty more. The proceeds support a great cause.
While we’re on that subject, if you’d like to give or receive something that supports other amputees, buy some gear from one of the nonprofit organizations in our Worthy Causes series. Most (not all) of these operations sell merchandise at their websites. For that matter, a straight donation to any of these organizations would make for a very thoughtful, impactful holiday gift.
A couple of years ago the Design Museum and the Amputee Coalition partnered on an exhibition called Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics. It’s now a beautiful, lavishly illustrated 200-page book that will be published next month, and you can pre-order a copy right here. Between now and the end of January, $5 from every purchase goes directly to the Amputee Coalition.
Angie Heuser says one of the best gifts she’s received since her left above-knee amputation is an Urban Riders kick scooter. In addition to being fun to ride, Angie tells us, the scooter is a great way to get exercise when she can’t hike or run because of fitting problems. One word to the wise: Get a model with a hand-brake. “I had a fall on my previous scooter, with no brakes . . . . not pretty,” she writes. Here’s a brief demo from Angie’s Instagram feed.
Another suggestion from Angie: a Kahuna board. Like the scooter, this wheeled conveyance combines fun and mobility with vigorous aerobic exercise, letting you burn adrenaline and build muscle without putting any stress on a sore residual limb. It’s essentially a dry-land paddleboard, which you can ride either sitting or standing. Head back to Angie’s Insta for a couple of demo pixs.
Karen Wondra Grisham (who holds the distinction of being Follower No. 1 at Amplitude’s Instagram feed) has a new line of Clipondra adaptive jewelry and accessories coming out in January. While you await the 2021 launch (and stay tuned here for updates), you can shop at the Clipondra store for gorgeous figaros, fringes, necklaces, and other pieces that are ideal for people with upper-limb difference.
Multiple folks suggested a Liner Wand membership for leg amputees. This an especially opportune time to sign up, as the company is offering discounted plans: $10 for the first month, or 10 percent off on a three-month subscription. You’ll find more details about the Liner Wand in Amplitude‘s May/June issue.
For anyone who has trouble sleeping, weighted blankets are the latest thing. They’re said to calm the autonomic nervous system and relax the body. Footless Jo tried the Degrees of Comfort blanket last year and gave it a preliminary thumbs-up. Another very highly rated product is the Gravity Blanket; it costs about twice as much as the Degrees of Comfort offering, but we’re not sure if it’s twice as good. There are about a zillion other options in this category, so just Google it to find the price/color/style that meets your needs.
Assuming we’re all able to resume traveling at some point in 2021, a collapsible shower chair could be a good gift for the lower-limb amputee on the go. Drive Medical has a compact, affordable model that will fit into most luggage (full-size, not carry-on).
Finishing off the stack:
* If you (or your limb-different loved one) like to hike backcountry trails, our June newsletter article on amputee hiking includes some tips re boots, socks, liners, and other gear.
* For those who enjoy turning the pedals, check out our bicycling hacks article for advice on one-handed steering systems, crank shorteners, adaptive pedal systems, and such like.
Here’s a link to last week’s list of holiday gift ideas. Keep an eye out for a list of new books about amputees in the next week or two.