In my last post, I shared how my Muscular Dystrophy has caused me to have great difficulty with communication. While the speech problems haven’t improved but worsened, my ability to communicate has drastically improved. This improvement is due to technology.
Last November I finally received the adaptive technology I was waiting for. There was a very steep learning curve at first, but now it is second nature when I use it. I guess I should briefly explain how it works.
At the bottom of the computer, (yes, it also allows me to use the computer too) there are two low-intensity lasers that track the movement of my eyes. No, I don’t look like Superman with laser beams shooting from my eyes. In order to type, there is a keyboard on the screen and all I have to do is look at the letter I want to type and it gets typed. It also has word prediction so I can actually type pretty fast. The best feature is when I click a button and it speaks what I typed. I also can use the mouse but I won’t explain that right now.
Having the ability to communicate again has done so much good for me. I am getting my confidence back. The device isn’t the only reason, the other reasons will be in a future post. I don’t think many people can truly understand what not being able to express yourself does to a person’s sense of self-worth and their self-confidence. It gets stripped from you in a sense.
Before my speech got bad, I was a very independent person. I took care of arranging appointments. Took care of things that came up in regard to my nursing care. I went out several times a week, (I pretty much went everywhere). I am now starting to be able to do some of this again. The thing I’m dealing with now is knowing what I can do and what I need to let my family help me with or take care of.
I’m also getting my smart ass sense of humor back. People see me in public and, especially at church, assume I’m so sweet simply because I’m quiet. I guess Proverbs is right “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent (17:28). Seriously, when people get to know me and see past the wheelchair, they find out I have a wicked sense of humor.
Through all of this, God is teaching me patience, humility and not to take things quite so seriously.
For more information on my adaptive equipment, click on the picture below.