Home Archives 2009 March

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Spring is springing and it’s time to go play in the dirt, right? Not so fast, Marge. Gardening and lawn work will help you find muscles you didn’t know you had if you’re not physically ready for it. Especially if your winter routine didn’t include a lot of bending, reaching and kneeling.

Reduce the risk of injuries, skip the low-back pain and soreness, increase blood flow, improve balance and relieve tension with some quick pre- and post-gardening stretches. The following routine only takes 2 minutes for the warm up and you can use the same stretches afterwards for your cool-down.

1. Neck. Stretch your neck by slowly moving your head from side to side, laying your head first toward one shoulder and then the other. Repeat a couple of times. Now move it front and back with your chin on your chest and then tipped back. Hold for a few seconds.

2. Back and Shoulders. Bend forward at the waist and let your hands hang toward your toes. Roll your shoulders back and around, as if you are shrugging. This elongates your spine and loosens your back. Stand up slowly and place your palms on the back of your pelvis and lean back from the waist. Drop your head back and hold it for a few seconds.

3. Trunk. Reach one arm across your chest. Twist that same direction. While you’re doing that, reach the other arm behind your back. Do this 3 or 4 times, switching arm positions. This works the trunk and opens the spine.

4. Upper torso. Hold your arms straight out at shoulder height. Make fists. Pull your arms back as if you were trying to touch your elbows in the back. Tighten your fists and then push your hands in front again. Roll your shoulders forward to stretch your upper back. Open your hands with your wrists flexing up and spread your fingers as you push forward. Do this several times.

5. Ankles & Lower Body. Lift your knee as high as you can and point your toes toward the ground as far as you can. Then extend your leg forward, with your leg straigh and flex your ankle up, with your toes facing the sky. This will loosen most of your leg.

6. Knees. I like to add a few deep squats and lunges just to get my knees extra warm. Use a rake or chair for balance. While I’m lunging I stretch and flex my fingers. This helps grip strength.

Continue your warm-up in the garden by starting slow. While you work, be mindful and thoughtful about how your body is positioned. Try not to twist a lot or stay in one position too long. Stand up at least every 10 minutes if you’re bent over or on your knees. Make sure you’re using ergonomic garden tools. Read Gardening Made Easy to see what I mean.

Save the heavy lifting for later – say, a half-hour into it. Make sure you’re good and warmed up before you start moving pots and bags of soil.

Drink plenty of water! Set a kitchen timer if you need to be reminded. Every 20 minutes take 5 big gulps.

A good cool-down is even more important than a good warm up. After gardening, don’t just sit down. Take 10 minutes or so and really stretch to keep that lactic acid from building up and making you sore later. Use the stretches above as a guide, but do them slower and longer.

Do you have a tip or a favorite stretch? Please share it!

I love digging in the dirt, planting seeds and relishing the fruits of my labor just as much as the next gal, but nothing crumps me up faster than a few hours in the garden. My friend and co-worker Melissa swears that her mom’s knee replacements were directly related to her years of gardening. I believe it. Kneeling and stretching and bending, oh my!

I tell ya, these products are worth their weight in gold whether you’re a professional greenthumb or a weekend warrior. They’re especially awesome if you want to keep gardening, but your arthritis or other pain is stopping you.

Gardener’s Easy-Up Kneeler & Seat – My absolute favorite! Use the side handles to ease yourself up and down on the padded cushion and then flip over the whole thing and use it as a seat. Great for indoors too – you can kneel on it while giving the kids a bath or cleaning baseboards. Makes a GREAT gift. Mother’s Day is coming up!

Easi-Grip Add-On Handles– Pack of 2 – Convert your in-line garden tools into an ergonomic grip that will keep your hand and wrist at a natural angle. Reduce twisting, wrist strain, callouses, arm strain and back pain. They can even improve your grip on the rake, hoe, vacuum, golf trolley and other sports equipment. Eureka!

Long Reach Gardening Tools – Stainless steel, high quality. Get all 5 as a discounted set, or order the culitvator, fork, trowel, hoe or arm support cuff separately. The long handles let you reach further to the ground or further into the flower bed without bending. You can even sit down and garden! The ‘soft-feel’ ergonomic handle keeps your hand and wrist in a natural position. Lightweight. Non-slip grip. Mighty hip, Skip!

