My fingers are beginning to no longer work on the keyboard very well. I never was a fast typist, or considered typing to be any particular joy, but this is a new threshold that is a little hard to take. Things that you think are not that important, actually are. I find that when things start to cease working, you tend to find it easy to just put that out of your mind and not do it. Perhaps it’s a little fuse to avoid self abuse. Usually though, you quit whining and you get past it.
The ALS medical community is a very helpful sort, but one might be surprised how tricky this can be. Prospects of leading edge advancements are not always very relevant for a current patient and can cause someone to become impatient with the progress. A company and group of doctors invited me to a webinar of theirs with great fanfare. The name was “Braingate: Towards restoring communication and mobility for people with ALS” I was more than a little excited. When it came, it featured research patients with skull implants and a big cable of wires coming out of their head. They were able to type two to three characters per minute… I’m not sure if I have anything that important to say. This device might have to be reserved for those who have a crowd of people gathered around them, anxiously waiting for some secret key to the universe to be uttered.
Of course all research and invention has to start out with baby steps and I can see and applaud their excitement. It’s just hard for someone who is a realist, with a timeline such as mine, to get as excited as the researchers are. Good for them though!
Something I found very helpful was a recent visit to a professor at Maryville University who showed me current, off the shelf, assistive technology for communication. He mentioned a strategy that I have found helpful in all things related to this process of problem solving “the right hack at the right time”.
(An interesting tidbit: The auto-complete feature on I phones and such can make you faster, but it makes you meaner (AKA less happy with your typing))