The Wrist Band Key

Working with any kind of key is challenging. The difficulty has occurred throughout my life. The first key of challenge was the house key. A nasty little thing, causing problems to this day. Trying to hold it in my hand correctly. Then, extend it outward to meet the lock just right. Any shake of the wrist and I would miss. If there was any nervous energy, forget about it. My hands would tremble. Making it almost impossible to marry the key to the lock. The standard key has made an interesting partner for my disability. But, as time has moved forward. We have moved on to tools much easier to use for unlocking purposes. Though, the home I live in still requires the standard key. Many other things I experience, have moved on to making it easier to unlock a lock. My last two cars haven’t required the standard key. They have a key that remains in your pocket. It’s brilliant, I just get in and hit a button. The engine immediately roars to life. Hotels have cool key cards. You simply touch a circle with the card and the door is unlocked. No more sliding a card key into a slot to get the door open. That process was even more challenging than the standard key. Attempting to get the card into the sliver of a slot. Then, give it the correct amount of time before removing it quickly. For someone who has trouble with their wrists and hands. The evolution of the key is interesting. 

I have written many times about the struggles with my hands. How the tightness of my muscles causes havoc on my dexterity. It’s a challenge every day to gain cooperation from my hands. Probably the largest cerebral palsy challenge for my form of the disability. So, handling keys had never been a walk in the park. They weren’t exactly designed with someone like me in mind. Handling a key would bring on panic, at the prospect of unlocking a door for a girl of interest. Just praying I could hit the lock of the car door correctly. Instead of shaking so bad, I missed by inches. You can imagine my relief when I got an alarm of my car. At that moment, instead of fretting over finding the lock with my key and shaky hands. I was able to simply hit a button to unlock the doors of an entire car. That feeling of relief gripped me again with the change in hotel keys. Not having to do with any girl I might be attempting to impress. Just the joy of making life a little easier. When the hotel card key no longer had to be placed into a slot. It just required me to hold it over the circular disk at the door. It was a great step to making things more comfortable. Like the advancement in the car key we use today. The hotel key system reduces the dexterity required from the hands. While the hotel card key still requires some, the car keys have all but eliminated the key challenge. But, this year on vacation. The hotel took away the use of fingers and hands entirely. 

We noticed these wrist bands the year prior. Usually, around the wrist of younger kids. Watching them hold their wrist up to the circle on a lock. Magically the lock would dislodge and the gate would open. There are a few gates in different locations around the resort. The sight of these wrist bands was committed to memory. Thinking to inquire about them during the next vacation. This year, we asked about the wrist bands upon checking into the hotel. Finding them to be reasonably priced. We opted to take the leap. I found the wrist band key to be optimal. They were better than imagined when spotted the year before. Taking away so much of the challenge of the key card. The wrist band key could be worn in the water. Anywhere I was to go, there wasn’t any concern. The concept of fumbling around for the key card disappeared. Having to worry about having the card in an easily accessible place was gone. I could be carrying towels and a bag without worry. Simply place my wrist against the circular lock and the gate opened. The concern over finger dexterity disappeared from a significant part of the trip. One less reason to mess with pulling something out of a pocket. I feel the change in key system made the trip more relaxing. There are so many things cerebral palsy leaves me concerned over. Easing even one of those challenges helps tremendously. 

There becomes an emotional component to the advancement of technology. Because, it seems like ultimately that describes the change in keys. Technology was found to make things easier. Though it helped people who are typically developed. They probably had little trouble using any of the keys provided through history. The impact feels larger for someone like me, who struggles with their wrists and hands. Anxiety would creep in when approaching a locked gate with others. Especially, if I was in front of a group I didn’t know. Would I be able to get the key from my pocket without dropping it? Then, grasp it well with my fingers and use it accurately? Or, would I bungle the process and flush with embarrassment, as someone stepped forward to unlock the gate. It might not appear critical. But, I would certainly walk away in emotional distress. Wondering why I have to be different from them? Feelings of isolation could momentarily overtake my emotions. Before, I reach my group, and the emotion subsided again. The feeling becomes a familiar one with my disability. How come something appearing so easy for people, can be this challenging for my abilities? As technology advances items or activities many might not think about. Possibly, making things just slightly easier for you. The feeling of sadness and isolation in someone like me, challenged by a disability, become likely to subside. Until there becomes a solution taking those feelings away almost entirely. The wrist band key did just that for me on this trip. Giving me the ability to approach a lock with substantially less concern of embarrassment.

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