Easi-Grip Gardening Set – These are like the long-handled ones above but they’re short. Same great ‘soft feel’ non-slip ergonomic handle and high quality stainless steel. These tools will keep your wrist and hand in a stress-free position to avoid wrist strain and palm callouses. Tools are also sold separately.

Bionic Gardening Gloves – What am I, Jamie Austin? Okay, really, these things are neat and they’re top-grade, machine washable leather. Really, though, what makes them ‘bionic’ is the strategic padding and the fit of the glove. They keep your hands clean AND improve grip strength, reduce hand fatigue, and keep callouses at bay. Oh, and they make you look COOOL! If you want to weed all day, try the Extended Wear Bionic Gardening Gloves. Then you can come to my house and weed some more. ūüôā

See All Gardening Gear.

So you see, with a little help you can garden at any age, with just about any disability. Get out there! But first, read this – Ready. . . Stretch . . . Garden!

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A few years ago I started waking up in the middle of the night with a numb thumb and index finger.¬† I thought I’d slept on my hand or something.¬† A few days later, I started feeling pain in my fingers during the day and my wrist ached most of the time.¬†¬† We sell a lot of wrist wraps for carpal tunnel so I knew a little bit about it, but I wasn’t 100% sure that was what it was.¬† ¬†I did some research and what confirmed it was the fact that my little finger was never numb when I woke up, but my thumb and two of my fingers were.¬† That’s one of the characteristics of the symptoms, because the nerve that is pinched doesn’t extend into your pinkie finger.¬†¬† Luckily the pain went away completely when I wore a specially designed wrist support¬†for a few¬†nights,¬†and for a couple days while I was typing.¬† Now I just wear it when I start¬†getting achy wrists, but it is very rare.

Where is the Carpal Tunnel?

According to the Mayo Clinic,¬†“Bound by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway – about as big around as your thumb – on the palm side of your wrist.¬† It protects a main nerve (the¬†Median Nerve)¬†to your hand and nine tendons that bend your fingers.”¬†

Pressure placed on the median nerve produces the numbness, pain and eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Anything that reduces the space for the median nerve, within the carpal tunnel, can cause pressure on the nerve.  While some research shows that carpal tunnel syndrome can result from repetitive use of the tendons in the hand, other possible causes range from rheumatoid arthritis to hormonal disorders (diabetes, thyroid, menopause), wrist injuries and fluid retention.  Or perhaps your carpal tunnel is just narrower than average.

Repetitive computer use is¬†commonly assumed to cause¬†CTS, but according to Mayo Clinic the scientific evidence for this association isn’t definitive.¬†¬†However, you may be at a higher risk for carpal tunnel if your work or hobbies involve a combination of awkward, repetitive wrist or finger motions, forceful pinching or gripping and working with vibrating tools.¬†¬†

Symptoms and Diagnosis of CTS

Your doctor can do a series of tests to determine whether you have CTS, but one diagnostic key is that the median nerve doesn’t reach the little finger, so if you wake up and your fingers are tingling and numb, but your pinkie isn’t, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome.¬† Another clue is¬†‘when’ you experience the symptoms.¬† Typically you¬†might feel¬†weakness, tingling or numbing¬†while holding a phone or a newspaper, gripping a steering wheel or waking up during the night.¬† Mine starts with a general ache in my wrist.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

The good news is that most people can be effectively treated for CTS non-surgically with wrist splinting, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids (cortisone injections).¬†¬† The wrist supports/splints/gloves designed for carpal tunnel relief prevent flexion of the wrist and holds it in a neutral position so you can’t squish the median nerve.¬† Our most popular wrist splint is the Smart Glove¬†but there are many on the site to choose from.¬† We also have an area on the site where you can “Shop by Condition” for a variety of ¬†Carpal Tunnel Products¬†including wrist supports, hammers, tools and daily living aids.

If you can’t get relief non-surgically and you have¬†symptoms for more than 6 months, your doctor may recommend surgery to cut the ligament pressing on the nerve.¬† From what I’ve seen and heard, this is not where you want to end up and I would have plenty of second opinions first.

