Interrupted, part 4

This has been quite a month. It has been almost a month since I last made a blog post. It seems that once again life has been interrupted. My dad has continued to significantly struggle with his health. I also managed to come down with a flu bug that has been going around and laid me low for about three weeks. And then there is the matter of my hand.

While for a few months my hand has been doing pretty good, the last few weeks it has been acting up again. I have discovered that there are several things that I do which aggravate the situation. If you recall, I have a condition called Ulnar Neuritus, or aggravation of the Ulnar nerve. The symptoms of this condition include tingling and numbness of the fingers as well as aching and stiffness.

I think what aggravated it this last time was when I got mad at the weeds in my lawn. I have an ongoing battle with buttercup. I am not referring to the Princess Bride. Buttercup is this insidious weed that sends out these shoots which then root and cause the weed to spread, eventually taking over your yard. So one day as I was about to mow our back lawn, I noticed that buttercup was taking it over. It is not easy to pull up. So I got out my hand shovel, dug underneath the roots, and pulled the weeds up as best as I could.

I was at this for at least a half an hour, maybe more. All that time, I was gripping the handle of the hand shovel. I have found that any type of repeated prolonged gripping is what traumatizes my hand. This is how I initially injured my hand over a year ago. I wasn’t pulling weeds, but I was holding a paint brush and paint roller for extended periods of time while I was restaining our deck.

The problem is, once I have traumatized my hand, I can further aggravate it by any type of repetitive motion. For example, by using a computer keyboard and mouse, or by playing the piano. Fortunately, it takes about 3 to 4 times the amount of time to aggravate my hand condition when playing piano as it does when I use the computer keyboard. But when things get really bad, I have to stop using my hand altogether.

So a couple of weeks ago, I finally broke down and bought voice recognition software. I purchased Dragon Speak Naturally. I am currently writing this blog post using it. It seems to be working pretty well. I would already recommend it to anybody who needs to cut down on their computer keyboard time. And I have only been using it now for a half an hour. Pretty impressive.

If I continue to use the software to do simple tasks like writing a blog post or e-mail, then I can save my hand for doing things that I really can’t use voice recognition software to do, such as playing music. And even though this software makes it easier to make corrections to what I write, it is still handy (no pun intended) to use the mouse and keyboard for the occasional correction or for editing.

So a major thumbs up for Dragon Speak Naturally. Perhaps I will get a kickback for such a positive review.

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