Over the last several years I've been dealing with various stages of disability thanks to ALS. My goal is to share solutions and review various products/tools/devices that I have found particularly helpful.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Status report

You've probably noticed that I've not been posting much recently… My apologies for that, I do have a backlog of topics I want to get around to posting, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to do so.

I seem to be crossing a number of tipping points which is making things much more difficult for me. In particular, my balances rather severely affected. I can still walk, but am prone to falling. This is probably the biggest reason I've not been posting much, as I spend my days on the ground floor and my computer is in the basement. Stairs are scary!

The bandage they gave me
was a bit oversized.
I don't have much use of my arms and hands at all anymore which I'm going to say is probably the biggest reason why my balance is shot. No arms, no balance. As a matter of fact, I took quite the fall the other night. I was standing behind my son while he was brushing his teeth for bed. For some reason for right knee buckled and I fell backwards clipping the edge of the toilet with my right eyebrow. Leaving quite the boxers scar About 1/2 inch long. My four-year-old was very good about it and just asked why I had a hole and was leaking. Got lucky on that one though. Another inch or two towards the toilet seat and it could've been much worse. Ending up with more than just a "sexy scar" for the ladies.

My speech is just starting to be affected, just enough to start messing with my voice recognition. I'm also finding I'm speaking more softly, mumbling and having to repeat myself more. Fortunately my voice bank is all ready to go. Hopefully I won't need it for quite some time.

Steve Gleason Super Bowl ad for eye tracking
with Microsoft surface
Between these two issues, I'm starting to seriously consider alternative computer options For you zero, constant access. I've been monitoring Tobi eye tracking for some time, which is the solution I think I will go. They have a nice package for sale with the Windows Surface2 & Eyetracker for about $3000. Expensive, but the prices came way down from where It was.

That being said Tobi has a partnership steel series gaming trying to bring eye tracking mainstream. These are due out this summer,  should drive the price down even further. Going to try to hold on until then…

But! Still rolling!
With everything that's going on, and the balance issues the wife and I have been looking to move. We find a place that should work out for us. I ground floor apartment with elevator access from the garage. This should at least give me more in the way of computer access. Took a long time to find a good apartment that would be good for the family, accessibility and my mental health. But finally found one. We just put our home up for sale.

We both hate to move. We love the neighbors and the neighborhood fortunately however we are only moving a few blocks.

So until the dust settles sometime in July, I don't expect to be able to spend much time in front of the computer. But please, feel free to follow my daily adventures on twitter until then.