If you have the symptoms of CTS, I suggest you get started on a conservative treatment right away.  Stop sleeping on your hands and wear a wrist splint at night.  If the pain persists, see your doc. 

Want to set up a healthy computing area?¬† Read “Top 10 Healthy Computing Products” for ideas.

I think I finally have my computing area set up so I can avoid the worst of the computer-related injuries even though I spend most of my life in front of a computer.¬†¬†It’s all about the right chair, the perfect desk height, a curvy ergonomic keboard, a cushy wrist rest, etc.¬†

Here are a few of my favorite ergonomic computing products that will help you ease (or avoid) carpal tunnel pain, neck stiffness, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, eye strain and more.


1.¬† Wrist Cushion for Mouse – Anything with ergoBeads in it¬†is good (just like anything with cream cheese in it is good).¬† Another one I like is the¬†Non-Skid Mouse Pad¬†because its..um… non-skid and it has ergo beads.¬† Either way, your wrist is completely supported – cool and comfortable all day.¬† If you need a smaller mouse cushion, check out¬†our snazzy,¬†colorful¬†Le Petit Cushion – ooh la la.


2.¬†¬† Non-Skid Wrist Cushion for Keyboard –¬†Conforms to¬†any keyboard and raises your wrists to the proper height to unblock your carpal tunnel.¬† Bonus:¬†ergoBeads give you an all-day massage at no extra charge.


3.¬† Large Print KeyboardHaving problems seeing your keyboard?¬† Here’s your solution.¬† It is rated 20/300 on the Snellen Visual Acuity Scale with most others rated at only 20/70.¬† Whatever that means, I’ll bet you’ll see better with this one.¬† There’s also a Wireless Large Print Keyboard.


4.¬†¬†Smart Glove – ¬†Reversible to fit both left and right hands, this patented¬†wrist wrap¬†helps prevent and relieve wrist pain.¬† It was developed by an orthopedic hand surgeon for his patients.¬† Handy!¬† It’s flexible, moldable and breathable. I also like this inexpensive lightweight Computer Glove with ergoBeads.¬† It’s¬†great for gaming or any kind of repetitive motion that can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

4.¬† Ergo FootRests – Choose from two heights (go shorter¬†if you’re shorter – ¬†5’4″ or under).¬† Once you try it you’ll never go back to flat feet on the floor.¬†¬†Fast relief for you¬†lower back and thigh muscles.¬†


5.¬† Roho LTV All Purpose Seat Cushion – There will be no more sore butt with this customizable cushion. ¬†Use it in the office, the car, on the tractor, in the bleachers or anywhere you cop a squat.¬† If you’ve never had a Roho, you’re in for a treat.¬† Weighs 1 pound.


6.    FitBALL Chair РCombines a 55 cm FitBALL with a rolling base.  Strengthen your core and improve your posture while working at your desk!  Neato.  I use mine while jamming on Guitar Hero.  The height and back rest are adjustable and it includes an air pump.  See All FitBall Products.


7.  3M Professional Anti-Glare Monitor Filter РReduces glare by 95% and blocks 99.9% of radiation.  Comes in three sizes.  No more squinting.


8.  Monitor Stand РMonitor a pain in the neck?  Maybe you need to raise it up a few inches.  It should be at eye level.  Is it?


9.¬† ¬†Table Top Lamp – Daver can’t shut up about this lamp.¬† He’s in my office right now and I’m saying “shut up about that lamp!” but he won’t.¬† He loves it that much.¬† If our Director of Product Management, Daver Williams loves something that much, you can be sure you should own it.¬† He says the light is PERFECT for working in the office in daylight.¬† Whatever, Daver.¬† Let’s all buy one and see if he’s right. ‘k?


10.¬† ¬† Electric Foot Warmer Mat – I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t like to have warm tootsies while you’re working?¬† It’s got to be more healthy than having cold, wet feet.¬† The warming mat fits snuggly under your desk.¬† Waterproof.

¬†Pick up one of each and you’ll be covered.

