Hello friends. It’s Thursday morning here in the Philippines where I live, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this site. So, let’s try to get back into the swing of things!
Trying something a little bit new today, instead of typing in this article with my keyboard, I’m using my voice to dictate it to my computer. So, I thought I’d write an article about the process.
Given the fact that I have a lot of blogs, and other websites, I tend to use my keyboard a lot. I’m always typing something it seems. About four or five years ago I started having some severe pain in my wrists. It got to the point that it was so bad that I could barely function. I couldn’t type, I couldn’t drive, even just sitting in a chair watching TV I was in constant pain. At that point, it was only my right wrist that was bothering me. I went and visited an orthopedic surgeon, he took some x-rays and did some blood tests and he quickly determined that I have osteoarthritis. He talked to me about some exercises I could do, some topical medication that I could put on my wrist and other things. I followed his advice, and I probably knocked out about 90% of the pain. In addition, I started taking some medication for arthritis orally.
This all worked great for several years, but about six months ago I started developing some stomach problems and found out that my stomach was bleeding from the arthritis medication. I had to stop taking the oral arthritis medication, but I switched to a different one. Unfortunately, the other medication really did no good for me, so I stopped taking it. That has brought back some pain in my wrists, although not too severe yet. At this point, both of my wrists and also my knuckles are affected and can be quite painful at times. Because of this, I have decided to try out voice input instead of typing on a keyboard. I want to be able to work on my websites, in fact, I need to be able to do that. That’s how I make my living after all.
The other day I took my first step in using voice input. I decided to try the native voice input that is part of Windows 7. It worked pretty good and I was fairly happy with it, but it did make errors that required fixing. I’m a very fast touch typist, and I found that the voice input was much slower than just typing. This was aggravating to me. I read a lot of information on the Internet about voice input, and I kept seeing people making reviews and saying that Dragon NaturallySpeaking software was very good. In fact, most people said that it was quite a bit better than Windows 7 voice input. So, yesterday I installed Dragon NaturallySpeaking and I’ve been using it for about a day and a half now. Let me tell you, it is super. Like I say only at maybe 36 hours of use now, and it rarely makes a mistake. In fact, I’ve been doing this article using voice input, and so far it has made zero mistakes. I am very happy with this. And even though I’m a fast touch typist, using Dragon has made entering text much faster than even typing for me. I can’t complain at all about that.
My hope is that by using my hands less to type, over time my arthritis will ease a little bit, and I will be more comfortable. I don’t know for sure if that will happen, but I don’t see any downside to using voice input either. I feel that using my fingers and wrist less can only be a good thing.
Over the past few months, I find that I have really written on the Internet less. I have posted fewer new articles on my websites. The main reason, I believe, is because it can be painful to do that with my wrists and fingers the way that they are. With this new voice input that I’m now using, I believe I can be much more productive, and post more articles than I have in the past few months. We shall see.
If you’re looking for a way to do voice input instead of using a keyboard, I highly recommend Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It works great for me, and I’m sure it will for you too. Have a great day!
Good to see that it’s working as well as you hoped.
How does it handle punctuation? I see you have an exclamation point at the end of the first paragraph. Did you have to enter that? And those ever pesky commas, do you let it handle that, too?
My interest would be different as I’m a really slow/terrible typist. End result if I could output faster I might be more inclined to write more, also.
Hi Randy – Yeah, we talked about this the other day, and I did get it done. It is way better than I even thought it would be!
Regarding punctuation, it is very easy. You just speak the punctuation. Like, I might say “My name is Bob comma and I live in Davao period I am talking to Randy right now exclamation point”
When you say that into the mic it would type: My name is Bob, and I live in Davao. I am talking to Randy right now!
As a fellow OA sufferer I can relate. I can offer some advice that did work for me. YMMV
I changed my diet. Little to none of High Fat foods. Lots of Fatty Fishes, Fruit and Veggies.
it took about three months to FEEL the results and now if I go off course for more than a few days I get that ole creaky pain and all the related problems. I had OA issues in my Knees, Hips, elbows and left wrist and right fingers. (Side benefit was I lost almost 60 pounds)
The basic concept is to reduce inflammation and do things to reduce wear and tear, which is what the chemical medcines are trying to do artifically. Many foods as you know are natural anti-inflamatories.
Now, having said all this, I know first hand how very difficult it is to be around most filipinos. it seems that most all the food is a trap for us OA folks. Not all….but most.
Wish you well with this issue. I do know that it only gets worse over time if not addressed, OA unlike RA is more WEAR and TEAR related, while RA is inflammation based 100%.
Using anything to reduce wear and tear and the accompanying inflammation is how I treat mine. I went off all meds 1 year after my diet changed and never went back.
Looking forward to hearing more from your DRAGON fingers. Haha
You are so right, Joe. I have made changes in my diet as well, and it helps a lot. I need to further change my diet, no doubt, but I have made leaps in the right direction, though. Since getting the OA, I have lost about 75 pounds, and that helps too.
In addition to my wrists and fingers, I have milder OA in my knees, but it is still not bad.
Thanks for the encouragement!