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August 20, 1998
a year ago

Making Headway

My hands are a real mess this morning. I have tingling in the left, and the right one was sore when I woke up. So, I have tried to not use the keyboards at all this morning. I do some command stuff, but if something requires more than a word or two I tried to keep the dictation software up to deal with those. It takes a little more thought, and I sometimes wonder how people take listening to me. The office door closes, though, so that seems to be a help of sorts.

Dictating into Microsoft's development suite has been unexpectedly fun. The command mode phrases that DragonDictate decides to use are pretty intuitive and it's kind of fun to watch the cursor run around at my command. I've had to remember all the alpha-bravo commands, but that's been kind of fun is well. It's even more fun to say that I can talk to my computer, and it understands me. Sometimes better than some people, but I have to admit that I enunciate much better with the machine than I do with most people.

One thing is clear. I can still do work even without my hands. The really difficult thing is to try and do real-time typing on the MUSH's. While the discrete dictation software works quite well in doing what I need it to do, it is relatively slow compared to my typing. So I get pretty frustrated when I try to do anything in real-time. In part, this is for those who are expecting me online. I may not be on for long, and if I am, don't expect too much text from me. Luckily, Genevieve's game usually runs for a few hours each afternoon and I'm not involved in all of the things that happen. I wouldn't want to miss any of that, but it'll be a few more days before my hands can take all the discussion that happens in that room.

I realize that the main problem is that I haven't been keeping up with my arm exercises. While I was on crutches the arms got a good workout, so they did much better. Now, I've been concentrating on my legs so much that my arms are weakening back to the point where they were before. Most of the physical therapy I did for my wrists were to build arm strength and muscle strength to support the tendons. With everything else that's been happening I've just stopped. It is time to get back into the habit of working my arms out. John said, last night, that it would be good to get into a gym and workout regularly. We just have to join the local gym.

So, I have something to do that will likely make things better. Several things, including all this dictation effort. I think it should work, and this time I didn't let it get so bad that it will take months. But I really have to do something about the warning signs. No, I am doing things about the warning signs. That's much more constructive

Anyway, I'll write more later on the day itself.

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