Thanks for your business.¬† We wouldn’t mind a bit if you would refer us to your friends.¬†


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My parents¬†used to tell great grandma to “stay out of the sugar!” whenever we left her house.¬† I wasn’t sure why¬†they said it, but¬†everyone got a kick out of it.¬†¬†Great-grandma, I came to find out had ‘the sugar diabetes’ (pronounced dia-BEE-tuzz by my family) so she wasn’t allowed to eat a lot of sugar (horrors).¬† Anyhoo, years passed before I understood why.¬†¬†It’s pretty confusing so I thought I’d do you a quick little lesson, in layman’s terms, on what diabetes is, and what the different types mean.

What is diabetes?

When you eat carbohydrates (mainly sugars and starches), your body digests the food and the glucose (sugar)  is sucked from your small intestine into your bloodstream.  The glucose goes into your bloodstream so it can be delivered to cells throughout your body.  The cells then convert the glucose to energy and you get to live a little longer.   

When the glucose enters your bloodstream, your blood sugar (aka blood glucose) levels rise, triggering the production and release of a hormone called insulin.  Insulin is made by beta cells scattered throughout your pancreas and, among other things, it tightly controls the level of sugar in your blood stream at any given time.  It does this by telling your muscle and fat cells to pull the glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells, out of the bloodstream. 

It stands to reason, then, that if your body is unable to produce¬†insulin, or can’t produce enough insulin, or can’t properly use the insulin, then you will have too much sugar in your blood and that’s a bad thing.¬†¬† When you have¬†elevated levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood¬†you are said to have hyperglycemia or you are “hyperglycemic” (low blood sugar is hypoglycemia).¬†¬†¬†If¬†the sugar in your blood tests out at consistently high or above average levels, then you¬†are diagnosed with a¬†certain type of¬†diabetes.¬† Diabetes is a chronic disease meaning that once diagnosed it lasts a lifetime, although it can¬†be controlled.¬†

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

You have type 1 diabetes (aka insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes) when your pancreas cannot produce insulin at all.¬† This happens when your body’s immune system malfunctions and mistakenly manufactures¬†antibodies (proteins in the blood that are part of the immune system) that attack the beta cells in its own pancreas, rendering it incapable of producing insulin.¬† Any time your immune system attacks your own body tissues it is called an autoimmune disease.¬† That’s what type 1 diabetes is.¬† This tendency to produce abnormal antibodies is beleved to be, in part, genetic, although it is not fully understood.

Type 1 diabetes is the least common, and it is found primarily in young, lean people under the age of 30.  Screening for certain types of antibodies is encouraged for individuals who have a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes. 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Of the people who have diabetes, 90% have type 2 and it occurs later in life.¬† It is sometimes called non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes and it is characterized by the fact that you can still produce insulin.¬† The problem is, you don’t produce enough, or your body doesn’t correctly use the insulin it produces.¬†¬† Your body’s cells¬†may be insulin resistant.¬† ¬†This is the primary problem in type 2 diabetes.¬† Insulin resistance is when your cells don’t respond normally to a given amount of insulin, meaning that higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects.¬† In type 2 diabetes, there is also a steady decline of beta cells (they produce the insulin in the pancreas), which causes less insulin to be produced, thus contributing to worsening glucose control.¬†

How Insulin Resistance Leads to Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance precedes type 2 diabetes, sometimes by years.  In fact, your blood glucose and insulin levels may be normal for years and then, bam! you become insulin resistant.  At this point, you will often see an association of high insulin levels, abdominal obesity, cholesterol issues and/or high blood pressure.  When you have all these issues, you have metabolic syndrome.  Insulin resistance has a strong genetic factor and can also be caused by some medications, but it is often seen in people who have metabolic syndrome, are obese, pregnant, severely ill, stressed or using steroids. 

