Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My hands are killing me

I've been seeing a massage therapist for about three years now. I mentioned in a previous post that I had been telecommuting for 13 years, well all of that time has been spent on the computer. You don't realize how messed up your body can get when you sit in front of a computer all day long, five days a week, for years on end. That is, until you arm starts getting a tingling sensation that runs from the shoulder down to the middle two fingers. And your neck is constantly tight. And more and more frequently a strip running down your hand will go numb.

Fun times!

When I told the therapist that I worked all day long on the computer and had for years, she nodded her head like, "yeah, heard it before." Then she touched my shoulders and froze. "You were really serious about how much time you spend on the computer." Apparently my muscles tell the story for me.

The sessions with her really help. I can't stop working on the computer, but she's taught me some stretches that I do along with visits to her. So the tingling and numbing sensation in my arms doesn't appear anymore (unless I get a huge project and get stuck working 12 hour days for a week).

The workload hasn't been too crazy lately, but it has been consistent. And the consistency has been taking a toll on my hands. I find my palms and fingers achy from repetitive strokes to the point that, I just can't sit down after working all day and work on my manuscript. It's been extremely frustrating.

However, after doing some thinking and research, I decided to buy a talk-to-type software called Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's supposed to do all kinds of stuff like open applications and send email, purely on voice command. I'm not interested in any of that stuff. I just want something that I can install and then dictate to my computer and have the software type the words on the screen. I was hesitant at first, as I have quite a few made-up words in my manuscript. The software is supposed to allow you to say and type out any new word not in it's dictionary and then remember it the next time you say it. The reviews range from so-so to great, but overall it seems to be the best that does this stuff. Most of the negative comments were for launching apps and other 'advanced' features that I don't care about, so I'm pretty confident it will work for the basics that I need.

It's supposed to arrive sometime next week.So, with any luck, I'll be able to start working on my manuscript again without doing more damage to my hands. YEAH!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Christa,

I work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and happened upon your post. Just wanted to wish you good luck with Dragon.
Once you have it in hand, let us know how it goes. You can find us on Twitter at DragonTweets or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dragonnaturallyspeaking.
In any case, hope all goes well and we'd love to hear from you.

-- Mark