Here’s how it works:¬† One of insulin’s jobs is to tell your muscle and fat cells to¬†pull glucose from your blood so it can be used by the cell.¬†¬†This is one way that insulin “controls” your blood sugar levels.¬† Insulin basically attaches itself to the surface of the fat and muscle cells, knocks on the cell’s door and says¬†“okee dokee, open up”.¬† The cells hear the knock and says “come on in you beautiful sugar baby” (it lets the glucose in,¬†thereby removing it from the blood stream).¬† Then the cell uses the glucose to provide energy to the body.¬† With insulin resistance, the muscles don’t even hear the knock and so the pancreas is notified to make more insulin, which increases the levels of insulin in the blood that causes a louder knock.¬† The resistance continues over time and as long as the pancreas can create enough insulin to open the cells doors, then you’re okay.¬† Once the pancreas can no longer keep up, the blood glucose levels begin to rise – at first only after meals when your glucose levels are highest but eventually when you’re fasting too.¬† At this point, you have type 2 diabetes.

How can you tell if you have diabetes?

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Diabetes is a very serious disease and any diabetes-like symptoms need immediate professional medical advice for diagnosis and treatment.¬† It is ultimately diagnosed by testing the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood after fasting overnight¬†for at least 8 hours.¬† It is easily determined with a single draw of blood which is analyzed by a lab, or it can be done in your doctor’s office using a glucose meter.¬†

Normal fasting blood glucose levels are less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).  Fasting blood glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dl on two or more tests on different days indicates diabetes.  A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher, taken randomly at any time of day, also indicates diabetes. 

A fasting blood glucose level that stays above 100, but below 126 is known as impaired fasting glucose (IFG).  While these patients do not have the diagnosis of diabetes, it is important that it be addressed so that diabetes may be delayed or prevented.

The American Diabetes Assocation’s How to Tell if You Have Pre-Diabetes can give you more information and also can link you to a test to help you determine if you are at increased risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Diabetes Symptoms:

Symptoms noticed by patients at the onset of diabetes range from no symptoms at all to extreme thirst, extreme fatigue, frequent urination, rapid weight loss, difficulty losing weight (common in the pre-diabetic stage), eye pain or blurry vision,  foot pain, dry mouth, dry skin, sweaty spells, weakness, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, bladder infections, tingling in the legs, gum disease,  vomiting/upset stomach, extreme hunger, headaches and dizziness. 

So you see, it can get quite difficult to diagnose this on your own. 

Unless you are familiar with how diabetes works, you may want to read What is Diabetes and the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2? to help you digest the follwing information. 

An explanation of the most common symptoms:

High amounts of glucose in the urine causes¬†frequent urination, which leads to dehydration.¬† Dehydration causes excessive thirst, so you drink more water, which adds to the frequency of urination…and so around it goes.

Insulin resistance, which often leads to diabetes, promotes fat storage because glucose cannot properly enter the cells to be used as energy.  The body keeps producing more insulin to try to get those cells to open up and since insulin is a hormone that likes to store fat, this can lead to weight gain, which leads to obesity, which worsens insulin resistance, which accelerates the development of Pre-Diabetes, which, left unchecked can lead to type 2 diabetes.  On the other hand, obesity can be what initiates the insulin resistance in the first place.  Another chicken/egg situation.  This diabetes is tricky stuff.

Diabetics experience weight loss, despite their increased appetite, when the body is no longer producing any, or not enough, insulin.  This lack of insulin keeps the sugar in your blood instead of letting it into the cells where it can be converted to energy.  If your blood sugar is very high, you urinate a lot and that causes weight loss, plus a muscle breakdown can occur, causing unhealthy weight loss.  Many patients find out they have diabetes when they have experienced unexplained weight loss.

Some untreated diabetes patients complain of nausea and vomiting.  The nausea and vomiting could be because of a condition called gastroparesis, which is caused by high blood sugars that can, over time, damage the vagus nerve which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract.  When this nerve is damaged, food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract.  Nerve damage also leads to problems of the feet.

If fatigue is paired with any of the other classic diabetes symptoms, you need to schedule a diabetes screening test.¬† The reason diabetics experience fatigue is because their glucose is just floating around in their system instead of being¬† converted to energy.¬† Without enough insulin, the cells don’t allow the glucose in, so you feel drained all the time.¬† This fatigue can only be alleviated by returning the blood sugar to its normal levels.

Diabetics are prone to all kinds of infections, but women with diabetes, in particular, often notice frequent urinary tract infections.  According to an article on DiabetesInControl.com, women with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have bacteria in their bladdres than women without diabetes (not true for men).  Poor circulation in diabetics reduces the ability of infection-fighting white blood cells to get where they need to go.  When they get there, they are less likely to ingest the offending bacteria and kill them than normal white blood cells.  Many people with diabetes also have bladder dysfunctions that contract poorly, allowing urine to remain in static pools where bacteria can grow. 

Diabetics also have more skin¬†problems and other infections¬†that often lead to a diagnosis.¬† There are too many to list but if you’d like to read more, see the¬†American Diabetes Assocation’s “Skin Complications” sections.¬†

And last but not least, an early symptom of eye problems relating to diabetes is blurred vision.  High blood sugar changes the shape and flexibility of the lens of the eye, distorting the ability to focus which causes blurred vision.  Other symptoms include double vision, cloudy vision, floating spots and curtain-like shadows in the eye. 

If you have any of these concerns, please see your doctor and get a simple blood test. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to some really hairy complications including high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart failure, blindness, kidney failure, coma, nerve damage and amputation.  Not to mention death.

The good news is, if diabetes is caught in its early stages, and it is still considered mild, your doctor may start treatment by having you drop excess body fat, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol through diet and exercise.  If your diabetes is more complicated, or at a more advanced stage, you will be treated with oral medications or insulin injections.

From what I can tell by the repeat sales of our blood glucose testing supplies, people pretty much stick to the same meters and test strips, time after time.¬† Hey, whatever works, right?¬† So¬†I won’t bore you with a listing of those, (but you should still check out our low, low¬†prices).¬†¬† Instead, I’ll turn you on to some super buys on products you might have missed in the 267 diabetic products at AllegroMedical.com.


Boost Glucose Control (formerly Boost Diabetic) – This is our most popular diabetic product, it’s selling for 32% below list price, it will help manage your glucose levels, it’s ready to drink,¬†made by Nestle¬†and has an average customer rating of 5 out of 5 stars.¬† May I take your order?


Comfy Feet Diabetic Crew Socks (pk. of 3) – Where else can you get 3 pairs of socks for 7 bucks?¬† Besides these are the most comfortable socks you may ever wear, diabetic or otherwise.¬† They’re such a good deal you can get one of every color.


AccelWell Travel Pouch РKeep your insulin cool and safe for up to 13 hours in 100 degree heat, plus keep all your supplies organized for travel. $14.95 but with mixed reviews.  You might opt for the $19.95 Micro-Cooler instead.  See all Accessories.


OneTouch Logbook – Use this little book to see how your meals and exercise impact your blood glucose over time.¬†¬†Stock up, they’re¬†$1.95!


¬†¬† TriDERMA Intense Fast Healing Cream – I’m torn on this one because one customer says she wouldn’t recommend it to her worst enemy, but Harry from Milwaukee says that it works better than anything he’s ever used to heal foot and leg sores.¬† Hey, the name says it’s intense!¬† You decide… for $13.95 it might be worth a try.¬† Or, check out the rest of our Skin Care Creams & Moisturizers.


Transportable Sharps Needle Disposal Container Р2 gallon РFor $7.95 you can use this container for months.  See more Sharps/Needle Disposal products.


Aetrex Worldwide Shoes & Sandals РReally neat ones, made for sensitive feet.  49 styles to choose from in regular, wide and extra-wide sizes Рat the lowest prices on the web.  Aetrex shoes are very popular and a great find for hard-to-fit feet.  Highly recommended!

See more bargains in Test Strips, Control Solution, Diabetic Nutrition, Insulin Products, Lancets, Meters & Test Kits and Needles & Syringes.

If you’re buying your consumable diabetic supplies from Allegro, save both time and money and have them automatically sent to you on a convenient time schedule?¬† See the Allegro Auto-ReOrder Program.¬† It’s a piece of cake – sugar free, of course.¬†

If you’re not buying your supplies from Allegro…shame on you.¬† No seriously, if you’re not, PLEASE leave a comment below, tell me why and I’ll see what I can do about it.

Smoooch.  -v

Allegro is celebrating ‘Patient Safety Week’, the week of March 9th, with an eye towards safety products for everyone, including patients. Besides making your life easier, many of these simple products will help avoid slip-n-falls, accidents and household injuries or even death.

Caregivers, we know that you’re exhausted most of the time and your job is difficult no matter what the situation.¬† Here are some products that will relieve some of the stress, improve the independence of your patient, resident or loved one and make everyone’s environment safer.

Gait & Transfer Belts – A gait belt is a safety device that¬†goes around someone’s waist and aids the caregiver in moving the person¬†from one place to another, like from a chair to the bed.¬† It can also be used to help hold a weak person up while they walk.¬†¬†The belt, when used right, reduces strain on the caregivers back and keeps the patient from falling over.¬† How do you use a gait belt?¬†¬†The belt goes outside the person’s clothing with the buckle in front.¬† Thread the belt through the buckle and lock it in place.¬† Make sure it fits snuggly, but with room for your fingers under it.¬† Always bend your knees and keep your back straight when helping to lift or move someone.¬† Don’t twist.¬† Lift with your arms and legs, not your back.¬†


Transfer Devices РThese safety boards and discs come in all shapes, forms and price ranges.  Essentially, a transfer device helps someone slide from one place to another or, pivot to one position or another.  They are great for transfering someone from a chair to the tub or commode, or in and out of bed, or in and out of the car, etc.  There are also Patient Turners and Boosters to painlessly and easily move them in bed.


Post-Surgery РRecover safely and comfortably with products designed to accomodate your special needs.  We also have safety products for bedridden and post- knee replacement and hip replacement surgeries.


Bathroom Assists – I can’t¬†guess how many¬†injuries and fatalities could be avoided if the bathrooms had been equipped with a few simple products! ¬†¬†Choose from a variety of¬†shower chairs & bath¬†benches, toilet safety frames, bath mats and grab bars¬†to get your bathroom up to snuff in one fell swoop.¬† Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered where to find those non-slip strips to stick on¬†the bottom of your bathtub, they are called bath safety treads.


Mobility Items – If they can walk, but they’re weak or unstable you may consider a¬†cane, rollator, standard walker or wheeled walker.¬† For knee¬†surgeries¬†and other special situations, check out our selection of specialty walkers and pediatric walkers.


Transport Wheelchairs – an easy and safe way to get from here to there, especially during travel and outings.


Syringe Disposal РGet all of your Sharps containers at Allegro for safe containment, transport and disposal of needles, lancets & syringes.


Bed Rails РNo more worry about falling out of bed!  Great for kids or the elderly.


¬† Child Safety – Let us help you keep your kids safe in the home, car and when you’re out and about.¬† We have unique¬†safety gizmos ¬†that even you parents-of-the-year probably haven’t imagined.

Personal Protection – For everyone’s sake, keep the germs and other critters at bay.¬†

See more safety and general care products in our Patient Care, Personal Care, Daily Living Aids, Children/Pediatric and Maternity Care categories.

Take care!  -v

Monday March 2nd kicked off the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS Awareness Week.¬† The Society is asking for your support and involvement to help move toward a world free of MS.¬† Their website offers many ways to contribute your time, skills, funds or ideas to benefit those with MS.

Are you ready to move it?  Find out how at the National MS Society Website.  Thanks for your help.  Spread the word!

Related Resources:

*  Living with MS?  Thousands of Americans living with Multiple Sclerosis shop at Allegro Medical to find products to make their lives easier.  View all MS Products.

*¬† Don’t take your ability to MOVE IT for granted.¬† Read Hey, you…yeah you…MOVE IT to start moving like a kid again.

I don’t want to sound all drill sergeanty, but there are a lot of you that can move a whole lot more than you are, but you’re not.¬†¬† If you’re tired of feeling stagnant and tight, it’s time to make a change.

Remember when you were a kid?¬† You didn’t just walk or run… or jog.¬† You raced, rolled, flailed, wiggled, nodded, skipped, tromped, flopped, kicked and twirled.¬† You dove, jumped, shimmied, hopped and scooted.¬† Yippeee!!!¬† Most of us felt free and happy and full of energy.¬† Even if you weren’t such a pretty sight, no one thought twice about seeing you¬†snake through the grass,¬†cannonball into the¬†pool or leap through the air.¬† Even those with limited movement… moved.

Then, life happened.  You grew up.  You stopped moving like that Рfor fun, I mean.  Now, you move when you have to or because someone told you to.  Where is the fun in that? 

Do any of these situations apply to you?

1.¬† It was called ‘playing’ when you were little but later it became ‘exercise’.¬† So you stopped…

2.¬† Eventually it wasn’t¬†cool¬†to do cartwheels through the living room or shoulder rolls off the picnic table in the park.¬† So you stopped…

3.¬† You weren’t very good at organized sports or structured excercise, ¬†or you were embarrassed to try/continue.¬† So you stopped…

4.¬† You have a disability that you think prevents you from “moving”.¬† So you don’t…

5.¬† Your have no rhythm and feel like a goofball when you dance or do aerobics.¬† So you don’t…

6.¬† You used to work out, but now you’re too busy and can’t get back in the groove.

7.  You think you need to join a class or go to the gym for permission to move.

8.¬† You want to move more, but you just don’t know how or where.

9.¬† You have a sore back…knees…hips…whatever.¬† WHATever.

10.¬† You’d rather sit around and watch tv or play video games.

Okay, I get it.¬† But c’mon.¬† Wouldn’t it be nice to move a little, for fun?¬† It’s time to get out of your head, out of your bed, off the couch and into the groove.¬† Let’s break it down.

Everyone knows the health benefits of exercise.¬† There are plenty.¬† I’m not going to get into that.¬† All I’m asking is that every time you think about it… just move.¬† Even if it is nothing more than stretching or adjusting your position.¬† Or how about breathing deeper?¬† Try it.¬† In through the nose, out through the mouth…¬†

Try waving your arms in the air, or wiggling your butt when no one is looking (or when everyone is looking).¬† Sing “I like to move it, move it.¬† I like to move it, move it.” while doing the sphynx¬†across the floor.¬† Move your head from side to side, or back to front.¬†¬†Stretch your hands and wiggle your fingers.¬† Laugh and giggle, expanding your chest.

More?¬† Scrunch your butt cheeks together over and over while you’re sitting at a stop light.¬† Do little tummy crunches while you’re still in bed in the morning, before you get up.¬† Take the stairs.¬† Park farther away from the entrance.¬† Walk the course instead of taking the cart.

Next thing you know you’ll be breathing easier¬†and feeling stronger.¬†¬† You’ll be taking walks after dinner or making up a goofy dance while getting dressed in the morning.¬†¬† Then you’ll be turning off the tv and turning¬†up the music so you can dance around the house…in your undies (okay, I’m getting out of hand, I know.)¬† But I tell you, movement is liberating!!¬†¬†It doesn’t have to be structured or organized at all.¬† It can be just you feeling like shaking your groove thing.¬† How’s that for freedom?¬†

I was moved to write this because this week is National Multiple Sclerosis Week.¬† Several of my good friends have MS and through their struggles I see what it means to be able to move and how precious it is.¬† We take it for granted.¬† The MS Society’s slogan is¬†“move it.”¬† They are asking people to help them move toward a world free of MS through various opportunities such as “Walk MS”, “Bike MS”, along with donation and volunteer opportunities.¬†¬† Very clever.¬† We¬†encourage you to learn more.

What’s got YOU stifled?¬† For me, although I hike and/or walk every day, I noticed that I just don’t move outside of a certain range anymore.¬†¬†Hip shaking and arm wiggling are¬†no longer in my daily vocabulary of movement, so to speak, and my range of motion is getting limited.¬† I don’t take the many, many opportunities I have every day to stretch and kick and twirl.¬† I don’t make enough grand gestures.¬† That stops now.¬† Now, I’m a stretcher and a kicker and a twirler.¬† Now, I make big, bold gestures.¬† Join me!¬† Put a sign on your mirror, you desk, your tv and your fridge reminding you to MOVE IT.

Need some props?¬† Check out¬†Allegro’s 10 Products¬†Under $20 to Get You Moving.

Right now I’m going to do lunges all the way to the bathroom.¬† Yes I am.¬† Here at work, past everyone’s desk.¬† I will get some laughs, and I’ll probably lose my balance for sure, but what the heck.¬† I’m moving!!¬† How do you move it?¬† Tell me below, please.

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